3D Robotics’ Chris Anderson Discusses the Future of Consumer Drones

With autonomous multicopters and aircraft all over the news, 2014 promises to be a big year for drone makers 3D Robotics. The five-year old company has grown from its launch (spinning off from the successful DIYDrones.com community) to over 180 employees, $35M  in financing, and three locations — Berkeley, San Diego, and Tijuana.

Helmed by former Wired editor-in-chief Chris Anderson, the company has put together a tight catalog of multicopters, planes, and components aimed to fulfill everyone from first-time flyers to seasoned professionals with hyper-specific needs. Their latest APM Copter 3.1 autopilot software was just released, offering state-of-the art functions like auto-calibration and one-stick flying. And their highly anticipated Iris quadcopter will be available within the month as well, putting high-end flying into a sleek but robust airframe.

We caught up with Chris at our Homegrown Drones flying day to discuss his newest releases, get his thoughts on what he thinks will make multicopters common household gadgets, learn how having an open platform affects what we may see next, and hear what his hopes are for upcoming consumer drone legislation decisions.

Mike Senese is the Executive Editor of Make: magazine. He is also a TV host, starring in various engineering and science shows for Discovery Channel, including Punkin Chunkin, How Stuff Works, and Catch It Keep It.

An avid maker, Mike spends his spare time tinkering with electronics, doing amateur woodworking, and attempting to cook the perfect pizza.

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