We went up the Semnoz this afternoon, taking our two-and-a-half year old baby on a no-pram-allowed walk for the first time. In addition to the usual suspects (cows and goats, mostly), we also ran into Benoit Pereira Da Silva, an application developer at the helm of a contraption he uses to code and walk at the same time. If I understood correctly, he has programmed the drone to document his walks. Today, his 13-year-old son manually guided a small, buzzing quadcopter equipped with an onboard camera to capture HD footage.
Our baby sized up the little machine and its four buzzing rotors, perhaps with his recent interactions with the family Roomba (plastic and metal, moves and makes noise) and the flies (the buzzing and flying things around the cows) as reference points. Given the accelerating pace of technological change (cf. The Second Machine Age), I’m expecting that he will be growing up in a world populated by new kinds of autonomous machines – and that this world may arrive sooner than we think. Never mind that, so far, drones have been mostly associated with killing children.