Redwood-based, Skydio has some big news today. First, the US drone maker launches the Skydio X2 commercial drone, which comes in two versions the Skydio X2D and X2E. Second, the company announces new software solutions. And, lastly, the US drone maker raises $100 million to expand their business.
Skydio launches X2 commercial drone and raises $100 million
Today, the US drone maker Skydio launches the X2 commercial drone with foldable legs(!) and it announces additional funding.
In a Series C funding round, led by Next47, and which includes participation from investors such as Levitate Capital and NTT DOCOMO Ventures, A16Z, IVP, and Playground, Skydio raises $100 million to speed up product development and increase their marketing efforts in both consumer and commercial applications, according to Venture Beat.
The current anti-China political sentiment in the United States creates an opportunity for Skydio. The company is happy to jump in as co-founder, Adam Bry tells Wired:
We feel a sense of opportunity and responsibility.
Bry also recognizes the increased use of drones by local law enforcement and acknowledges that police use of drones comes with some concerns. He tells the news outlet that:
“The more we expand beyond consumers the more potential there is for really positive impact, but it comes with the potential for misuse and abuse”.
Skydio will release a set of ethical principles for the use of drones to be released this summer that will cover topics that include privacy and community engagement.
Skydio was founded in 2014 and has raised in total $170 million. To date, the company has released two consumer drone models. The Skydio R1 and the Skydio 2. Today, Skydio announces its first commercial drone the X2, which will start shipping in the fourth quarter of this year.
The first folding Skydio drone
The Skydio X2D and X2E
The Skydio X2 will come in two versions, the Skydio X2D and X2E.
- Skydio X2D, built to meet the Short-Range Reconnaissance (SRR) requirements for the U.S. Army, the X2D is the ultimate solution for military and defense to perform reconnaissance, search and rescue, and security patrol missions.
- Skydio X2E, optimized for enterprises, first responders, and civilian agencies, the X2E is the ideal solution for situational awareness and inspection of infrastructures such as buildings, bridges, power plants, power stations, and railyards. Skydio’s autonomous navigation technology makes it safe to fly at close-distance to capture more accurate data than traditional manual drones.
The Skydio X2 includes an onboard 360-degree zoom camera, and a FLIR Systems 320×256 resolution thermal imaging camera. The drone can take 12MP still photos and offers a flight time of 35 minutes and has a maximum range of 6.2 miles.
For the Skydio X2, the US drone maker developed a new remote controller that has a touchscreen, hardware controls, and an anti-glare hood.
Both Skydio versions come with the Skydio Autonomy Core, the latest version of Skydio’s obstacle avoidance capability that made the company instantly famous when they launched the R1 drone in 2018.
The Skydio X2 can take 180-degree images of areas directly overhead of the drone, which makes it very suitable for overhead inspections such as bridges.
Skydio Enterprise Controller
Fly fearless with Skydio Enterprise Controller. Designed for professionals, the Skydio Enterprise Controller has built-in touchscreen, glove-compatible controls, and a new wireless system to extend range up to 6.2 kilometers.
About Skydio’s new software solutions
Skydio’s new software solutions for the Skydio X2 commercial drone includes:
- 360 Superzoom™ – Zoom out for a 360° view of your surroundings or digitally zoom in 100x for the ultimate situational awareness.
- Precision Mode – Leverage high-precision controller inputs with close-proximity obstacle avoidance for maximum control in detailed inspections.
- 180 Vertical View – Capture images directly above your drone. Combined with obstacle avoidance, allows you to focus on overhead inspection targets.
- GPS Night Flight – Use GPS and inertial navigation to take off at night. Combine with thermal imagery or the IR illuminator to see what’s out there.
— DroneXL (@DroneXL1) July 13, 2020
New Skydio software solution that will be available for the X2 and the existing Skydio 2:
- Skydio 3D Scan™ makes it easy to inspect complex structures like bridges, building facades, and energy infrastructure. Specify the area to inspect, pick your desired GSD, and AI-powered Skydio 3D Scan™ does the rest. It adaptively maps the structure as it flies to guarantee uniform, high-resolution coverage. Skydio 3D Scan will be available for both S2 and X2 in Q4 2020.
- Skydio House Scan™ uses AI trained to map and inspect residential houses. It recognizes indivisual roof facets and guarantees complete, utra-high resolution coverage to make sure you get the data you need to assess damage. Delivered in partnership with EagleView, the country’s leader in providing aerial imagery, data analytics and geographic information system solutions. Skydio House Scan will be available in Q4 2020.
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