William Hunt MBE
Skydio Announce the X2™
Skydio, a specialist in autonomous drones that fly with minimal human intervention, is entering the commercial drone market in Q4 this year with its new X2™ model. The X2™ is Skydio’s first non-consumer UAV and it’s marketed toward government agencies, the military, and other organisations that require aerial surveillance or surveying, with its own built-in infrared thermal camera. It is seens a sa direct competitor to the the French Parrot ANAFI USA drone which it is selling to the US military.
The X2™ announcement coincides with Skydio’s acquisition of $100 million in new funding, led by German multinational company Siemens’ Next47 firm.
The X2™ now incorporates folding arms, a first for Skydio after the company said it struggled in the past to make its AI-powered autonomous flight capabilities work with UAV that can be folded down into a smaller package like DJI’s Mavic Pro.
This X2™also has GPS assisted night flying capability, employing both visible light and IR illuminators for flying in the dark, and a full-fledged enterprise-grade hand controller with a built-in touchscreen.
Battery life is claimed longer at 35 minutes of flight time as compared with 23 minutes for the Skydio 2, and the X2™ features a 320 x 256-resolution thermal camera in addition to its 12MP main camera.
Has the Parrot ANAFI USA already been superseded? Well, the specifications are similar but the X2™ wins hands down on the controller, and that fact alone will be favoured by enterprise users. The price? well have to wait and see but expect it it to be pitched above the price of the ANAFI USA.