Jackie – an Indoor Flying Security Drone

Northwestern students are Kickstarter funding a drone that flies in your house and tells you when you've left the door unlocked.

Jackie Wu and Ritwik Ummalaneni want to create a full line of robotic products for the internet of things. Their first product offering is Jackie, seeking $40,000 for funding in a Kickstarter campaign that ends May 8, 2015.

Jackie is a small drone intended to be used indoors and controlled through your smartphone. The drone combines the Crazyflie Nano Quadcopter with an HD camera and computer vision algorithms. Jackie allows users to check that the oven is off, or the front door is locked, or the dog hasn’t ripped up the sofa.


A smartphone app controls the quadcopter and gives the user the ability to fly to a location and then come back to base for recharging. Multiple viewing is supported so several family members or house mates can monitor the same device.

The charging pad has speakers and a microphone so the user can interact with any pets that are at home during the day. Algorithms built into the vision system can be set to detect anomalies so that the user doesn’t get alerts unless a new event occurs.

Wu and Ummaleneni envision several other uses for Jackie beyond home surveillance. Security can be done in storage facilities or gas stations. Maintenance checks can be performed in power plants or IT centers.

The Kickstarter campaign video isn’t flashy or over produced and might benefit from more footage of the modified Crazflie copter moving around and performing the actions described in the video. The ideas behind Jackie are very innovative and the possibility for potential new uses are great. It is stressed that no new hardware is being produced but instead an app has been developed that links with existing hardware and modified controls and software.