Drones used for indoor surveillance applications have primarily been the goal of the law enforcement community. Costs and the technical hurdles required to properly navigate a drone in tight spaces have been major limiting factors for both home and commercial uses. Hover Camera, a drone small enough skirt the FAA’s requirement for an operator’s license, is looking to change that. They have created a drone with no exposed propellers which is designed to shoot footage safely in indoor locations. The Hover Camera from Zero Zero Robotics does exactly what the name implies which is that it hovers in where needed to capture video and stills.

New Hover Camera from Zero Zero Robotics

Video quality is commercial grade given that the Hover Camera is sporting a 13MP camera that is capable of capturing 4K video. It also has built-in AI software that makes tracking and differentiating of people vs pets (for example) possible. The AI is designed to use face and body recognition systems to locate a specific individual and follow behind them. It can also be controlled remotely with a mobile app which allows for finer maneuverability.

Hover Camera folded on White

While some people may simply think of this kind of technology as a novelty or a mere convenience, (think Roomba for automated home security cameras) the applications of such a technology are actually much more sophisticated. The real applications go far beyond the immediately obvious. So let’s talk about some of the possible applications…


Real Time Monitoring and Threat Tracking

The most obvious use for this kind of drone is as a passive security system. If someone enters into your home or place of business they can be tracked in a relatively unobtrusive way. While this may not seem like a large advantage, it does mean the potential real time notification to the police. It can also provide a solid record for insurance purposes. Rather than having the view of the security cameras locked to a specific focal point, the Hover Camera has the potential to recognize that an individual is not permitted, launch itself into the air and then follow the individual at a safe distance to record everything they do and everywhere they go. Nothing on the market today can provide such a capability.


Environmental Threats

Another fairly common application would be to use the system to detect environmental threats, including fires. Imagine a Hover Camera system with an infrared camera that functions like this: You’re cooking in your kitchen and you walk away to get the phone but forgot to turn down the heat. As the conversation gets hot and heavy you forget the food but the drone flies it’s automated path through your home and detects the heat of a newly started fire. When the heat/smoke reach a dangerous level, it will automatically call the fire department in addition to alerting you and recording the events so they are captured in a cloud-based system. Simply freeing the cameras and sensors from a locked location (and letting them patrol a space) could prevent damage and loss of life.


Medical Applications

With a growing population of elderly citizens who will need tending to, this kind of technology could be used to help watch over our parents and grandparents. Add a heart rate monitor or a fall sensor with Wi-Fi capabilities to the camera and it would be able to determine when help is needed. It could then automatically call for an ambulance or call a trusted relative to get help for a senior in need. With an additional add to the hardware on the Hover Camera, you could provide two-way communication should an individual need aid but not emergency care. A similar technology could make use of the cameras to look at a specially designed pill case in order to make sure older people are taking their medications on schedule, and perhaps provide reminders in the form of a text or a phone call in addition to updating a database with activity metrics.


Navigation and Tours

On the less dire side of the spectrum of potential applications for the Hover Camera is a truly real-time controllable virtual tour. An application that would allow for control of, and access to a live video feed, of the drone would allow you to tour a home you’re looking at moving into in another state, or allow potential investors to take a tour of production facilities of companies in other countries. Or, to reverse it, you could actually have the drones lead tours of certain areas so a tour group follows the Hover Camera around and uses their mobile devices to provide access to the information the virtual tour guide would provide. The possibility of user controllable virtual tours has great commercial and retail applications.

As you can see, this type of application has the possibility to be game changing in a lot of different arenas. The business, health care and security applications are diverse. While the technology is not out currently, it is set to go into beta soon. Hover Camera is currently taking applications for those who are interested.