Drones

21 stories

The demand for skilled drone operators is likely to soar if, as expected, the Federal Aviation Administration loosens its limits on drone flights for business purposes. Thus, the emergence of a new ground-level business, DartDrones: For as little as $225 anyone can now learn to operate a drone like a professional.More →

While companies like 3DR, DJI, and Parrot all sell drones for less than $1,000, Helen Greiner, the founder of CyPhy Works, believes her company has designed the ultimate drone for consumers who want to shoot aerial photos and videos and easily share them with friends. The Danvers-based startup is launching a crowdfunding campaign today to see if consumers agree, aiming to raise $250,000 to green-light the production of a $500 drone called the LVL 1. She expects to begin delivering the new aircraft in early 2016.More →

Andrew Kehlenbeck pulls up a shirtsleeve and exposes a few linear scars on his forearm. They’re slashes from the plastic propeller of a small drone — a very modern sort of workplace injury.

Kehlenbeck is co-founder and lead engineer at Panoptes Systems in Cambridge, and he is designing a safety system to keep unmanned aircraft from hitting walls, ceilings, trees, and people. Panoptes is just one of the local companies hoping to benefit from a soaring hobbyist drone market and an expected surge in sales to businesses.More →

What would you do if a couple feet of fresh snow fell… and right outside your office door was a small hill? Oh, and your CEO was an avid snowboarder? And your company made small drones with built-in cameras?

The answer at Danvers-based CyPhy Works was clear: institute snowboarding lunch breaks, filmed from the skies. The runs aren’t very long, but CyPhy CEO Helen Greiner says the walk back up the hill is good exercise. While many of CyPhy’s employees are mechanical engineers, Greiner says “they haven’t built me a lift yet.” (That’s Greiner, who was previously a co-founder of iRobot Corp., going off a jump in the image above.)More →

Helen Greiner didn’t just put the ‘robot’ in iRobot. Starting as an 11-year-old who wanted to build R2-D2, she achieved her a dream twice: after co-founding iRobot and ushering it to an IPO in 2005, Greiner left to create a second company, CyPhy Works, that builds flying robots.

Greiner spoke at the RoboBusiness conference in Boston last week, and shared her views on some of the challenges facing the commercial drone industry. Chief among them: How do you grow while the Federal Aviation Administration continues to bully you out of the skiesMore →