Drones, Drones and Drones

I’m really excited about our latest investment in 3DRobotics.  In short, they are developing the leading technology platform and community around Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).  The official Foundry post is here.

I think that most people hear the word “drone” and picture war machines, Terminator movies, “Big Brother” surveillance and other uses that make many of our skins crawl.  That being said, I’m stoked that we are investing in technology that could be used for other uses.  Which ones am I most excited about?  In no particular order:

1. Agriculture monitoring:  Right now farmers either buy satellite photos, or pay humans to monitor crops.  What if drones could do this faster and cheaper and decrease our cost of food?

2. Search and Rescue:  Currently, there are some drones that do this type of work, but we’ve just scratched the surface.  I guess this will put the St. Bernards with the liquor barrels out of business…

3. Hyper-local delivery:  Imagine ordering from a local store and having your prescription or other product delivered within an hour.  Is this technology what allows local stores to compete with the Internet?

4. Persistent cameras:  I’m really excited about persistent cameras for both movie making and sports.  Once these platforms become more advanced, we are going to see perspectives that we’ve never thought of before.

There is perhaps one more use case that I’m most excited about.  And this one is personal.  My dad and I have flown remote controlled model airplanes since I was a young kid.  It’s really the one activity that he and I bonded over.  While I do love flying, it pales in comparison to the memories I have of looking up to my dad and enjoying just being around him.  We still fly to this day and as our skills decline with age, it will be nice to have the ability to fly vehicles that refuse to crash.  🙂 While certainly not a big market and not a reason to invest, it’s a great side affect and I’m really excited to share with him.

Thank you to CEO Chris Anderson for giving us the opportunity to work with him and the company.