iRobot co-founder's new UAV company to do bridge inspections

Helen Greiner, the co-founder of iRobot who left last year to start her own company, has announced their first project: a bridge-inspecting UAV, for which it has won a $2.4 million grant. She announced that the company is also changing its name from the DroidWorks (as Motorola discovered, George Lucas owns the rights to the word Droid and charges a lot for it), to CyPhy Works (almost as bad as the SciFi channel renaming itself to the SyFy Channel).

According to press reports, the company is "working on a new inspection system based on small, unmanned, hovering robots fitted with video cameras and other sensors, officials said. The planned hovering UAV would slowly move around bridges and similar structures and send back to engineers close-up, high-fidelity images and other data for remote inspection."

The idea of using UAVs for bridge inspection has been considered before by several French teams, such as this group from CNRS and our own Jean-Louis Naudin (picture above taken from his page on this project)

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Comment by Gary Mortimer on December 18, 2009 at 12:05am
You'd better watch out for them making regulations work for you guys in the USA!
Comment by Jack Crossfire on December 18, 2009 at 11:48am
Can't believe how much something that's done with $500 mikrokopters can cost when it goes through the right government channel. It may also be her celebrity name attached to the project. Contrast that to our boss who champions a $400,000 contract that takes a 12 hour 7 day commitment from everyone for 3 months. Suppose having a celebrity CEO popularizing drones is better than nothing & who doesn't want a trophy government?

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