Richard Branson invests in 3DR, drones invade Necker Island

Finally, I can talk about what I did this summer! Richard Branson, one of my heroes both as an entrepreneur and aviation pioneer, is a 3D Robotics investor. Not only is it thrilling to be part of his network, but we also got to bring a fleet of drones to his famed Caribbean island, Necker, to tell the story of his life there from an aerial view. This is just a teaser below, but you'll see much more soon: 

From Branson's own post on this:

We welcomed six drones to Necker and they’ve captured stunning footage of this beautiful island we call home.

Every morning before breakfast I go for a walk around Necker. I’m incredibly lucky to have had Necker in my life for nearly 40 years, and I feel I know it like the back of my hand. So it’s amazing to get views of this island that I’ve never seen before thanks to a few drones and the great team at 3D Robotics, a company I recently invested in. They even shot me playing tennis and kitesurfing to Moskito Island!

It’s amazing to see what a little flying object with a GoPro attached can do; before they came along the alternative was an expensive helicopter and crew. I’m really excited about the potential for drones, and I hope this affordable technology will give many more people the chance to see our beautiful planet from such a powerful perspective.

But it’s not just about beauty shots. When you say the word ‘drone’, most people will think about military drones, which are used for surveillance and warfare. But this increasingly affordable, easy to use technology is starting to be used around the world in many positive ways. Like to monitor endangered species, deliver healthcare to remote areas, and help manage natural disasters.

One of the drones exploring the Great House. Image from 3D Robotics

We’ll be sharing lots of stories about people and organisations involved in drones over on Virgin Unite from next week in our ‘Drones for good’ series. 

Meanwhile, where did my sunglasses go?

This film was shot on 3D Robotics IRIS and X8. Learn more at and via Twitter.

Views: 7237

Comment by Greg Dronsky on September 6, 2014 at 4:15am

Perfect spot for flying :) This is FPV heaven :)

Comment by Jack Crossfire on September 6, 2014 at 5:47am

So who will be acquired with the money?

Comment by Andrew Rabbitt on September 6, 2014 at 6:31am

Great news Chris!

Whats the CAA like on Necker...?

Comment by Harry on September 6, 2014 at 8:31am

I think I spotted Sir Branson playing tennis.  Tell him that Harry says he foot faults.  If he wants to work on his game, I'd be glad to come on down and provide him some training.

Comment by UAS_Pilot on September 6, 2014 at 8:46am
Very cool..
Comment by wayne on September 6, 2014 at 8:48am

What a great home I chose for!  Congrats Chris.

Comment by Philip Higgins on September 6, 2014 at 9:01am

Maybe they can use the investment to put some better motors on the Iris line. Surprised it had enough flight time to get around the island with a gimbal and gopro on it.

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on September 6, 2014 at 10:39am
Thanks, Wayne! Much more to come.

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on September 6, 2014 at 10:40am
Philip: stay tuned. Just another week or two.
Comment by Artem on September 6, 2014 at 11:28am

damn, just buy that DJI already and get that alt drop during forward flight fixed... lol..... seriously.... 


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