Today, the US-based drone maker Skydio introduces a new version of their two-year-old drone, the Skydio 2+ with improved range, increased flight time, a new KeyFrame option, and Skydio Care.
Drones labeled “Blue sUAS” approved by the US Department of Defense are 8 to 14 times more expensive to purchase than the Chinese DJI drones they replace. In addition, users complain about the less broad usability of the Blue sUAS alternatives. This is evident from an internal government memo that has come into the hands of the Financial Times.
US rail company BNSF Railway has received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to conduct drone inspections out of the pilot’s line of sight (BVLOS). The exemption is partly based on the advanced obstacle detection and a high degree of autonomy that the Skydio drones offer. The drones will be deployed from strategically placed docking stations.
DJI’s market share in the United States has declined by 7% since 2018 in favor of competitors Autel Robotics and Skydio. That reports the American insurance company SkyWatch, based on a recent survey among customers. In 2018, 94% of commercial drone pilots insured with SkyWatch still used DJI devices. By mid-2021, that percentage has fallen to 87%.
Collecting source data for a digital 3D model of a situation or building by means of drones can be a time-consuming process. Depending on the size and complexity of the scene, multiple complex flight trajectories may sometimes need to be programmed to obtain photos from all angles. Dronemaker Skydio claims to have fully automated this process with the new 3D Scan software package.