Skydio AI drone promises “a flim crew that fits in a backpack”

Skydio boasts 13 cameras that power really impressive collision-avoidance tech, allowing it to track a person even through obstacles like woods. Check it out:

Here’s how the “Autonomy Engine” works:

The device looks bulky, but it’s said to fit into any backpack that can accommodate a 17-inch laptop. Being roughly 3x the price ($2,499), size, and weight of a Mavic Air, the Skydio makes me ask a few questions:

  • What’s the average utilization of any drones people buy? They seem like action-sports cameras: aspirational, highly specialized, rarely used. (Thus it made perfect sense to me that GoPro would get into the drone business, and that doing so might just compound their existing problems.)
  • How important is this kind of aerial selfie mode that really sets Skydio apart? That is, what percentage of the time one wants to use a drone is it for, say, mountain biking through the woods? The obvious concern is that it falls into a real niche (the small Venn diagram overlap of “actually doing action sports” and “wanting to view from the air”).
Having said all that, the AI capabilities look like a great step forward, and I’m eager to learn more as the device starts reaching customers.


[YouTube 1 and 2]

One thought on “Skydio AI drone promises “a flim crew that fits in a backpack”

  1. It feels like this kind of a technology is a transitional step to more interesting capabilities. Some examples: quick-deployed units for police to track a moving subject; using an IR laser to ‘paint’ an actor for better focusing by a cinema camera; tracking game when hunting (after it’s been shot); and my all-time favorite, deploying from a vehicle to help find parking 😉

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