On August 13, 2013, a programmable flying robot called Spiri was launched by a Canadian start up called Pleiades via yet another Kickstarter campaign. The project – a programmable drone (or more socially palatable term, ’robot’), which will sell for about $600 USD, is raising funds to improve its technology and hardware, and of course, go mass market.
But the programmable drone isn’t unique. Spiri, whose name not only mimics Sphero, another robotic gadget that launched on Kickstarter by Orbotix in 2012, but also looks like, and is allegedly touted to behave like a product already in the market — Parrot’s AR Drone 2.0 which currently sells around the world for about $299 USD. This product is backed by the wireless technology masterminds at Parrot, a French company founded in 1994 that is a pioneer in wireless innovation for the mobile market.
The idea of Spiri, according to their Kickstarter video, was to create a programmable platform (also confusingly referred to as a flying programmable robot or drone) to do exactly what you want it to do. Essentially, fly and record what it sees – or let you be, as their Kickstarter page says: a courier, a rescuer, a spelunker, a cartographer, a playmate, a gardener, an inspector, a reporter, a teammate, a wanderer.