Tell us the origin story of SkySpecs – what problem were you trying to solve and why?
SkySpecs’ origin was a bit different from a typical startup company. In 2009, a core group of us started working together on a volunteer robotics research project at the University of Michigan, essentially seeking hands-on experience with the kinds of things we had been learning in the classroom. As students, we raised money from the College of Engineering, Northrup Grumman, Lockheed Martin, and others, to build a team and compete in the International Aerial Robotics Competition (for which we were building small drones that could navigate autonomously indoors). We loved working together and the type of work we were doing in robotics, so as we were preparing to graduate in 2012, we founded SkySpecs with the goal of using similar robotic technologies to benefit the industry. It wasn’t until 2014 that we found our home in the wind energy sector. Today we’re helping owners of wind turbines with automated solutions for condition monitoring, decision making, and the maintenance of their wind turbine blades.