Betting big on the future of drones

Kai Ryssdal Mar 9, 2015
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Betting big on the future of drones

Kai Ryssdal Mar 9, 2015
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Helen Greiner was hooked on robots from an early age.

“I’ve been involved with robots since I saw ‘Star Wars’ when I was 11 and wanted to build R2D2,” she says.

Greiner went on to co-found the company iRobot, which makes, among other helpful machines, the Roomba vacuuming robot. Now, Greiner is CEO of a company called CyPhy Works, which develops autonomous robots.

“At the end of the day, your creations come to life and that’s a really exciting feeling,” Greiner says.

According to Greiner, public curiosity for robots is growing.

“People start thinking, wow, this is going to do something for me, it’s going to make my life easier,” says Greiner. “And now people are saying, where’s my robot to wash my windows? Where’s my robot to wash my lawn?”

And Greiner’s own plans for the future of drones are ambitious. “Success I measure as ubiquitous drones, from the little drone that’s in your pocket, to monitoring and managing every facility…”

But are people ready to trust an autonomous flying robot to buzz around in the sky over their heads?

“We haven’t proven to the FAA that they’re going to be reliable enough to fly over cities autonomously,” Greiner says. “But I believe we will get there.”

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