3D Robotics, the open source unmanned aerial vehicle company headed by Chris Anderson, just got a $30 million infusion of venture funding to enable the company to “mainstream aerial robotics and surveying” by making advanced UAV technology affordable and easy to use.
With a large and enthusiastic user base, 3D Robotics has begun manufacturing the open source Pixhawk autopilot system developed by the Swiss PX4 open hardware project.
3D Robotics has also begun to manufacture a ready-to-fly autonomous quadcopter named Iris which runs on the Pixhawk autopilot system. Iris includes a GoPro camera mount and features a complete set of autonomous capabilities: automatic takeoff and landing, mission planning with GPS waypoint navigation, stabilized hovering, circling mode, etc. Iris can carry .8 pounds of payload for 10-15 minutes of flying time per charge. The fully assembled Iris and Pixhawk autopilot are priced at $729.99.
3D Robotics is exploring and marketing to many of the capabilities that UAS can perform: in agricultural operations, for conservation, for surveying, early warning and other monitoring, fire fighting, photography, surveillance, etc.