DJI Opens Palo Alto Research & Development Office

Two key hires to spearhead R&D expansion

Nov 05, 2015, 12:00 ET from DJI

PALO ALTO, Calif., Nov. 5, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- DJI said Thursday it has added two senior staff to open a Silicon Valley research & development office for the world's leader in creative imaging and drone technology.

Rob Schlub joins DJI as Vice President of R&D, and Darren Liccardo as Vice President of Engineering. The two will open and run DJI's new office in Palo Alto, which will eventually include several dozen best-in-class engineers.

"We couldn't be more excited to be expanding R&D into Palo Alto," said Rob. "The tremendous talent and technology of Silicon Valley will help us continue to design market-defining products that change the world."

The office will conduct its own research and development for DJI, as well as facilitate and deepen collaboration with Silicon Valley's robotics community.

"A presence in Silicon Valley will give us access to a deep talent pool, helping us to develop new levels of intelligence and automation for our aerial platforms," said Darren.

Rob joins DJI following several years of experience working at Apple, where he was initially hired to work on the original iPhone. In his eight years there, he built and led Apple's antenna-design team and left the company as its Director of Antenna Design. Before Apple, Rob was a Principal Engineer at Antenova in Cambridge, England, leading a team developing antenna technology for cellular products. He holds 120 patents, patent applications and publications. 

Darren's background is in automotive and aerospace engineering, specializing in autonomous systems. He comes to DJI from Tesla Motors, where he was the electric car company's director of autopilot engineering. Previously, he led efforts in autonomous-driving research and technology-scouting at BMW's Technology Office -- the German automaker's Silicon Valley outpost. Prior to that, he was Director of Inertial Systems at Crossbow Technology, a Silicon Valley startup that developed solid-state inertial/GPS navigation systems for aircraft and robotic applications.

The new office will add to and diversify DJI's already strong R&D operations, which to date, have been largely focused in Shenzhen but have been expanding internationally in recent months. DJI has an R&D staff of 1,500 and hundreds of patents on file.

About DJI

DJI is a global leader in developing and manufacturing innovative drone and camera technology for commercial and recreational use. DJI was founded and is run by people with a passion for remote-controlled helicopters and experts in flight-control technology and camera stabilization. The company is dedicated to making aerial photography and filmmaking equipment and platforms more reliable and easier to use for creators and innovators around the world. DJI's global operations currently span North America, Europe and Asia, and its revolutionary products and solutions have been chosen by customers in over 100 countries; for applications in film, advertising, construction, fire fighting, farming, and many other industries.

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