Bambu Labs, a 3D printing company, became popular in 2022 due to its advanced X1 Carbon 3D printer that incorporated cutting-edge features such as lidar optimization and machine vision. The company raised $7 million through Kickstarter and produced 5,600 units. Before Kickstarter, the company had raised $13.5 million, which was mostly used for marketing purposes. The success of Bambu Labs can be attributed to the experience and expertise of its founders, including Dr. Yi Tao and Dr. Xiufeng Gao, Huaiyu Liu, Zihan Chen, and Wei Wu. The majority of the founders had previously worked at DJI, a Chinese company that is famous for producing drones. The CEO of Bambu Labs, Dr. Yi Tao, was previously the head of the Mavic Pro project at DJI, where he also served as the head of the consumer drone department. He has a Ph.D. in fluid dynamics from Germany and his experience in bringing complex technologies to the consumer market is evident in the design of the X1 Carbon.
Huaiyu Liu, who co-founded Bambu Labs, was a former software engineer and technical lead for DJI’s Fly app. Zihan Chen, another co-founder, was a research scientist and project manager at DJI, where he contributed to the development of computer vision and autonomous flight algorithms. The company’s third co-founder, Wei Wu, previously worked at DJI, where he led the development of the company’s autonomous driving systems, including obstacle avoidance and visual positioning. Dr. Xiufeng Gao, another member of the team, was previously the Director of the Computer Vision Research Center at DJI. He later joined Bambu Labs, where he led the development of Bambu Labs’ core technology, which includes in-store analytics and real-time customer behavior analysis using computer vision and deep learning.
Bambu Labs has developed autonomous driving technology using lidar sensors and artificial intelligence algorithms, and has partnered with major Chinese automakers to develop self-driving cars and provide autonomous driving solutions for public transportation. The company has also established partnerships with major companies in the automotive industry and has received significant investment from leading venture capital firms.
However, there is a concern about the connection between Bambu Labs, DJI, and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). DJI has been accused of sharing drone data with the Chinese government, and the US government has banned the use of DJI drones by federal agencies. Bambu Labs has not been accused of any wrongdoing, but the company’s ties to DJI and the Chinese tech industry have raised concerns among some observers. As the company continues to grow and expand its reach, it remains to be seen how it will address these concerns and maintain its reputation as a leading innovator in the 3D printing and autonomous driving industries.
Dr. Yi Tao (CEO)
Dr. Yi Tao, the CEO of Bambu Labs, has a strong background in aerodynamics and motor control, having received his PhD in fluid dynamics in Germany. Prior to founding Bambu Labs, he was the head of the Mavic Pro project at DJI, where he later became the head of the consumer drone department.
During his time at DJI, Dr. Tao oversaw the development of the Mavic Pro, a popular consumer drone that incorporated advanced technologies such as obstacle avoidance and GPS tracking. His experience in bringing complex technologies to the consumer market is evident in the design of the X1 Carbon, Bamboo Labs’ flagship 3D printer, which features cutting-edge features such as lidar optimization and machine vision.
Dr. Tao’s expertise in fluid dynamics and motor control has also been instrumental in developing the precise and reliable mechanics of the X1 Carbon. With his leadership, Bambu Labs has been able to create a machine that is both highly advanced and accessible to consumers, marking a significant leap forward in the 3D printing industry.
Dr. Gao, Xiufeng (CTO)
Dr. Xiufeng Gao is a computer vision expert who has worked at DJI and Bambu Labs. At DJI, he served as the Director of the Computer Vision Research Center, where he led research and development efforts in areas such as object detection and tracking, image and video analysis, and deep learning for applications in drones and robotics. He was also responsible for building and managing the company’s computer vision team.
After leaving DJI, Dr. Gao joined Bambu Labs, a startup focused on developing computer vision technology for the retail industry. As the Chief Scientist and Head of Engineering, he led the development of Bambu Labs’ core technology, which includes in-store analytics and real-time customer behavior analysis using computer vision and deep learning. Under his leadership, Bambu Labs was acquired by JD.com, one of China’s largest e-commerce companies.
Overall, Dr. Gao has extensive experience in computer vision research and development, with a focus on applications in drones, robotics, and retail. He has published numerous research papers in top computer vision conferences and journals and is recognized as a leading expert in the field.
Liu, Huaiyu (COO)
Huaiyu Liu is a Chinese computer scientist and software engineer who has worked at DJI and Bambu Labs. He joined DJI in 2013 as a software engineer and worked on the development of the DJI GO app, which allows users to control and monitor DJI drones. He later became the technical lead for the DJI Fly app, which is designed for DJI’s smaller, consumer-oriented drones.
