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Franklin Startup Business Aims To Put Drones On The Map For Good

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Posted at 5:28 PM, Jun 06, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-09 02:30:46-04

FRANKLIN, Tenn. - Jim Cox used to work in the healthcare software business, but his attention has turned to new heights and a piece of equipment that can soar up to half a mile above the earth.

He may be a pilot, however, this time his feet were staying planted as his drone did the work.

"We're the first company that's based on drone technology, period," Cox explained.

The FAA granted Cox's company, Building 10, a commercial use waiver, "which was very tedious, lots of paperwork, very time consuming and rather expensive," said Cox.

It’s an industry that's evolving every day.

"It reminds me very much of where the internet was in its early days, nobody was really sure where it was going to end up," Cox said.

And there have been many hoops to jump through. Cox met us at the park to show off his octocopter drone. He got it out and turned it on, but it didn't fly an inch off the ground.

"I have to notify air traffic control at least 24 hours in advance before I fly this,” Cox explained. “I also have to tell them where I'm flying it, what I'm doing, how long I expect the flights to be.

Law enforcement has also been learning how to deal with drones, as is the case in Murfreesboro where a drone operator was charged with criminal trespassing after flying his drone over someone else's back yard.

You may also remember a viral video of a drone flying through Nashville's 4th of July celebrations. The FAA launched an investigation into that incident.

"The one thing I know for sure is I have no idea what's going to happen tomorrow in this business," Cox joked.

Cox said he hopes to soon work with first responders and police departments, but said the uses for drones have been endless.

"Any kind of instrument that you need to measure and it’s hazardous to humans, this is the guy you want to send in," said Cox.

Anyone interested in learning more about the rules and guidelines surrounding drones can visit: http://www.knowbeforeyoufly.org.