Drones

11 stories
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
Up & Away
Amazon taps former MIT professor to helm Prime Air, its planned drone delivery program
Reuters
There's been a lot of debate about how serious Amazon is with its much touted (and very not-a-real-thing-currently) Prime Air drone-delivery program, considering the Federal Aviation Administration has specifically banned drones for commercial purposes. Add one on the serious side of the score card: the company has recruited former MIT professor Paul Viola to be its vice president of science for Prime Air. Read More
Defining moment
So, what counts as a drone, anyway?
CyPhy Works chief executive Helen Greiner, right, showed the company's PARC drone to curious spectators at the MIT Enterprise Forum.
If you pay attention to drone developments, or even if you don’t, there’s a decent chance you saw news stories earlier this month about a drone that nearly crashed into a commercial airliner in the skies over Florida. There was one problem with those reports, according to drone expert Terry Holland: The unmanned aircraft that almost collided with an American Airlines passenger plane wasn’t a drone at all. Read More