There is a new drone company in town, and its CEO is just 18 years old. While this might seem unusual to some people in the industry, for George Matus, CEO and cofounder of Teal Drones, drones are in his blood.
He has been operating drones since he was just 11, and at age 14 he built his first drone from scratch.
“I guess you could say I’m obsessed with flight,” wrote Matus in a Medium post. “You know how some kids go through a phase where they spend nights building model airplanes, intently tracking jets overhead and helicopters as they fly by, and dreaming of pulling Gs and doing barrel rolls? I took that a bit further. I’m 18 now, but when my family moved to Utah seven years ago, I looked out at the open field of grass that butts up to the woods behind my house and immediately saw myself doing flips, rolls and dives while guiding an aircraft across the sky above.”
Now, Matus is trying to make a career out of his passion. Teal is a manufacturer of a production drone that flies up to 70 mph. As of today, drone operators can preorder the drone, with the first 500 expected to ship before Christmas, and then again by early 2017.
According to Matus, many of the drones on the market today are designed for one purpose, while Teal’s drones are designed for multiple purposes. According to the company, use cases range from gaming and augmented reality, to security, inspections, e-commerce and agriculture.
Matus also foresees more use cases arising once the company releases its upcoming SDK. Currently, he is focused on building out his team and preparing for the first Teal shipments. Once that is in order, the company will begin rolling out its SDK to developers.
Teal features waypoint navigation, geofencing, autonomous flight, follow me mode, automatic landing, and return to home capabilities. The company plans to add sense-and-avoid capabilities in future updates.
“Drone pilots are an incredibly passionate group of people — I know this, I’m one of them,” Matus wrote. “Flying is my passion. It’s what I do, it’s in my blood. It has always been weird to me that companies that make drones don’t reflect that same kind of passion.
“Teal is a different kind of company. We’re committed from day one to being a company people love.”