California-based drone startup Skydio soars after receiving the 2021 Best of Innovation Award for drones and unmanned systems at CES for the company’s Skydio X2.
The award will be presented ahead of CES’s first all-digital trade show, January 11-14, and is an annual competition that recognizes outstanding design and engineering for consumer technology products in 28 product categories. “An elite jury of industry experts, including media representatives, designers, engineers and others, reviewed the entries on the basis of innovation, technology and functionality, aesthetics and design,” explain CES representatives.
Skydio X2 is the company’s newest line of autonomous drones for businesses and public sector customers. The drone combines Skydio Autonomy, an AI-controlled system that “teaches drones the skills of a skilled pilot,” with a foldable, portable airframe that uses high-strength composite materials to withstand the most demanding environments.
The X2 is equipped with a 12MP optical color sensor plus 320 × 256 FLIR thermal sensor and equipped with GPS-based night flight and flash lighting. This means it is airworthy for day and night operation and offers a flight time of up to 35 minutes with a single battery. The drone provides the solution for capturing aerial data for situation awareness, asset inspection and security patrol.
Several American agencies have praised Skydio’s sub-model X2E after it was deployed on site. “With the Skydio 2 we were able to inspect bridges in a whole new way and we are excited to apply the Skydio X2E to our program needs,” said Basil Yap, director, UAS program manager, NC Department of Transportation. He added the agency used the drone “to take advantage of the extended range, battery life, and other advanced features that are helping us achieve even higher levels of efficiency.”
“We are excited and honored to receive the CES 2021 Best of Innovation Award for the X2,” said Adam Bry, CEO of Skydio.
“This award is proof of our future-oriented vision for autonomous drones and the incredible work of our engineering team. The X2 offers breakthrough intelligence and robustness that enable professional pilots to get the job done faster, more accurately and more safely. Our goal is to make drones easier and safer than ever before, while opening up completely new use cases based on autonomous flight. “
In July, Skydio received $ 100 million in Series C funding and a $ 4 million US Department of Defense investment in what is possibly the largest funding round in the drone industry.
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