American drone maker Skydio began shipping its first drones today at prices starting at a decent $ 10,999. Skydio is best known as a pioneer in drone technology, but in recent years has shifted its focus from the consumer market, dominated by Chinese giant DJI, instead of courting corporate clients.
This change is due in part to geopolitics. Last year, the U.S. government blacklisted various Chinese drones because of spy fears, which means law enforcement, military and federal customers are looking for more US companies. The switch helped boost Skydio to a $ 1 billion estimate, no doubt aided by the higher prices such a business could command.
Skydio’s X2 drone, which was originally announced last year, comes in two main flavors. There is X2D for “defense and federal agencies” and X2E for “businesses, first aid and civilian agencies”. Both units are available in two configurations. The first has dual color / thermal sensors and is “optimized to detect the situation over long distances” (there is a 4K60 HDR camera with 16x digital zoom and ~ 46 ° field of view, as well as a FLIR Boson 320 x 256 thermal camera with 8x digital zoom)). The second has only the color camera (although with a lens upgraded to a field of view of ~ 80 °) and is designed for “close inspections of infrastructure assets, reconstruction of the stage and mapping of small areas.”
Prices for the color-thermal configuration, which begin shipping today, are unknown, but color units, available for pre-order only, start at $ 10,999. Each drone comes with a variety of accessories and the company’s distinctive company controller. with impact resistance, 6.8-inch AMOLED touch screen and joystick-compatible joysticks.
Along with drones, Skydio today launches its Skydio Cloud service, which provides a variety of fleet management tools. They allow customers to track the status and location of multiple drones in real time, broadcast footage from any device, and consolidate recorded data in one place. The sound is ideal for large-scale mapping and verification.
Despite its focus on corporate customers, Skydio has said it is not giving up on drone enthusiasts. The company’s CEO Adam Bry said On the edge more consumer drones came last year, but we’re just not sure when. Until then: look at the sky.