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  • Jul 14, 2020
  • Comments Off on Skydio Introduces The New X2 Family of Drones and Breakthrough Autonomy Software For Situational Awareness and Inspection
  • Hardware, Products

July 14th, 2020
Skydio Introduces The New X2 Family of Drones and Breakthrough Autonomy Software For Situational Awareness and Inspection

Skydio, the leading U.S. drone manufacturer and world leader in autonomous flight technology, today announced the upcoming availability of a new autonomous drone platform for enterprise and public sector, the Skydio X2. Skydio also announced several new software solutions that simplify inspections and situational awareness workflows: Skydio Autonomy Enterprise Foundation, Skydio 3D Scan, and Skydio House Scan. These software technologies, which are also available on Skydio 2, are part of the company’s accelerated product roadmap for the enterprise and government market, and were announced today in concert with $100M in Series C funding.

Despite the tremendous potential that drones hold, their adoption among enterprises remains limited. In a recent poll, 55% of enterprise users pointed at the risk of crashes as the top concern with conventional manual drones, followed by hiring experienced pilots and data security concerns. The productivity loss and safety issues created by manual drones prevent organizations from scaling their programs.

“Manual drones lack the software intelligence that enterprises need to scale their programs” said Adam Bry, Skydio CEO. “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 2 (S2) we’ve 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.” 

Skydio Autonomy is the AI-powered brain built into every Skydio drone. Our autonomy technology enables a breakthrough flight experience and can be extended with specialized software skills to perform end to end automation of complex workflows. Leveraging advanced computer vision and deep learning, it creates a 3D understanding of the drone’s surroundings in real-time and predicts into the future to make intelligent decisions. Skydio Autonomy enables Skydio drones to fly themselves with the skills of an expert pilot. It can also serve as an expert copilot, turning anyone into a skilled operator, while Skydio Autonomy dynamically controls the drone’s navigation to avoid obstacles even in GPS-denied environments.

Thanks to these unmatched autonomy capabilities, the Skydio 2 is already being used by enterprises and government agencies. Today, leading organizations such as Civil Air Patrol, Ohio Department of Transportation, North Carolina Department of Transportation, Southern Company, Chula Vista PD, and Japan Infrastructure Waymark use the S2 to simplify data collection in inspection, search and rescue, situational awareness, and emergency response use cases.

To address a broader range of enterprise requirements and use cases, today Skydio announced a new drone product line and several software products for situational awareness and inspection, including:

Skydio X2. Built for business. Ready for duty.
Skydio X2 is a new family of products that pairs breakthrough autonomy software with a ruggedized airframe with folding arms for easy “pack and go” transportation, a thermal camera, and up to 35 minutes of flight time. X2 is equipped with six 4k navigation cameras for 360-degree obstacle avoidance and a dual sensor payload that includes 12MP color and 320×256 LWIR sensors. Designed, assembled, and supported in the USA, the X2 turns anyone into an expert pilot. It will initially be available in two configurations:

  • 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 infrastructure 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.

Like Skydio 2, X2 drones include the Skydio Autonomy Core, Skydio’s world-leading flight AI engine. Out-of-the-box, X2 users will benefit from autonomous navigation with 360-degree, real-time obstacle avoidance, object detection and motion prediction.

X2 pairs with the new enterprise-grade Skydio Enterprise Controller with a built-in touch screen, glove-compatible controls, and a new wireless system to extend range up to 6.2 kilometers.

The X2 products will be available in Q4 2020

“We have been testing Skydio drones extensively for Search and Rescue missions. Skydio’s autonomy capabilities allowed us to perform better operations, more efficiently. Their trustworthy obstacle avoidance makes it possible for us to do flights at low-altitude and in complex urban environments that we would otherwise not be able to perform. The ease of flight that Skydio drones provide lets us on-board new pilots faster. We are excited to hear about Skydio’s plans with X2 and look forward to adding it to our fleet.” Austin Worcester, Senior Program Manager, Small Unmanned Aerial Systems at Civil Air Patrol

Skydio Autonomy Enterprise Foundation
Skydio Autonomy Enterprise Foundation enhances Skydio’s Core Autonomy system with powerful pilot-assist capabilities that make every flight safer and more efficient for everyone from novice to expert operators. Features include:

  • 360 Superzoom for maximum situational awareness at 360 degrees. Superzoom blends the drone’s seven on-board cameras to let the pilot see in all directions while flying, and provides up to 100x digital zoom with high quality video resolution and electronic image stabilization.
  • Precision Mode for maximum control while performing detailed inspections or getting tactical situational awareness in dense, challenging, GPS-denied environments. Skydio’s autonomy engine can be tuned to enable high precision response to controller inputs and to safely fly in close proximity to obstacles (.5 meters). These controls allow operators to fly confidently in tight spaces and to get the job done faster.
  • Vertical View to capture images by looking straight up overhead. Combined with Skydio Autonomy’s Obstacle Avoidance technologies, allows users to focus on overhead inspection targets, instead of dedicating their inspection camera to avoiding obstacles.

Skydio 3D Scan. Autonomous inspection of industrial structures
The first of its kind general-purpose digital scan software for inspections of complex industrial structures and locations, such as bridges, building facades, energy infrastructure, accident and crime scenes, 3D Scan is powered by a new real-time visual 3D reconstruction layer built on top of Skydio Autonomy Enterprise Foundation.

Unlike inspection conducted with manual drones, Skydio 3D Scan enables a fully automated, structure-agnostic process that does not require any prior knowledge of the inspected structure and can operate in GPS-denied environments or without internet connection. Operators can specify the area or volume to inspect, pick a desired imaging resolution, and the AI-powered Skydio 3D Scan does the rest, autonomously imaging all surfaces with precision by dynamically building a real-time map as the drone flies. The resulting imagery has no gaps in captured data, and is optimized to ensure effective photogrammetry.

Thanks to Skydio’s close proximity obstacle avoidance and full range gimbal motion, Skydio 3D Scan can be used to accurately inspect any structure, even with obliques and concavities, and can inspect areas inaccessible to other drones, such as the bottom of bridges, walls, overhangs, and near-the-ground details.

Skydio 3D Scan will be available for both S2 and X2 in Q4 2020.

Skydio House Scan. Autonomous inspection of residential properties
Delivered in partnership with Eagleview, the country’s leader in providing aerial imagery, data analytics and geographic information system solutions based in Bellevue, WA, Skydio House Scan enables home insurance agents to automatically perform accurate inspection of residential homes safely and without the need to become expert drone pilots.

Skydio House Scan will be available in Q4 2020.

“Skydio HouseScan is a game-changing capability for residential inspections. Thanks to these market leading capabilities, Skydio drones can automatically perform context-aware 3D scanning of residential properties. Delivered as part of EagleView’s enterprise solutions, Skydio HouseScan allows insurance inspectors to capture more precise data, efficiently and safely.” Bill Banta, General Manager – Enterprise Solutions, EagleView