Chris Anderson’s Expanding Drone Empire

At the former Wired editor’s start-up, 3D Robotics, open-source robots take to the skies

10 min read
Chris Anderson’s Expanding Drone Empire
Fly, My Pretties: Chris Anderson (center) and his merry band of dronemasters test multicopters near San Francisco Bay.
Photo: Chris Mueller

Friday is Fly Day at 3D Robotics, a maker of small robotic aircraft. So here we are, on a windswept, grassy landfill with a spectacular view of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, looking up at a six-prop copter with a gleaming metal frame. It’s like a spiffy toy from the future. Buzzing like a swarm of bees, it lifts off smartly, hovers, then pinwheels.

“Jason’s making the hex twirl,” says CEO Chris Anderson, a trim man in jeans and an untucked oxford shirt. “That’s just for show—a human pilot couldn’t do that.” That’s because Jason, the flight tester, did nothing more than figuratively push a button. The hexarotor—technically, the 3DR Y-6—is on autopilot, which it demonstrates by zooming off on a preprogrammed route. The Y-6 sells for US $619. That’s a lot for a toy, but it’s chicken feed for a capital investment.

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Stephen Welby: A Man on a Mission

The departing executive director steered IEEE through a pandemic and open access publishing

6 min read
A smiling man in a suit and glasses
Brad Trent

In his five years as IEEE’s executive director and chief operating officer, Stephen Welby has led the organization through a global pandemic, a changing publishing landscape, and soaring geopolitical tensions. Welby, an IEEE Fellow, is leaving at the end of the year to spend more time with his family while he explores his career options. The IEEE Board of Directors has named Sophie Muirhead, IEEE's current general counsel and CCO, as his replacement.

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Oregon State University’s Cassie is fastest bipedal robot ever to run the 100-meter dash

2 min read
A robot with two orange ostrich-like legs and no torso sprints along a running track

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Learn how to accelerate your satellite design process and reduce risk and costs with model-based engineering methods

1 min read
Keysight
Keysight

Win the race to design and deploy satellite technologies and systems. Learn how new digital engineering techniques can accelerate development and reduce your risk and costs. Download this free whitepaper now!

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