Drone startup Skydio has unveiled a new autonomous drone platform for enterprise and the public sector, raising $100 million in funding.
Additionally, the company has introduced several new software solutions for situational awareness workflows. The software technologies help produce roadmaps for enterprise and governments, the company said.
“Manual drones lack the software intelligence that enterprises need to scale their programs” said Adam Bry, CEO of Skydio, in a statement. “Skydio’s goal is to unlock the value of drones by creating a radically simple user experience through the power of true autonomy. With Skydio X2 proven that our autonomy software can fundamentally change the way people use drones, and that an American company can not only compete, but can lead the way in AI-powered drone technology. We are now bringing the power of autonomy to enterprises, government agencies, first responders, and defense customers.”
The Skydio X2 drone has artificial intelligence (AI) built into it as well as computer vision and deep learning, allowing the drone to create a 3D picture of the drone’s surroundings in real-time and to make predictions. The Skydio Autonomy AI allows the Skydio 2 to fly by itself without a pilot and it controls the drone’s navigation to avoid obstacles even in GPS-denied environments.
Skydio said the drone is already being used by agencies including the Civil Air Patrol, the Ohio Department of Transportation, the North Carolina Department of Transportation, Southern Company, the Chula Vista police department and Japan Infrastructure Waymark.
The Skydio X2 includes folding arms for “pack and go” transportation, a thermal camera and up to 35 minutes of flight time. The drone is equipped with six 4K navigation cameras for 360° obstacle avoidance, a dual sensor payload with a 12-megapixel color and long-wave infrared (LWIR) sensors.
Two configurations of the drone are being launched:
- The Skydio X2D, which is designed for short range reconnaissance (SRR) requirements for the U.S. Army. The solution is built for military and defense to perform reconnaissance, search and rescue, and security patrol missions.
- The Skydio X2E, which is designed for enterprises, first responders and civilian agencies for use cases such as situational awareness and inspection of infrastructure such as buildings, bridges, power plants, power stations and railyards.
The drones are expected to be available in the fourth quarter of 2020.
In the video, some of the features of the Skydio X2 are shown along with some of the applications on industrial landscapes where it could be used for surveying or plotting as well as for military reconnaissance.