Skyworks Aerial Systems, a robotics start-up based in Las Vegas, recently launched its Kickstarter campaign to bring a modular drone kit and customizable software to market.
The company's campaign will provide backers with early access to technology that allows them to build their own drones and customize drone-operating software. Skyworks says it will also use the campaign to strengthen science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs in U.S. schools.
Backers can choose to provide a drone-maker kit for distribution to a student or can select an entire classroom to receive a pack of the kits. Eedu supports WiFi, Bluetooth and radio control for flight-control devices.
“Rarely does a product hit the market that allows the masses to harness the power of such a complex technology and make it their own,” says CEO Greg Friesmuth. “Our system walks even the most amateur drone enthusiasts through the process of building a drone and making it do what ever they can possibly imagine.”
Users can assemble the Eedu kit in about 30 minutes by using simple tools and without any soldering. Fewer than 10 parts – most of them needing only to be popped into place – create the airframe, motors, battery and all the “brain” boards. The hardware features pre-drilled mounting points for installation of sensing and input-output devices, which are available from third-party providers.
“We see that robotics and drones can be transformed the same way as smartphones were 10 years ago,” adds Friesmuth. “Our technology allows everyday people and students to not only build their own drone but also to build a custom drone applications that make a difference in the world.”
Skyworks Aerial Systems also provides Forge, a free robotics development environment that allows users to create their own commands and instructions.
‘Forge is fast, intuitive and allows users to script their own code or simply drag and drop blocks of code,’ explains Jinger Zeng, chief operating officer of Skyworks Aerial Systems. ‘The open-source tool is integrated with the drone-smith community to allow for easy collaboration.’