“In Greek Mythology, Daedalus fashioned wings of feathers and wax for himself and his son Icarus. Daedalus warned Icarus not to fly too close to the sun, because the heat would melt the wax. Icarus did what any good engineer would do: he challenged the assumptions and dared to look past the current limitations of technology. Here at icarusLabs, we know that without failures, there can be no success in innovation.” – Jeff, member of icarusLabs
You may have wondered why we chose the name icarusLabs, as a team participating in DARPA’s UAVForge competition. It’s true that Icarus perished while not following instructions—we facetiously point out that this quality makes him a stereotypical engineer. Yet, we believe that the name is fitting for a team of proactive, newly-minted college graduates.
Icarus inspired countless generations of people to conquer the skies. As we ourselves continue to venture forth, exploring the skies as well as creating, innovating, and improving our current technology, we’re cognizant that failure might be an option—just as it was for our namesake.
If you’ve had a chance to browse our team bios, our dedications, or our previous projects, you’ve probably discovered that we’re a team that isn’t afraid of failure. As individuals, we’ve tried our hands at many different projects. Some of our ventures were more successful than others, but all of them were innovative and daring. Eric points out, “In choosing Icarus as part of our name, we show that we accept and embrace risk: something that is missing from many places in the aerospace field. We believe we can do this successfully because of how small and new we are.”
Indeed, risk doesn’t necessarily imply failure, or even a lack of success. Curious at heart, we love to learn and to adapt. “We acknowledge that the path to excellence involves taking risks, but the occasional setback provides an opportunity for a great learning experience,” Jason says.
And learned we have. We’ve discussed and picked through countless variants of what came to be our current design; epoxied, laser-cut, and dremeled our way to our current model; and even cowered behind makeshift barriers, as we watched bits of our motors explode. Yet, with our risk-taking attitude comes eternal hope and optimism. Justine sums up our team’s attitude quite succinctly: “Where Icarus failed, we will succeed.”
See you in the skies! And for more questions, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.