Drones, Robots Welcomed In Miami

Date: May 04, 2015

Area Active In Cutting-Edge R&D

The Miami-Dade area is actively courting the booming drone and advanced robotics industries, and established companies and start-ups alike are moving here to develop both technology and services in the rapidly-growing field. Several sectors can benefit from the booming drone industry. For example, Miami-based Animusoft is developing operating systems for use in drones built by other companies, the manufacturer Drone Aviation Corp. recently opened a local office, area company OpenSky Drones provides drone services to commercial customers, and Miami Dade College is looking at how it can integrate drones into its curriculum.

There are already a large number of high-tech companies already involved in drones and robotics that the Miami-Dade County Commission is considering declaring a “drone and robotics hub” near Miami Executive Airport. Miami-Dade County Commissioner Juan C. Zapata is spearheading the effort, which would create incentives for high-tech businesses to locate in the zone. Zapata also wants to see old warehouses in the area used as incubators for promising start-up companies to share resources and information.

While computer-aided tools have been used on major manufacturers’ assembly lines for decades, the increasing usefulness and ease-of-use of autonomous systems along with dropping prices have made robots increasingly important to small producers across the country. Data from the International Federation of Robotics show robot sales setting a new record last year. Robotics expert Randy Schofield described robots as “a great way to keep jobs here in the U.S.” in an interview with the Dubuque (IA) Telegraph Herald.

What This Means For Small Business

Investing in incipient markets like drones has the potential of giving Miami a competitive advantage over other metropolitan areas. Unfortunately, some companies trying to capitalize on the massive opportunity provided by these platforms find themselves moving faster than regulators and operating in ways that were not envisioned when existing laws were written. “You are dealing with what has been valued as an $82 billion industry over the next 10 years that could create 100,000 new jobs in America alone. When you look at that, you see a lot of opportunity,” said Miami lawyer Matthew Grosack. “What you are seeing is a lot of people out there taking the risk and just going for it.”

Additional Coverage

Other news media outlets covering the rise of drones and robotics in the area include the Miami Herald, another story in the Miami Herald, and CNBC.

Related Content: Small Business News | Economy | Miami, FL

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