Bay area drone startup #3


In the beginning, there was  Then there was  What a surprise when my recuiter spam feed came up with another one in San Francisco called Airware.  They showed a location in Newport Beach, but like so many others, probably had to expand North to save on real estate costs & be closer to the cloud/dot com boom.

It's yet another agriculture quad copter play.  Besides tacitly luring photography hobbyists by branding the quad copter as a professional product for agriculture, there's no logic behind all these startups pitching quad copters for agriculture.  They can't efficiently image thousands of acres.  Sensefly probably had the best model with flying wings, but not the money or the resources to build up a community movement.

Despite not getting any interest, I did manage to get the recruiter to return a phone call, a huge breakthrough.  The UAV business has just exploded to the point of not being the domain of makers & self starters anymore.  They just want formal masters degrees.
Did the maker movement make the engineering degree mandatory?

In the old days, there was a novelty to someone picking up electronics on his own. It showed the ability to learn without being told what to do & the ability to be motivated without the threat of failing a class. While there were always places like Lockheed which would never touch someone without a formal engineering degree, it was not uncommon to get in elsewhere with a biology degree & a lot of design experience.

Nowadays, with the maker movement & the rise of the goo tube hacker, that doesn't work anymore.  Everybody knows how to design a robot.  It may be that they're now getting inundated with self taught engineers to the point that the degree is now the rarity.
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  • I felt rather inadequate reading the "Everybody knows how to design a robot" sentence.

  • Moderator

    Jack you have an impressive body of work, if folks do not know it they don't know UA. I realise that's not helping right now but I am sure it will when the right company needs your skills.

  • What a difference 20 years makes.  If I can't get into a graduate program in the next year, I get to leave the software business, experience or no experience.

  • Moderator

    Here it is with just him..

  • Jonathan Downey's presentation at the sUSB Expo 2013 begins at 2:37:59.

  • With regards to Lockheed and needing a degree, my father is currently a senior electrical design engineer with Lockheed Martin, and he holds no degree at all. He's been with them since the mid-90's after retiring form another gov. job. His experience was earned through the Navy and Nuclear Power school.

  • Developer

    Ah, this is the new name of the company that was previously called Unmanned Innovations so they've actually been around a few years.  When I met them at the 2012 AUVSI they were very open to talking about copter control algorithms.

  • I have a college buddy working for this company. He apparently loves it. May give him a call soon since I'll be graduating soon...
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