The Following Fan team consists of Nate Oelke, Jon Cabak, and AJ Sakher. They all attended the University of Minnesota together and joined forces to start Following Fan with their combined expertise in robotics, computer vision, software development, and mechanical 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 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. Nate worked with Jon and AJ over the summer to build a prototype to validate the idea and it ended up solving the problem perfectly. After refining their invention, they are now ready to share Following Fan with the world.