Good news for drone pilots in Australia and New Zealand: you can now use Skydio’s enterprise platforms. The company behind the crash-proof drones announced this month that its autonomous drone, the Skydio 2, and its integrated software solutions including the Skydio Autonomy Enterprise Foundation, 3D Scan and Cloud , are now available for enterprise and public sector customers in Australia and New Zealand.
Skydio said it has been working closely with both regulators and customers in Australia and New Zealand to enter the market, ultimately with the intent to provide what it’s calling “high-value, low-friction operations beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS).” The company referenced how — for U.S. drone flights — Skydio had to receive complicated, in-depth approvals for conducting BVLOS operations.
As part of the Australia and New Zealand expansion news, the company announced that its Skydio 2 and Skydio X2 drones have obtained Regulatory Compliance Mark (RCM) certification. In those regions, Skydio X2 is available for pre-order now and is expected to ship in Q3.
Skydio’s drones originally were marketed toward action sports given their “crash-proof” abilities. A drone could navigate between trees to video a biker, or navigate sloping terrain as it films a snowboarder. But those crash-proof abilities have proven crucial for enterprise operations more than anything, and Skydio’s drones have become popular for projects like bridge inspections and tactical emergency response, as well as fully-remote operations like sending docked-based drones to conduct inspections over railroad tracks and railyards.
These days, Skydio’s lineup includes the Skydio 2 and the Skydio X2. The Skydio X2 is still relatively new though, and is only now available for pre-order; it’s expected to start shipping in Q3 2021. Skydio’s airframe is equipped with six 4K 200° navigation cameras to allow the drone to see in every direction and implement true 360° obstacle avoidance. There’s a 4K60P HDR main camera, and the drone can deliver up to 23 minutes of flight time on a single battery charge.
The Skydio X2 will be available in two versions:
- X2D for defense and federal agencies
- X2E for enterprises, first responders, and civilian agencies. X2 is also available in two sensor payload configurations: color-only 4K60P HDR or dual-sensor to add FLIR 320p thermal imaging.
“The complexity of manually flown missions coupled with the high risk of crashes limits the applicability of manual drones to a small subset of use cases and drives up the cost of pilot training,” according to a statement from Skydio.”
Skydio claims that its intelligent AI-powered devices mitigate those problems and are simpler, safer and more cost effective to operate. Skydio has also been promoting its made-in-USA moniker, and particularly taking jabs at its competitors based in China (namely DJI).
“The cyber-security risk associated with Chinese-made products precludes many organizations from the added benefits and efficiency of cloud services, increasing the total cost of ownership,” according to a prepared statement from Skydio.
Read more: Skydio: the drone industry “is not healthy”
Skydio software services include Skydio 3D Scan, and Skydio Cloud. And, its enterprise and public sector customers include Sundt Construction, the Ohio Department of Transportation, North Carolina Department of Transportation, BNSF Railway, and Boston PD.
Skydio’s growth strategy has a particular focus of late on international expansion into the Asia Pacific region. In Q4 of 2020, Skydio opened an office in Japan.