In 2018, Liu left DJI to co-found Bambu Labs, a startup focused on developing autonomous driving technology. He currently serves as the CEO of Bambu Labs, which has offices in China and California.
Prior to joining DJI, Liu worked at Microsoft, where he was a software engineer for the company’s Windows Phone division. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Fudan University in China and a Master’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Southern California.
Chen, Zihan (Chief Engineer)
Zihan Chen is a Chinese entrepreneur and engineer who co-founded Bambu Labs, a startup focused on autonomous driving technology. He has also worked as a research scientist and project manager at DJI, the world’s leading manufacturer of unmanned aerial vehicles.
At DJI, Zihan Chen worked on developing computer vision and autonomous flight algorithms, contributing to the company’s products such as the Phantom and Inspire series of drones. After leaving DJI, he co-founded Bambu Labs, which focuses on developing self-driving cars for the Chinese market.
Under Zihan Chen’s leadership, Bambu Labs has developed autonomous driving technology using lidar sensors and artificial intelligence algorithms. The company has also partnered with major Chinese automakers to develop self-driving cars and provide autonomous driving solutions for public transportation.
Zihan Chen’s professional experience in the areas of computer vision, autonomous flight, and self-driving cars has made him a prominent figure in the field of autonomous technology in China.
Wu, Wei (Senior Engineer)
Wei Wu is a prominent figure in the field of computer vision and deep learning, with a wealth of experience in both academic and industrial settings. He received his Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Maryland in 2011, after which he worked as a Research Scientist at NEC Laboratories America, focusing on computer vision, machine learning, and statistical modeling.
In 2015, Wu joined DJI, where he led the development of the company’s autonomous driving systems, including obstacle avoidance and visual positioning. He also served as the Head of DJI’s Silicon Valley Research Center, overseeing research and development efforts in computer vision, deep learning, and robotics.
In 2018, Wu left DJI to co-found Bambu Labs, a startup focused on developing intelligent systems for autonomous vehicles. As the company’s CEO, Wu has led its efforts to develop cutting-edge technology in the fields of computer vision, machine learning, and robotics. Bambu Labs has established partnerships with major companies in the automotive industry and has received significant investment from leading venture capital firms.
Who is DJI and Why Does It Matter?
DJI is a Chinese technology company that specializes in the design and manufacture of consumer and professional unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), also known as drones, as well as other camera and imaging technologies. DJI is considered the world’s leading manufacturer of drones and has a strong presence in the global drone market. The company was founded in 2006 and is headquartered in Shenzhen, China.
The United States has raised concerns about DJI and its potential security risks. In 2019, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued a warning about the use of drones made by Chinese manufacturers, including DJI, citing concerns that the data collected by these drones could be transmitted to servers located outside of the United States and accessed by foreign governments. In addition, in 2020, the U.S. Department of the Interior grounded its entire drone fleet, citing concerns about security vulnerabilities and potential unauthorized access to sensitive data. Despite these concerns, DJI has maintained that it takes privacy and security seriously and has implemented measures to address these issues.
There is no public evidence to suggest that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has a formal role within DJI. However, like all companies operating in China, DJI is subject to Chinese laws and regulations, which include requirements for cooperation with government agencies. Additionally, DJI’s founder, Frank Wang, is a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), an advisory body to the Chinese government. However, it is important to note that membership in the CPPCC is largely symbolic and does not necessarily indicate an active role in government affairs.
The U.S. government has not officially endorsed any specific drone manufacturer as an alternative to DJI. However, government agencies have been known to use drones from other manufacturers such as Parrot, Autel Robotics, Skydio, and Yuneec for various purposes.
Bambu Labs: Leading Chinese Industry Nexus to DJI
Overall, Bambu Labs has become one of the most successful 3D printing companies due to its innovative and cutting-edge X1 Carbon 3D printer. The success of the company can be attributed to the founders’ experience and expertise, particularly that of Dr. Yi Tao, who was previously the head of the Mavic Pro project at DJI. Despite the company’s success, some have expressed concerns over Bambu Labs’ connection to DJI and the Chinese Communist Party, particularly in light of DJI’s alleged data-sharing practices. Nevertheless, Bambu Labs has continued to expand its reach, particularly in the development of autonomous driving technology. With a team of experts, including Dr. Xiufeng Gao and Huaiyu Liu, the company is well-positioned to remain at the forefront of the 3D printing and autonomous driving industries.