Drone club for kids with autism is really, really awesome – Popular Science

These videos will make you smile.
To help kids on the autism spectrum see the world in brand-new ways, a team of parents has equipped them with technical lessons, drones, and video cameras. “Taking Autism To The Skies” (TATTS) is a crowdfunded project that combines teamwork, film-making, geography, and flight-planning software. On Tuesday, the Madison, Wis.-based club released five kid-made videos that are incredibly sweet and fun.
For children on the autism spectrum, it can be challenging to understand that something can look different from another person’s perspective. Enter the camera-equipped drones. “We want our kids to grasp that what they see may not be what others see, and we will convey what is a very nuanced social skill through a concrete, fun experience,” says Paul Braun, founder of TATTS.
There are several videos on the blog, each titled with the first name of the kid that made it. One, by Mitchell, has a great moment with kids debating the cost of the drone, wondering if it costs $100,000. (This one doesn’t, but many bigger drones totally do!) Harrison’s video is awesomely captioned, with a giant “WHEEEEEEEE” on screen when the drone flies towards a farm, and an “OW” when the drone crashes.
Two other videos (below) caught our attention. We particularly enjoyed the one made by Alan, entitled “Fail!”, which features a group of kids hunting for a crashed hexarotor, plus sped-up footage of the crash.
The slapstick charm, complete with vaudeville soundtrack, in Tate’s video is also not to be missed:
Kelsey D. Atherton is a defense technology journalist based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His work on drones, lethal AI, and nuclear weapons has appeared in Slate, The New York Times, Foreign Policy, and elsewhere.

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