15 Sep 2014
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Local Company Unveils New Drones in Online Video

CyPhy Works is a Danvers-based company that this week unveiled two unmanned aerial vehicles that have been in development for several years.

The founder of iRobot is at it again, this week unveiling two unmanned aerial vehicles that have quietly been in development at a Danvers-based company for the past four years, according to reports by both the Boston Herald and Boston.com.

The vehicle can be used by the military and police for reconnaissance, the Herald reports.

The company, CyPhy Works, which is located in the Danvers Industrial Park off Route 1 South, had held off announcing what it was working on until now in order to make sure it had the technology “sorted out,” the company’s lead roboticist Jason Walker told the Herald.

“We wanted to make sure we had the technology working, rather than create hype around an idea,” Walker told the Herald.

A video of the drone in action has been posted to YouTube.

What separates CyPhy’s creation from the other drones already in use by the military?

The Herald says that CyPhy’s drone uses “a thin strand of two copper wires that allows them to run for a virtually unlimited duration while transmitting high-definition video.” The coppe also eliminates the ability for the video transmissions to be "jammed."

To date, there are two drone models – the Persistent Aerial Reconnaissance and Communications, or PARC, and EASE, an acronym for Extreme Access System for Entry.

Boston Globe reporter and “Innovation Economy” blogger Scott Kirsner said that he has calculated that CyPhy has received about $3 million in venture capital backing, plus several million dollars from federal research grants. None of the drones have yet been sold.

CyPhy was founded by Helen Greiner, a Beverly resident who was one of three co-founders of Bedford-based iRobot, known for its Roomba vacuum cleaner and other household appliances that do chores on its own. She is also CyPhy’s CEO.

Greiner was in the news recently here on the North Shore when she went before the Historical Commission in Beverly with a request to tear down the waterfront mansion she recently purchased, reported the Salem News. The home, known as the Gen. Charles G. Loring House in Prides Crossing, had a one-year demolition delay imposed on it before she complete any demolition work.

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