Dancing drone maker KMel Robotics gets acquired by Qualcomm - Technical.ly Philly

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Feb. 3, 2015 1:59 pm

Dancing drone maker KMel Robotics gets acquired by Qualcomm

The aerial robotics company, which emerged from Penn's GRASP Lab, is known for its whimsical videos of dancing flying robots. It was also recently tapped by the U.S. military to build a tiny, speedy drone.

One of KMel's robots. This one is a joint project between KMel and Yuneec International.

(Photo courtesy of Yuneec International)

KMel Robotics, an aerial robotics company founded by two Penn grads, has been acquired by San Diego-based Qualcomm Technologies, the company announced through it website.

KMel Robotics is proud to announce its acquisition by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. on February 2, 2015.

We are extremely excited to become part of the Qualcomm team and look forward to bringing aerial robotics to the next level together.

You might know KMel from their dancing flying robots or their robots that performed “Carol of the Bells,” but the company is also slated to work with the U.S. military to build a tiny, speedy drone. The company works at Penn’s South Bank campus on Gray’s Ferry.

The company’s cofounders, Alex Kushleyev and Daniel Mellinger, developed the technology behind the flying robots (“quadrotors”) as grad students working at Penn’s GRASP Lab. GRASP Lab has a relationship with Qualcomm — the two organizations debuted a smartphone-controlled drone at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show.

We reached out to Kushleyev for more details and are waiting to hear back.

For more on KMel, check out this 2012 profile of the company in Popular Science.

Also, this makes a flurry of Philly tech exits in the last week.

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Juliana Reyes

Juliana Reyes has been covering the Philadelphia tech scene since 2012. She's co-president of the Asian American Journalists Association Philadelphia chapter and a two-time Philadelphia News Award winner for "Community Reporting of the Year." The Bryn Mawr College grad lives in West Philly, likes her food spicy and wears jumpsuits often.

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