Check out this video on Youtube from Brandonee916 where he uses the autonomously flying Skydio 2 to film a Tesla Model 3 in full self-driving mode Beta on public roads in the Nevada desert. At one point in the video, we can see the Skydio 2 flying right in between two power lines or telephone wires crossing the road. Is that the drone’s amazing obstacle avoidance or just dumb luck?
In response to my previous article in which I said Part 107 pilots beware, Skydio is NOT your friend, Skydio’s Chief Marketing Officer, Alberto Farronato, argues that Autonomy is the new opportunity for Part 107 drone operators. Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth. Ask any Uber driver how they view their future employment in light of the advance of self-driving cars. If it’s up to Skydio, Part 107 pilots will go the way of the dinosaurs, and in a few years, the way of the Uber drivers. However, my point here is not to save Uber drivers or Part 107 pilots (although, I have warned you). No, I take issue with the fact that Skydio over-sells, under-delivers, and doesn’t seem to care about regulatory limitations.
This week Drone Deploy has their conference and in one of the presentations, it becomes clear for Part 107 pilots that Skydio is not their friend. Skydio envisions a future without drone pilots and one that is not allowed under the current Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) drone regulations.
EagleView recently announced an exclusive property inspection partnership with Skydio for automated residential roof inspection with drones. It forms a part of a multi-year, multi-million-dollar exclusive partnership to deliver Skydio House Scan™ to several major country markets. The partnership is expected to present the power of precision drone technology and AI to insurance carriers, claims adjusters, and government bodies which is expected to result in one of the largest ever commercial drone deployments with thousands of units deployed.
Today an article in the Wall Street Journal informs us that five drone makers have been approved by the Pentagon for military sales. Among the approved companies are four U.S drone makers; Skydio Inc., Vantage Robotics, Altavian Inc., and Teal Drones. As expected the fifth one is French drone maker Parrot, that recently launched the ANAFI USA in a controversial marketing campaign.
Lately, it seems that everybody is going after Chinese dronemaker DJI. First various U.S. Government Departments and lawmakers concerned about data security and possible spying from the Chinese Government. Then, French drone maker Parrot played off of the same fear to promote their latest ANAFI USA commercial drone. And, now even the U.S.-based Skydio, calling out DJI’s Mavic 2 APAS video and obstacle avoidance system as a ‘marketing gimmick’ compared to their autonomously flying drones.
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.
US drone companies receive millions in recovery funds from the Department of Defense. On Friday, the department announced that it will issue US$84.4 million in funding through the Defense Production Act to small drone makers, shipbuilders, and a space company. Skydio is one of the companies that benefitted from the financial injection.
The Chula Vista Police Department is the first in the nation to receive approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to fly Skydio 2 drones beyond-visual-line-of-sight.
The spreading coronavirus has impacted many drone manufacturers such as DJI, Autel Robotics, and also Skydio. The latter had stopped the production of the autonomously flying Skydio 2 drone a few months ago. However, today we are happy to report that Skydio has restarted the production of the Skydio 2 drone and the company has started shipping again as there are still many orders to fulfill.