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Long-time Wired editor-in-chief Chris Anderson has quit his job and is heading to San Diego to become CEO of 3D Robotics, a bi-national outfit billed as do-it-yourself drone builder.

Anderson has partnered with 26-year-old Jordi Muñoz, who was born in Ensenada and grew up in Tijuana. He reportedly first met Anderson online after the latter saw a video of Muñoz flying a helicopter with a customized Wii.

The editor financed the pair's start-up, said to employ 40 - 25 in Kearny Mesa and 15 in Tijuana - where low cost labor is used for manufacturing.

"Neither Jordi and I knew anything more about drones than what we found online, yet in three years he and the team he assembled at 3D Robotics, who are mostly Mexican and Mexican/American engineers in their early 20s, built something amazing: two state-of-the art drone factories," Anderson says in an interview today on the Atlantic Cities blog.

"The world’s factories are now increasingly open to anyone via the web, creating what amounts to 'cloud manufacturing.' And huge Maker communities have grown around sites such as Kickstarter and Etsy. In Silicon Valley, the phrase is that 'hardware is the new software.'"

Photos of the Tijuana operation appear on Anderson's website, DIY Drones.

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Comments

Founder Nov. 6, 2012 @ 2:40 p.m.

Using drones is vastly less expensive than any manned aircraft and especially helicopters, so you get far more coverage for your buck or peso, depending on which side of the border you are flying above!

I predict that very soon both the US and Mexico will share the same drone data, if they are not doing it already!

Another question that needs to be answered is what happens when one drone watches another drone, which had lead me to think of a new word: DRONED...

I just sent this to Urban Dictionary: Droned

Definition: Droned is where one drones movements are being monitored by yet another drone that is not being controlled by the same entity...

Usage: The border patrol's drone was being droned or watched by another drone that was being controlled by someone that is yet still unknown.

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LM Nov. 9, 2012 @ 10:09 p.m.

What does a drone cost? And if anyone can make one, can anyone buy one? And is it legal to use the info you obtain by having one?

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