Incorporating a Drone in your HA setup

I’ve already got a Roomba hooked up to ST, now I’m looking to expand my robot fleet. Regardless of if the technology is there today, what would incorporating a drone into your HA setup look like?

I suppose the first use case would be for security. Perhaps the drone could fly to where motion is detected when you’re in away mode. It would flash lights and broadcast an audible warning to leave the house. I’d imagine that would be terrifying to any intruders. An accompanying camera would go to where the trouble is, not wait for it to pass by a static security camera. Taking it a step further, LAZERS could get intruders out of your house in a hurry too!

How about for general fetching? Take this to the laundry room. Grab the babies bottle. Put these dirty dishes in the sink.

Another use case might be for cleaning. Dusting hard to reach places. Cleaning tall windows. The airborne cousin of the Roomba…

What would the drone need to do?
Probably need to be a micro drone to navigate mostly indoors
Full autopilot and obstacle avoidance
Camera, lights, etc.
Something to grip things or a platform to put things on
Facial recognition or some other sort of presence detection
You’d need the ability to program flight paths or at least upload the layout of your home
You’ll basically need to teach it what things are in your house. Sink, Washer, etc.
A homebase platform that allows for the drone to land and charge itself
A way to hook into your existing HA setup.

I’m not trying to be a fat human from Wall-E. Just future gazing a bit. So what needs to happen to make this a reality? And can this be done now? I wonder if a homemade drone with a Pi could knock off a few of these things?

And then one morning the drones turn their lasers on you!
Judgment day in the laundry room!


Most drones small enough to fly through a house can only carry a few ounces, and you would need to use that payload for a camera in order to see where it’s going. They also don’t have the ability to pick anything up. You can attach a magnet, but then that counts against the payload. So the primary uses are as a movable video camera or intercom.

I do know a couple people using remote controlled basket carriers, basically like a roomba with the basket on top. But those are ground-based.

Imagine if you will…

A small fleet of roombas patrolling the inside of your home and a small fleet of flying drones outside… All of then armed with tazers, tear gas, flash bangs, and aww why not… Fully automatic pellet guns!

You could have a couple in reserve with a 45 out a 9 mil for those really persistent criminals!

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One drone alternative that’s very practical if you’re willing to put in the initial set up time… :wink::dog:


Lets maybe save the fetching drones for people with large open homes to accommodate larger drones and also assume a certain amount of miniaturization for cameras and sensors.

It seems there are some open source drone projects. I believe openpilot is one of them. Perhaps this is good place to start. Anyone ever jailbreak a micro drone??


Navio looks like a promising project that was funded on indiegogo, has shipped, and now onto version 2. It’s a suite of software and hardware built for rpi that provides autopilot to all sorts of things, including drones. Neat!

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Did you train your dog to do that?

I have a fairly large house and I still wouldn’t want a drone just flying around indoors unattended… the only saving grace is that they’re loud, so you could tell when they’re coming your way and duck. :smile:

I certainly wouldn’t mind a drone that could go get the mail or something of the sort, but that’s pretty much the only thing that I can think of at the time that it would be good for. I already have cameras that tell me when someone is lurking around in certain areas, so actually sending a drone out there wouldn’t result in any gain – although it would be cool.

The “thinking cleaner” setup available for Roomba and the “return to charger” functionality would be requirements though. The usefulness of any drone is quickly outlived by the fact that it can only fly for 15 minutes before going back to the charger, and if it can’t do that by itself then it’s not gonna be a lot of fun.

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I didn’t, but the program does train them to get a bottle from the refrigerator. A water bottle, of course. :wink:

I previously posted the picture of our kitchen from the dog’s point of view. The tug rope is so he can open the refrigerator door. The white thing on the left is a Philips Hue dimmer switch. :dog:


Well I guess you can always store your beer in water bottles…


5 years later. Amazon is making my dreams come true! Just need to add LAZERS to the Ring Always Home Drone Cam

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