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Is That a Drone in Your Bag?

In the not so distant future, drone technology may be part of your real estate toolkit.

Chris Anderson, former editor of Wired magazine and author of “Makers: The New Industrial Revolution” (Crown Business, 2012), who presented at the REALTORS® Conference & Expo Friday, predicts that you’ll carry a small drone in your bag, and when you’re taking on a new listing, you can turn on your drone, push a button, and it will orbit the building or home, mapping and creating a 3D model for you.

Anderson, who founded 3D Robotics, a company that makes GPS-guided aerial drones used for mapping and photography, says that in just three short years he went from being a dad messing around with his kids, Googling “autopilot” and building remote control devices, to owning and operating a multimillion-dollar aerospace company.

Anderson also discussed the changing face of industrial and warehouse real estate in light of the growing “makers movement.” Today, manufacturers are relying on robotics to create products in fields ranging from synthetic biology to furniture. Computer screens and white-collar programmers have replaced smokestacks and assembly lines.

“The reason you’re able to have 3D printers on your desktop is the components are so cheap that regular people are able to afford them,” Anderson said. “It will be regular people doing extraordinary things.”

Erica Christoffer

Erica Christoffer is a Chicago-based multimedia journalist and senior editor for REALTOR® Magazine. She can be reached at echristoffer@realtors.org.

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