Autonomous drones

A new breed of high-tech home security solutions is emerging in the form of autonomous drones.

Outdoor drones

Picture this: You’re living the dream in your large suburban house, but you’re really concerned about home (and bike) security. You’re not a fan of dogs, don’t want CCTV cameras watching your every move, and don’t want to employ security personnel. One innovative company and their ‘drone-in-a-box’ security solution could be what you’re looking for.

Sunflower Labs, based in the United States, has developed an all-weather-proof box called the ‘Hive,’ which houses a flying drone, called the ‘Bee.’ This drone can rapidly take off within 30 seconds, fly the perimeter of your property, provide real-time footage, and aim to deter intruders before returning to its box to recharge.

Autonomous Drone - Sunflower Labs Team

Sunflower Labs – team photo

Some features of the ‘Beehive System’ include:

  • A 600-meter range (from the ‘Hive’)
  • Automatic detection of people, animals, and cars
  • 25-minute recharge time
  • Footage recorded even in low-light
  • The Hive can be placed on a flat roof

Sunflower Labs has announced a partnership with Alarm.com, a major smart home security provider that powers companies like ADT. We should hear a lot more about this company in the coming years.

Indoor drones

While Sunflower Labs and similar companies are gaining traction in the outdoor autonomous drone space, what about a drone to patrol inside your house?

A drone flying around your house while you’re home could be as annoying as a trapped angry wasp. But when you’re on holiday, a drone could quickly navigate your entire home, providing reassuring live footage to your mobile phone.

One company that has tried to launch an indoor drone is security titan Ring, with their ‘Always Home Cam.’ While information about the drone has disappeared from the Ring website in 2024, CEO Liz Hamren recently told GeekWire, “We’re continuing to work on it. We will provide updates as they come. But it is definitely still a project that we are very excited about, that is very ambitious. So stay tuned.”

Final thoughts

While outdoor autonomous drones may be out of financial reach for most, they undoubtedly offer a glimpse into the future.

The number of exclusive ‘gated communities’ in the UK has seen huge growth in recent decades as the fear of crime and segregation grows. Drone costs could potentially be shared via a management company between many households.

Outdoor drones can also have large commercial applications, patrolling industrial estates and potentially providing cost savings compared to paid personnel.

In some cities around the world, such as Dublin, drones are now a regular sight, dropping deliveries ‘from the sky’ into back gardens. So why not have your own personal drone keeping an eye on your garage that contains your prized collection of Pinarello Dogma bikes?

In the near future, indoor drones might offer a quick and affordable option for the masses. We will definitely be keeping an eye out, especially for the Ring drone. Once that drone hits the market and Amazon, it’s likely that other companies will follow with their own solutions, integrating with other home security products.