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Why the founder of Hailo is betting on drones and robotics

Jay Bregman left his role as co-CEO of Hailo to start focusing on robotics and drones

Jay Bregman speaking at the Web Summit.
Jay Bregman speaking at the Web Summit.
Image: Web Summit/Flickr

SINCE LEAVING HAILO a few weeks ago, Jay Bregman made no secret about his move to robotics and drones.

The founder of the taxi service stepped down from his position from Hailo the same time it pulled out of North America, and since then has turned his attention to drones, discussing it at both the Web Summit and the Drones and Data conference in Castlebar.

Explaining why he decided to make the move, Bregman told thejournal.ie that he was “basically seduced by the developments in robotics” and felt this was the right time to push the industry forward.

“The reasons I got so excited is the growth and the amount of people using robots in both a commercial and non-commercial sense over the past six months has grown astronomically,” explained Bregman. “I think now is the tipping point, the time to get involved so I think we’re going to see within a couple of years, robots are going to fill this room, they’re just going to be as common as laptops [or] smartphones.”

While most of us think of deliveries and travel whenever the subject of drones comes up, Bregman is looking at it in a much deeper way, comparing it to the development of mobile and computers and the questions their development will bring.

The mobile phone you can argue is a computer with legs and a computer is something that brought us together, they’re inanimate objects, robots are animate objects by their very nature, they can move around by themselves and there’s something to that that’s just deeper than just generational. The question to what is a human and what is a robot is something that’s going to be explored as we programme and perfect what we’re going to be able to do and can’t do, more importantly.

The aim for companies who are developing these robots and drones will be software-based, creating software that he says will “constrain the behaviour of the robots rather than looking at rules or traditional laws to contain and constrain the behaviour of the robots.”

Until then, it’s a matter of working out the rules and regulations surrounding this area, something he has much experience in having been apart of Hailo.

“I think that robots is going to be the next mobile, I think that one of the biggest issues concerning this conference today [the Drones and Data conference] is how to get over the whole regulatory piece, it seems to be holding the industry back and there’s quite a problem as well … so what we’re going to do is develop a suite of software products that are going to help bridge that gap to try and make robots safe. Monstrously safe.”

Read: This startup went from Young Scientist to solving a problem that affects 300m people >

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About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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