The American drone maker Skydio has started shipping its first corporate drones today with prices starting at a company-worthy $ 10,999. Skydio is best known as a pioneer in self-flying drone technology, but in recent years has shifted its attention away from a consumer market dominated by the Chinese giant DJI to instead making business customers.
This switch is due in part to geopolitics. The U.S. government blacklisted various Chinese drones over espionage fears last year, meaning law enforcement, military and federal customers are instead looking more at U.S. companies. The switch helped increase Skydio to a valuation of 1
The Skydios X2 drone, which was originally announced last year, comes in two major variants. There is X2D for “defense and federal agencies” and X2E for “companies, first responders and civilian agencies.” Both devices are available in two configurations. The first has two colors / thermal sensors and is “optimized for long range” (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 (though with the lens upgraded to a field of view of ~ 80 °) and is intended for “close inspection of infrastructure assets, reconstruction of scenes and mapping of small area.”
Prices for the color thermal configuration that starts shipping today are unknown, but the colors that are only available, only available for pre-order, start at $ 10,999. Each drone is packed with various accessories and the company’s enterprise controller, which has a shockproof construction, 6.8-inch AMOLED touch screen and glove-compatible joystick.
Along with the drones, Skydio is also launching its Skydio Cloud service today, which provides various fleet management tools. These allow customers to track the status and location of multiple drones in real time, stream footage from any device, and gather recorded data in one place. It sounds is ideal for large scale mapping and inspection.
Despite focusing on corporate customers, Skydio has said it does not give up on hobbyists and amateur drone flyers. The company’s CEO Adam Bry told The edge last year that there will be more consumer drones, but we are just not sure when. Until then: see the sky.