Phillips Lighting Debuts ‘World’s First’ Autonomous Indoor Drone

TIC TAC DRONE with Philips Lighting technology

Philips Lighting, a provider of lighting solutions, announced on Friday what it called “the first application” of an autonomous, indoor drone that uses Visible Light Communication (VLC technology) from Philips Lighting to navigate.

The drone, developed by Blue Jay, can play a game of tic-tac-toe with children who communicate with the drone through hand gestures, the company said. Additionally, the drone can pick up and deliver objects to a location to assist the less mobile.

The drone uses VLC technology from Philips Lighting, enabling it to pinpoint its location and navigate and act autonomously. This technology enables ceiling lights to act like an indoor GPS and transmit their location through a modulation of the light which is imperceptible to the human eye, but detectable by smart devices such as drones. The wireless operation between the drone and its ground station is made possible by communication technology from NXP.

According to the company, Philips VLC is privacy protected and will not ask nor store any personal data. Each light fixture is using one-way transmission of a luminaire ID or code to the drone using VLC.