Tech companies thriving in San Diego–Tijuana border zone – by Kate Kilpatrick August 1, 2014 12:27PM ET

Just Sayin'

Entrepreneurs predict cross-border ‘Cali-Baja Mega-Region’ will be new Silicon Valley

Grant Lieberman, a flight engineer at 3D Robotics, test-flies the Y6 drone at the company’s engineering facility in San Diego.
Eros Hoagland for Al Jazeera America

SAN DIEGO/TIJUANA — Six small gray plastic propellers whirred into action as flight test engineers Brad Golding, 34, and Grant Lieberman, 24, powered up the four-pound Y6 drone for a morning spin. The status lights blinked green, indicating the autopilot was initialized, and the three-armed vehicle lifted into the air and zipped off toward a pallet of shrink-wrapped supply boxes.

Outside the 3D Robotics office in San Diego the air was hot and still, with downtown Tijuana visible across the border with Mexico. It’s there — a 4-mile drone flight away (if the FAA allowed it) — where 3D Robotics has its manufacturing facility, and dozens of 20-something “associates” in blue lab coats, jeans…

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