Skydio: a Start-Up Making Its Mark in UAS Navigation Technology

Posted by Betsy Lillian on January 20, 2015 No Comments

Technology start-up Skydio recently raised $3 million in funding to help kick-start its new autopilot system for unmanned aerial systems (UAS).

Skydio allows UAS to ‘navigate the world intelligently,’ the company website explains. The technology allows operators to focus on the task at hand – capturing photos, video or data – rather than on the actual operation of the aircraft: “Be a cinematographer, not a pilot,” Skydio says.

According to a company blog, Skydio, whose seed funding was backed by Andreessen Horowitz and Accel Partners, was founded by Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduates Abe Bachrach, Adam Bry and Matt Donahoe. Bachrach and Bry were also two of the founders of Google[x]’s Project Wing.

Bry writes in the blog that the company aims “to make the enormous potential of the aerial platform available, safe, and intuitive for a much broader audience and a much broader set of applications.”

In the company’s introductory video, a UAS can be seen dodging around people, trees and objects – all from the movement of an operator’s phone.

“Drones are poised to have a transformative effect on how we see our world,” Bry says in the blog. However, “existing products are blind to the world around them.” Therefore, UAS need an effective sense-and-avoid technology to allow for safe operations and “for the industry to move forward,” he explains.

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