멕시코에서 건너온 20살 청년이 세계적 드론기업을 세우다 2015년 9월 21일 – Posted in: 새소식
Jordi MuÃ±oz launched 3D Robotics with former Wired editor in chief Chris Anderson via email, didn’t finish college, wrote the first autopilot drone program, and built a factory in Mexico–all before he could legally drink a beer.
2014년 6월 기사인데요, 드론 오픈소스/오픈하드웨어로 유명한 미국의 3D Robotics(3D로보틱스)의 이야기 입니다. 퀄컴이 투자하고 퀄컴의 칩셋을 브레인으로 채택한 드론회사입니다. 중국의 DJI와 미국의 3DR! 개인용 드론시장에서 진검승부를 기대해 봅니다.
(DJI역시 2006년 홍콩과학기술대 학생이던 프랭크 왕이 설립 한 젊은 회사입니다)
2007년 당시 20세인 조르디 무아즈(Jordi MuÃ±oz – 멕시코발음 모름 ㅋㅋ)는 멕시코에서 미 캘리포니아로 건너와 영주권을 받기 위해 기다리는 8개월동안 마이크로컴퓨터에 빠져 지냈습니다. 당시 닌텐도 위 하드웨어를 해킹하여 프로그램 해낸 것이 그의 멀티콥터 소프트웨어의 첫 작품이며 이를 계기로 2009년 3D Robitics를 설립하게 됩니다. 설립과정도 재미있는데요, 조르디가 DIYdrones.com에 올린 동영상을 본 DIYdrones.com의 운영자 ‘크리스 앤더슨-기술 전문 매거진 와이어드의 편집장 출신’ 이 조르디에게 500불을 기부하면서 시작된 인연으로 3DR을 공동설립하게 됩니다. 설립과정에 이 두 사람은 이메일만 주고 받았을 뿐 만난적도 없다고 합니다. ^.^ (이 기업이 다음달에 개인용 상업드론 ’솔로(SOLO)’를 한국에 출시합니다.)
갑자기 설립자이자 기술자인 젊은 조르디가 어떻게 되었을지 궁금해 집니다. 6년이 지나는 동안 팽당하지는 않았는지 그냥 궁금하네요. 그래서 찾아보니 조르디의 직급은 회장/대표(President)’, ’크리스앤더슨’ 의 직급은 최고경영자(CEO)로 검색이 됩니다. 뭐가 높은 거지요? 대략 느낌이 조르디는 경영에 관여하지 않는다…. 는 느낌이 강하네요.
폴라로이드 사의 에드윈 랜드의 말 중 ’인문학과 과학기술의 교차점에 설 수 있는사람들의 중요성’ 관한 이야기가 있습니다. 애플의 스티브잡스가 그걸 읽자 마자 나도 그런 사람이 되고 싶다고 결심했다고 합니다.
기사원문 읽고 가실게요~~~
In 2007, when Jordi MuÃ±oz was 20, he moved from Tijuana, Mexico, to Riverside, California, with his new and pregnant wife to get a green card and start a new life. While waiting eight months for his green card and with nothing better to do, MuÃ±oz sunk himself into his passions: planes and computers.
”It was a nightmare; I was disconnected with my family in Tijuana, I couldn’t work because I didn’t have a green card or go to college,” MuÃ±oz tells Inc. ”I started using my computer like a drug. I felt desperate and stupid. But I realized microcomputers had great potential for phones, cars, and planes.”
MuÃ±oz hacked the sensors from a Nintendo Wii controller, wrote his own code, and equipped a remote helicopter with microcomputer boards to build the first-ever autopiloted drone. He recorded the flight with a camera and uploaded the video to a new website he stumbled upon called DIYdrones.com, which was created by Chris Anderson, the former editor in chief of Wired. After Anderson saw the video, he sent the young inventor $500 so MuÃ±oz could continue his work.
That’s when MuÃ±oz channeled his inner MacGyver. ”I started making my own electronics, but I needed an oven to cook the chips,” he says. ”So, I went to Target and bought a toaster oven and hacked it with sensors to make it work like a professional reflow oven in my garage.” (A reflow oven, for the uninitiated, is a temperature-controlled heating system used to attach microchips to circuit boards.)
From there, he built all the software and hardware and set up an online store for enthusiasts to build their own drones. ”It was like selling drugs; I made the boards for $1, and the profit was amazing,” he says. Not bad for an autodidact who got his start in aeronautical engineering in a Mexican high school.
By 2009, Anderson and MuÃ±oz co-founded 3D Robotics without ever meeting in person. By 2011, 3D Robotics, which sells all kinds of drones equipped with open-source autopilot software–from the ready-to-fly Iris quadcopter, which comes assembled out of the box, to DIY quad kits for the more experienced droner–had made $5 million in revenue. 3D Robotics’s drones are bought by enthusiasts and hobbyists to fly for fun, but because you can attach a GoPro camera to the underbelly, a variety of professionals can use them to take aerial images–including real estate agents and military personnel.
MuÃ±oz, now 28, is awed by his success. Today, the drone startup that grew out of his apartment is the largest commercial drone manufacturer in North America and the second largest in the world after China’s DJI. And with more than 200 employees, a manufacturing plant in Tijuana, and two other offices in San Diego and Berkeley, California, the sky appears to be the limit for 3D Robotics and MuÃ±oz.
”He’s of the native Web generation,” says Anderson, who did end up meeting his co-founder after all. ”Jordi doesn’t know what he doesn’t know. He has access to Google, the greatest information resource the world has ever seen. He didn’t know teenagers aren’t supposed to build factories; he just did it.” He adds: ”MuÃ±oz has animal instincts about where technology is going and the courage and time to just do it.”