Skydio starts shipping its award-winning X2 drones for enterprise and defense. Updated consumer drones could be around the corner.
DJI has had a hold on consumer drones for some time, but brands like Autel and Skydio are providing much-needed competition in the space helping to drive innovation and keep prices affordable. The Skydio 2 is one of the consumer models, and it boasts remarkable autonomous flight, impressive image quality, and 4K 60p HDR video recording.
However, Skydio's bread and butter is their commercial line, and their new X2 drones, announced last year, have started shipping.
The Skydio X2 comes in two models, the X2D (for defense and federal agencies) and X2E (for enterprise work, first responders). Both units are available in two configurations. The first is a color/thermal dual sensor which boasts a 4K 60p HDR color camera and 16x digital zoom. The lens has an approximate 46° HFOV and there's a FLIR Boson 320x256 LWIR thermal sensor with 8x digital zoom for when you need to switch to temperature tracking. The color/thermal option is shipping now for $14,499.
The second is a straight color configuration which gets you the same 4K 60p HDR recording and 16x digital zoom but with an approximate 80° HFOV and is without thermal scanning. The lens is designed for "close-up inspections of infrastructure assets, scene reconstruction, and small area mapping." The color configuration is available for pre-order for $10,999.
Both drones come with the new enterprise controller that features a bright 6.8" AMOLED touchscreen and advanced AI skills in Skydio Autonomy Enterprise Foundation, which is software that unlocks features like 360° superzoom, track in place, visual return to home, and more.
Skydio has also launched Skydio Cloud, and as the name suggests, it's a cloud service that enables "users to monitor their fleet, maintain accurate records of every mission, access data, analyze it, and share it across the organization." Skydio Cloud runs on AWS and gives you a set of fleet tools that makes it easy to organize data. The company is also working on streaming from any mobile or browser device, which is coming soon.
With Skydio X2 taking flight, the company can now move toward updating its consumer drones. We don't know for certain when the Skydio 3 will become available, but it's more likely sooner than later.