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Sunflower Labs is a new start-up in Silicon Valley and Zurich, Switzerland that aims to turn drones into guardian angels for homes. Their new security system detects possible threats and investigates them using a drone.

The company sees itself as an extension to traditional alarms. Here are 5 ways a drone can help to protect your home.

Sends Video to Your Smartphone

While programming an alarm system to go off when the backdoor opens at two in the morning is impressive enough, automated drones add a new layer of security.
You’ll be able to see and decide if your home is at risk or not, because the drone will stream real-time video from its high-resolution cameras right to your smartphone. The drone only collects footage of your property to protect your neighbour’s privacy.

Detects Motion, Vibration and Sound

The Sunflower Home Awareness System works by using a drone and a handful of in-ground smart lights. The drone utilizes artificial intelligence to identify a disturbance and determine if it’s potentially dangerous. It detects motion, vibration and sound and, by analyzing this data, the system can distinguish between a human, a car and animals.

The drone can learn your family’s day-to-day patterns, like when your kids leave for school and come home and only signal you when something is wrong. A trusted visitor, such as a mail delivery person, will be recognized by how they approach your home and how long they stand at the front door. However, when a person approaches and lingers outside the back door, Sunflower Labs will send a push notification to your smartphone and ask if you’d like to investigate.

If you say yes, the drone will lift off from its perch on a balcony, deck or patio and fly to where the suspicious person is located. It doesn’t need someone to fly it. From 30 feet up, the drone hovers near the visitor until you tell it to return to its perch. You then have the option to notify the local police using the app.

Keeps an Eye on All of Your Property

Cameras all have one major flaw: a very limited range of surveillance. No matter how many cameras you place around your home, there will still be blind spots. While most alarm systems are set up to guard only the entries and exits of a home, the drone system has the advantage of being able to keep an eye on all of your property.

Prevents False Alarms

Sunflower Labs CEO, Alex Pachikov, thinks that sending a drone to investigate disturbances before calling the police will solve the common problem of current home security systems, that of constant false alarms.

Less Intrusive Than Cameras

Your family might not like the idea of being constantly in a camera’s eye, but a drone would be non-intrusive. The propellers automatically shut off if they hit anything and are designed to be quiet, producing a hum rather than obnoxious buzzing.

Drones are sure to raise safety, privacy, nuisance and regulatory concerns and, as of yet autonomous flight isn’t legal for commercial drones. Pachikov doesn’t think those policies will apply, since a homeowner will use the drone for non-business purposes.

Pricing is unclear for now, but the drone can be rented for a fee that’s comparable to what traditional alarm systems cost. Pachikov is working to integrate his drones with voice assistants such as Siri and Amazon’s Echo.