This Alexa-Controlled TrayDrone Is Almost As Good As Having A Butler

- May 06, 2019-

You and Alexa's Amazon Echo really make life easier. You can turn on the lights, play music, order products, and even play games with Alexa. But unfortunately, you still need to get the items back from the sofa. You may be able to tell Alexa to start your smart coffee machine, but you will have to go to it to actually get back your delicious drink. TrayDrone is designed to make these nonsense a thing of the past and bring you items with simple Alexa voice commands.

TrayDrone alxa

TrayDrone was created by Prof. Dr. Jürgen Scheible from Germany’s Stuttgart Media University, and showcased at LivingKitchen 2019 fair. Using drones for deliveries isn’t a new concept, and Amazon themselves have been experimenting with the idea. But using drones to deliver small payloads within the home is certainly a novel idea — if not an entirely practical one. That said, most people would likely be intrigued by the idea of having a drone servant who can cater to your in-home item-retrieval whims.

To build the TrayDrone, Dr. Scheible was helped by the drone prototype design company Artfantasie. A custom frame designed to carry pallets weighing up to 1kg and integrated support guards make it safe for the home. They are also responsible for electronic and flight controller programming. In the demo, the user asked Alexa to bring a plate of food. Then a small door in the kitchen opens and the drone flies to the kitchen table to remove the tray.

In fact, the whole process is controlled by humans. The drone pilot is located in the next room and manually flies the drone onto the table when needed. After the drone returns through the door, the pilot loads the next pallet onto the drone. A little disappointing is that TrayDrone relies on a few tricks to achieve its goals, but it does prove that people are interested in the possibility of home delivery.

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