Frequently Asked Questions

We’re compiling this list of as a work in progress of the questions we get most frequently.

Q. Are you part of the industrial-military complex?!

» A. Nope. We stridently resist militarization and have no expectation that this will change in the foreseeable future.

Our drones are specifically designed for rescue operations, specialized use by first responders like firefighters, rangers, and water rescue, and remote mechanical support – and by definition, to resist weaponization.

Our commercial-grade drones are professional-grade UAVs requiring a licensed pilot to fly. They are designed to perform remote mechanical actions in real-time: for example, offshore oil rig maintenance, landfill reclamation, or simply changing the light bulbs on the top of the Coliseum of Puerto Rico.

Q. Are your drones armed with weapons or rockets, like Predator drones?!?

» **A. No. All of our drones are rotor or hybrid, mostly quadcopter, and rotor-based drones are agile, not strong. None of our drones are fixed-wing.*

This could be you.

Q. What if terrorists / police states / evil corporations / mad scientists / hackers get your drones?!?!

» Our professional-grade commercial and industrial drones are designed to perform tasks that pose hazards to human health, reduce environmental impact and eliminate persistent and dangerous problems:
– boring to terrorists
– not invasive enough for police states
– emergency management is tough to monetize
– for the record, we’re not mad scientists, we’re mad engineers 😀
– “Cause and Effect: Hacking in the IoT” is the topic of one of Leah’s upcoming talks – stay tuned for details!

Q. What about the environment?!? Do your drones kill birds?

» A. Our drones are noisy enough that birds (and animals / people in general) tend to avoid them with extreme prejudice.

Still, accidents happen (birds of prey attacking quadcopters, for example.) This is why our drones have a built-in “suicide” switch that disables the rotors in the event of a soft-body impact (i.e., a bird strike – or animal, human, etc.) We hard-wired our drones to err in favor of biologicals.

Q. What about That Guy who almost crashed a police helicopter in the middle of a chase?!?

» A. We’re doing our part to protect That Guy and save him from himself: Our pilot system’s HUD software is programmed to resist unauthorized flight such as in “no-fly” zones, especially airports and near any type of helipad. While the drones will still fly, their altitude will be capped. A flight plan or authorization code will be required to override this; a “sideline” feature is in planning that will gracefully but forcibly ground hobby drones if a manned aerial vehicle (like helicopter) gets too close.

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