Entrepreneurs and investors are betting on a future full of flying robots that can be programmed to do anything from survey crops or wildlife to delivering vaccines to remote villages in Africa.
It may sound a little like something out of an episode of The Jetsons, but the reality is the Federal Aviation Administration is required to implement regulations to integrate commercial drones into the national airspace by 2015, meaning flying robots are going to become a lot more common in the U.S.
But entrepreneurs aren’t waiting for the FAA deadline before building their startups. The moment is too ripe with opportunity to not jump in the commercial drone business now, those in the burgeoning space say.
“It’s just one of those moments,” said Chris Anderson, co-founder and chief executive of 3D Robotics, which makes unmanned automated vehicles (UAVS). “It’s the economy at scale. Those technologies that used to be incredibly expensive are now very cheap and getting better and faster than any other technology in history.”