Roboticist Helen Greiner unveils ‘consumer-friendly’ drone

150404 roboticist consumer friendly drone

 

RoboticistHelen Greiner, founder of Danvers-based robotics firmCyPhy Works, on Monday unveiled a crowdfunding campaign for her newest invention: a drone for the masses.

The CyPhy LVL 1 Drone retails for about $500 on crowdfunding website Kickstarter, and Greiner aims to raise $250,000 by mid-Junethrough the campaign.

‘We really have invented a better way for drones to fly,’ Greiner said in an interview.

The company expects to begin delivering the new aircraft in early 2016.”We really have invented a better way for drones to fly,” Greiner said in an interview.

Features of the consumer drone include: allowing the user to set a maximum flying height, which is important since federal laws allow hobbyists to fly dronesonly up to 400 feet; allowing the user to control the drone via a mobile app; and allowing the user to share high-quality photos or videos from the drone via social media while the drone is in flight.

‘You can take it out of the box and it’s ready to fly right from a cell phone,’ said Greiner, also the co-founder of Bedford-basediRobot(Nasdaq: IRBT), the company behind the popular robotic vacuum cleaner, the Roomba.

The drone will ship to Kickstarter backers early next year if the project is fully funded.

CyPhy Works is most well-known for building drones for themilitary, civil and commercial sectors, and this is the company’s first foray into the consumer drone space.

Greiner and the CyPhy Works team spent about a year developing the first prototype, Greiner said.

Other competitors in the consumer drone space include Chinese drone-makerDJIand French drone-makerParrot, which also allows users to control drones via their smartphones.

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