Nate Oelke and AJ Sakher are the co-founders of Following Fan. They first met while studying at the University of Minnesota and quickly became friends over mutual interests in computer science, robotics, and engineering.
The idea for Following Fan came about during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. With all the gyms shut down, Nate created a home gym in his garage and quickly discovered that the stagnant air and lack of A/C made lifting nearly unbearable during the summer. An old fan provided some much needed air flow, but constantly repositioning the fan when moving throughout the garage was inefficient and frustrating.
After several weeks of intense summer heat, Nate and AJ had an epiphany: build a robotic fan that uses computer vision to track the user's position and a motor to rotate the fan to stay pointed at them. They quickly built a prototype to validate the idea and it ended up solving the problem perfectly. After building more advanced prototypes and refining their invention, they are ready to share Following Fan with the world.