Americans may be warming up to the idea of using unmanned aerial vehicles — or drones — to deliver Amazon packages or take pictures of unreachable places like remote mountain ranges or hurricane-decimated landscapes.

But what about using indoor drones to help older people get their hands on a bottle of medicine that’s in another room?
Sound like an outlandish idea? Naira Hovakimyan, a roboticist at the University of Illinois, isn’t laughing.

Hovakimyan recently received a $1.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to explore the possibility of using small drones to perform simple household chores.

NSF picked the right person.

Hovakimyan recently told The New York Times that she believes drones will become an everyday fixture — as ubiquitous as cell phones — in the homes of older people. Within a decade or two, she says, indoor drones will be reaching under the table to grab an object, cleaning chandeliers, and weeding the lawn.

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