SXSW 2015: Cuddly Drones Designed By Kids

Birthday party drones are way more fun than the ones that just take photos

Drones are an inevitable part of our future. Whether they’re used for good or evil is up for debate. With that idea in mind, Setup, a media lab in the Netherlands, created the Cuddly Drones program to teach kids about drone engineering and surveillance concerns. The kids learned all about drone aerodynamics and prototyping, and they participated in debates about safety and surveillance in the drone age. Then came the most adorable part: The kids designed and built the drones they’d like to see in the future. And because children have a tendency to be way more creative than us lame adults, the results were pretty incredible. While Setup’s Krista Hendricks and Tijmen Schep weren’t allowed to fly any drones while in Austin, they showed off a few design prototypes (made out of cardboard and other lightweight salvaged materials) of the designs at South by Southwest last week. All the kids’ drones can fly, but their unique purposes may take a few years to actually come to fruition.

Popular Science is at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, bringing you the latest technology and culture news. Follow our complete coverage at popsci.com/sxsw