- Jackie Wu, 25; Spencer Williams, 22; Matt Cheung, 21
Eighty Nine Robotics is the maker of a Wi-Fi-enabled drone called “Rook,” designed to monitor your home or office from anywhere in the world. Developed by a team of students from Northwestern University, Rook can be controlled remotely--regardless of distance--by a smartphone application. The drone comes with a high-definition camera that streams video on your phone in real time. Its software will be run on the cloud to provide premium features like security analytics, alerts, and flight routines. The startup is also exploring additional features including voice-enabled commands, integration to smarthome suites, and custom enterprise solutions.
Eighty Nine Robotics received a $12,000 seed grant from Northwestern University’s startup incubator, The Garage, and was accepted into the Department of Homeland Security-backed EMERGE Accelerator for first responders. The company’s Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign went live on February 14 and surpassed its original $20,000 goal two days after launching. The Rook’s retail price is expected to be about $250 and will begin shipping in December.