Meanwhile, when the company uses a robot to install windows, it still needs one worker on site to run it using what looks like a video game console and the other to help position the window by hand. The three or so workers who are no longer needed to hoist the windows do other tasks.
"If we free up three guys, we have those three guys working on something else," Kraus said. "It's not like we're saying we need three less guys and are going to lay those guys off."
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Hoovy, based in Los Angeles, is an advertising platform that uses drones to raise brand awareness. Founder Eugene Stark said these drones are like flying billboards. The 10-person business, which makes the drones in its headquarters, charges between $120 and $200 an hour for the advertising, depending on whether it is done on a weekday or weekend. Stark said it has used the drones to promote such things as the Glendora Wine Walk, an event where local merchants serve California wines, to a barber shop. "In one hour, three people booked appointments," he said.
To make sure the public is safe, Hoovy places tents under the drones and has designed them so the drones descend if the batteries start dying, he said. The company also abides by FAA guidelines recommending that licensed pilots operate the drones, which means paying a pro up to $40 an hour to be on site during promotions, he explained, adding that the company, which is turning a profit, is planning a campaign on crowdfunding site Kickstarter at the end of April.
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"We're seeing a lot of traction," he said.