Any Idea On What To Do?

Anyone have an idea on how I can get an airborne robot to follow someone without the person having any sensors or trackers on their person? I need my bot to simply hover around them, preferably infront of them. Using facial tracking or something like that is out of the question. Just share ideas, no need for code. Lets discuss! :D

For face recognition you need a camera (hich can be lightweighht) but the real problem is the software that is needed to look for a face en track it. To do that, a lot of processing is needed, and the arduino has not enough memory to handle images . That means you should go to e.g. Raspberry Pi, that'll do what you want, but it is not as lightweight, which means it'll probably be too heavy..

but there are probably some things i did not think about :)

What about crash test dummy-style fiducials stuck on the subject?

You should try to define the scope of the project to keep it as simple as possible. For example the person might be permittted to walk slowly but not run or jump. The robot might be introduced to the target somehow, so that it only has to follow the target and not do an initial search and locate.

I think you do need something on the person, even if it is just passive stickers of some kind, like AWOLs crash dummy fiducials ( just learnt a new word :) )

Possibly you might be able to detect the infrared from the person, but the robot might be easily decoyed by other heat sources.

Another option might be to iluminate the target with a laser if you have line of sight, then the robot has to detect the laser light and hover round the illuminated target.

You will need some kind of rangefinder, possibly ultrasonic, so that the robot can keep its distance.

I am not sure how readilly infrared or laser sensors can be obtained to interface with an Arduino.

Possibly you might be able to detect the infrared from the person, but the robot might be easily decoyed by other heat sources.

The Kevin Warwick problem

I am surprised he had not thought of that.

Another option might be to dust the person with something that reflects a particular wavelength of light then the robot could illuminate the area and follow the reflection.

If you don't like the target you could dust them with something radiactive ]:) There were rumours Russia's secret service once circulated radiactive bank notes so that they could track them.

Steen: is not as lightweight, which means it'll probably be too heavy..

I've seen videos of autonomous flying drones discovering the environment around them by video analysis, so I'm sure the problem can be solved with enough time and effort. I guess it's just a matter of find a good enough compromise between cost and flying time.

Seems to me that there need to be two parts to the solution - real-time control of the platform to keep it in the required place, and a more sophisticated (but less time-critical) process to figure out where it wants to be. I'd have thought that a PC-based face recognition system would be the most practical approach, but getting it working at all will be tricky, and getting it working on hardware that is light enough to be carried will be even harder. How far away from the mark would you have this thing fly, and at what altitude? What endurance do you need? Any payload? Does it need to be aware of anything else in its environment, or will you be working in the middle of a field?