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Colorado Springs tech startup headed for the stars

Posted at 8:50 PM, Oct 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-22 22:50:46-04

One sprouting Springs startup is looking to solve big problems and understand everything more deeply using only three things:

  • Cameras
  • Algorithms
  • And drones

“Because we have drones and we fly drones, it’s easy to confuse us with a drone company,” commented Tim Haynie, CEO of Spectrabotics.

However, they’re not that. The company is, in fact, a geospatial, environmental data analytics company.

“We are taking imagery from drones. We are then assembling it to make a bigger picture, and then we’re trying to figure out not just what’s happening in the image, we’re trying to figure out why things are happening,” commented Loren Anderson, COO of the company.

Because knowing what or why things are happening is super useful in quite a few fields:

  • Agriculture
  • Mining
  • Emergency
  • Etc.

“The problem, however, is that this platform allows us to collect a tremendous amount of data,” continued Haynie.

Because instead of flying kilometers overhead, like a satellite, their drones fly only hundreds of feet overhead, utilizing multi-spectrum cameras and gathering all sorts of image data.

To break that data down, this group creates algorithms that can crunch or analyze data at super speeds. This then allows experts analyzing that information to make well-informed decisions in a timely manner.

Recently Spectrabotics took part in theNASA iTech Initiative, a program dedicated to searching out new technologies that will further NASA’s mission.

“NASA said, we’re interested, we’d like to hear more about this. Not only that, but we’d like to put you in front of other investors and tech leaders to see if there are other applications for your technology,” stated Haynie.

It turns out there are other applications for the technology.

“The tools and the platform that we have developed to handle the spectral imagery that we are collecting has applications for any spectral imaging out there, whether it’s mounted on a satellite looking back at the earth doing coral reef studies, or whether it’s pointed towards the stars and we’re looking for exoplanets and we’re trying to understand the light that’s coming from another galaxy that tells us whether or not a planet transitions through one of the stars out there.”

“So the underlying analysis technique of being able to incorporate lots and lots of different data sets and being able to analyze it very rapidly that has direct applications for planetary exploration as well as earth observation.”

-Tim Haynie

At the end of October, this startup from the Springs will head to Hartford, Connecticut as part the final 10 tech companies competing in the initiative.

There, they will present their ideas before NASA technologists, federal agencies, and other industries.

“We may be looking at earth today, we may be doing a similar thing to land on an exoplanet in the future,” stated Anderson.

Back here on earth and back here at home, the group has also partnered with local schools.

‘The sooner we teach kids how to deal with this and look at the world a little more scientifically, the faster we will get to good answers and ways to help the environment and ways to push exploration faster than it has been pushed and build new technologies we haven’t even though of yet,” said Haynie.

As for the company’s own personal future, “This is a passion of ours, we are excited about the things that we can do that can really help the environment and help invigorate kids to get involved with learning and engineering and science and become the future of startup entrepreneurs,” finished Anderson.