Contractors no longer need to rely on “drone-in-a-box solutions” that require manual flight by onsite pilots.
Skydio, a manufacturer of drones and autonomous flight software, has released its new Skydio Dock and Skydio Dock Lite cloud-connected base stations for drones, powered by Skydio’s Remote Ops software.
The base stations allow Skydio 2+ and X2 drones to fly safely with a single off-site operator, or autonomously, at a fraction of the cost, size, and complexity of existing solutions, the company says. This enables remote and autonomous visibility into tasks like site inspection and monitoring, mapping and situational awareness – indoors and outdoors – from anywhere in the world.
In addition, the Remote Ops software enhances the Skydio drone’s AI-powered autonomy so operators can perform streamlined missions. The remotely operated drones can access high-risk areas safely, standardize repetitive inspections and fly instantly from anywhere for on-demand visibility into any environment. Once you’re done getting a closer look, the drone will safely fly back to the Dock autonomously with the click of a button.
The smallest and lightest system of its kind, Skydio says its Dock has a footprint of 4 square feet and a weight of 62 pounds. Its weatherized protection and temperature regulation system enable it to withstand extreme environments.
“The concept of remotely operated drones is incredibly compelling,” said Adam Bry, CEO of Skydio. “It has attracted a gaggle of activity from startups and established manual drone companies, but it’s never going to work the way customers want – let alone scale to address real-world applications solving the needs of today – unless you can trust the drone to fly itself. And making drones smart enough to fly themselves is our core focus. Skydio Dock and Skydio Dock Lite, combined with our Remote Ops software, deliver autonomous capabilities for our customers – whether they are monitoring their warehouses, inspecting a security perimeter or assessing infrastructure following a natural disaster – finally realizing the promise of efficient, scalable remote operations.”
North Carolina Department of Transportation, Southern Company, Caltrans, the Oracle Innovation Lab and Obayashi Construction (Japan) are Skydio early access partners and will be among the first to use the Skydio Dock, Skydio Dock Lite and Skydio Remote Ops software.
[Related: NCDOT wins first approval for out-of-sight drone bridge inspections]
“(With this technology) we're able to monitor construction progress in more efficient ways than we previously could. We're capturing imagery, videos and live streaming a feed back to our resident engineers for real-time data. It's a big cost saver for us, and we look forward to implementing it around the state for multiple applications and use cases,” says Thomas Walls, North Carolina Department of Transportation UAS operations manager.
Skydio says its regulatory team has already obtained multiple, pathbreaking remote-operations waivers for U.S. and global customers.