Aerones makes really big drones for cleaning turbines and saving lives

Enthusiasts will talk your ear off about the potential for drones to take over many of our dirtiest, dullest and most dangerous tasks. But most of the jobs we’ve actually seen drones perform are focused on the camera — from wildlife surveying to monitoring cracks on power plant smokestack.

Aerones is working on something much larger. The Y Combinator-backed startup is building giant drones with 28 motors and 16 batteries, capable of lifting up to 400 pounds. That kind of payload means the drones can actually perform a broad range of potential tasks to address the aforementioned three Ds.

The company launched two and a half years ago, led by a trio of founders that had already collaborated on a number of projects, including a GPS fleet management system and an…

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