Demo Day

The build up to Demo Day

Less than a week remains until Demo Day for the Spring 2015 class.

What’s everyone working on? We caught up with a couple of our startups to find out. First up: Transformair‘s Jaya Rao.

Tell me about the last week.

This week we’re assembling our works-like/looks-like prototype, so we have parts coming in from all directions: the model shop, the rapid prototypers, our metal fab guys — there are basically parts coming in from all over, and we’re gonna be assembling them, connecting everything, getting our wireframe app running, and then pitch practice! And not sleeping.

What’ll be the most interesting part for you?

I think it’s gonna be getting everything put together. It’ll be a challenge, but once it gets together, it’ll give you what we’ve been seeing in our prototypes and our CAD and hacked-together test rigs: you’ll actually see it and it’ll be in your hands.

What are you most looking forward to?

Getting some sleep! That, and I think we’re just excited to finally show the new version of our device.

jaya pre demo day

We also stopped by the Game of Drones section to talk to Marque Cornblatt.

What have you guys been working on?

We’ve been putting the final touches on our hardware, and a ton of time getting our pitch together: story and slides and all the pieces of that particular puzzle. Last week, we hosted three days of drone combat games at Maker Faire; it was fantastic. We were one of the big hits of the show — thousands of people watched our battles and demos.

What was your main takeaway from Maker Faire?

We’re seeing the zeitgeist changing with drones: people are realy starting to understand what drones can be utilized for, and putting them into a consumer context where it’s all about fun and games seems to be clicking with them quite a bit. The speed at which drone sports is emerging as a hobby seems to be eclipsing the speed at which drone photography emerged in the last few years.

What are we lookin’ at here on your workbench?

Battery packs with different amounts of power; we’re seeing which ones work best in which drones in terms of power to weight ratio. There’s an irony in that sometimes a smaller battery will perform better than a big one, because the lack of weight offsets the extra amount of power; there’s always a sweet spot, but you never quite know what it is until you run different packs through. We’ve got batteries, video systems, motors, motor controllers, flight control boards — all the connective tissue to put it all together, plus software.

Demo Day is coming. You’ll see it all happen here soon!

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