It was only a matter of time before the world’s current obsession – drones – made it’s way onto the sports field. And now, finally, it has, in the form of HoverBall; a ball with a tiny drone inside of it.
Why would you want a ball with a tiny drone attached inside of it, you ask? Well, why not?
The aim with HoverBall is that the ball, which is being used in a sports game, also has the ability to make up it’s own mind. In essence, the ball can hover and glide through the air and move around the players.
Harry Potter fans will find this reminiscent of the elusive Golden Snitch in a game of Quidditch.
While the idea with HoverBall is similar to that of the Golden Snitch, this ball is being controlled by a human and not magic.
HoverBall is remote controlled – meaning it’s movements are controlled by another person outside of the game it is being played in. The actual drone, is a small device that is only 90 millimeters in diameter and is encaged inside the ball, which is made of plastic.
The ball can ‘fly’ (or rather hover) in the air for round about five minutes, and can also be used on the ground.
However, HoverBall is not fully in existence just yet. The prototype for HoverBall is currently still under development at the University of Tokyo’s Rekimoto Lab.
The developers are busy working on new designs that would make HoverBall more resilient to rough sports.
The idea for HoverBall and it’s prototype was presented earlier this month at the Augmented Human Conference in Japan.
We already know that more and more people; designers, developers and scientists are looking at drone technology to push different things in various arenas to the next level. Amazon wants to deliver their packages with drones and the CIA wants to use them to spy on people.
Either way, drone technology is the in-thing.
What are your thoughts on a drone-based ball? A cool idea or is it just a waste of time? Let us know what you think.