US dronemaker Skydio has begun shipping its first enterprise drones now with prices beginning at an enterprise-worthy $10,999. Skydio is best known as a pioneer of self-flying drone tech, but lately has shifted its focus away from a customer market controlled by Chinese giant DJI into courting enterprise clients instead.
This change is partially due to geopolitics. The US authorities blacklisted different Chinese drones over spying fears this past year, meaning law enforcement, military, and national clients are looking more to US firms instead. The change helped boost Skydio to some $1 billion valuation, no doubt assisted by the higher prices such business can command.
There is the X2D for”defense and national agencies” and the X2E for”businesses, first responders, and civilian agencies.” Both units can be found in two configurations. The first has double color/thermal sensors and is”optimized for long range situational awareness” (there is a 4K60 HDR camera with 16x digital zoom and also ~46° field of vision as well as a FLIR Boson 320 x 256 thermal camera with 8x digital zoom). The second has just the color (though with the lens updated to some ~80° field of view) and is meant for”close-up inspections of infrastructure resources, scene reconstruction, and little area mapping.” https://www.youtube.com/embed/82GItKpk8V8?rel=0
Prices for your color-thermal setup, which start shipping now, start at $14,499, while the color-only units, available just for preorder, beginning at $10,999. Each drone is bundled with assorted accessories and the company’s enterprise control , which includes an impact-resistant build, 6.8-inch AMOLED touchscreen, and glove-compatible joysticks.
These enable customers to track the status and location of multiple drones in real time, stream footage from any device, and pool captured data into one spot. It sound’s perfect for large-scale mapping and review function.
Regardless of the focus on enterprise clients, Skydio has stated it is not giving up on amateurs and amateur drone flyers. The organization’s CEO Adam Bry informed The Verge last year that more customer drones are coming, but we are simply not certain when. Until then: observe the skies.