Drones

15 stories
Drone mail > Snail mail
MIT acceptance letters by drone? Admissions office asks applicants to look 'to the skies'
As owls are to Hogwarts, so are drones to MIT. The university recognizes that drone-delivered acceptance letters may be the perfect way of welcoming the Class of 2019. And even if the admissions office can't pull off that feat this year, they've released a video Friday to tell the world: Yes, they've thought about it. Read More
Just wingin' it
Soaring investment and lagging legislation — it's a Wild West for drones
The PARC drone from CyPhy Works is tethered to a controller by a microfilament cable that sends power up to the drone and downloads high-definition video. (Photo: Cyphy Works)
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. Read More
Lunchtime fun
CyPhy's drones capture company snowboarding breaks in Danvers
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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.) Read More
Clipped wings
iRobot founder Helen Greiner on drones, the FAA, and how to succeed in business without really flying
AR DRone flights
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 skiesRead More
Institute of notoriety
The MIT ties to Google’s delivery drone program, White House CTO front-runner
With any major tech news, chances are you'll find a connection to MIT, whether or not it involves Boston. And that's the case with two of the tech stories circulating today — Google's disclosure of a program to use drones for deliveries, and the White House's top candidate for a new chief technology officer. Read More
Drone Developments
Self-charging stations, smarts, make for a more efficient delivery drone
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Depending on who you ask, package delivery by drone is either looming large in our future or is way off in the distance. While we wait, researchers at MIT are building the parts that will make delivery robots functional and efficient, including battery-swapping stations and algorithms that streamline the way the crafts will think. Read More