Skydio X2D is a new reconnaissance drone manufactured by Skydio, a leading autonomous flight technology provider based in the US. It is intended to meet the short-range reconnaissance (SRR) requirements of the US Army.
The Skydio X2 family also includes Skydio X2E variant which enables situational awareness and inspection of infrastructure including buildings, bridges, power plants, power stations and railyards. It is an ideal platform for enterprises, first responders, and civilian agencies.
The Skydio X2D drone is capable of performing a range of military missions including reconnaissance, search and rescue (SAR), and patrol. It uses unmatched artificial intelligence (AI) to transform every operator into an expert pilot.
Skydio raised $100m in a Series C funding round led by Next47 in July 2020. The funding round also involved participation from a16z, IVP and Playground, Levitate Capital and NTT DOCOMO Ventures.
Skydio was selected as trusted drone supplier by the US Federal Government as part of Defense Innovation Unit’s (DIU) Blue sUAS Project in August 2020.
Design and features of Skydio X2D
Skydio X2D is a lightweight drone with foldable arms, allowing easy pack and go transportation. The drone has a length of 0.38m, width of 0.30m and height of 0.10m. It approximately weighs 1.3kg and can carry custom payloads of up to 150g.
The basic components of Skydio X2D kit include one X2D offline vehicle, a controller, a charger, a spares kit, tactical and admin cases as well as two batteries. Designed to offer ironclad, end-to-end protection, the drone collects sensitive data during missions. It is equipped with media card encryption, signed and encrypted firmware and burned-in keys for more security.
The unmanned aircraft can perform offline operations as it is equipped with advanced hardware, autonomous flight capabilities, and built-in cybersecurity.
Advanced software solutions such as Skydio Autonomy Enterprise Foundation (AEF) can also be added to provide enhanced pilot-assist capabilities.
Skydio X2D is paired with Skydio Autonomy technology which offers improved flight experience. The technology combines the 3D map of drone’s surroundings and deep learning algorithms, enabling operators to take intelligent decisions.
The unmanned aerial system (UAS) is fitted with six 4K60P HDR colour navigation cameras with 16x zoom and 360° Superzoom technology. It also has a FLIR Boson 320 thermal imager with 8x zoom. Both the cameras are mounted on a gimbal supporting 180° vertical view.
The navigation cameras ensure 360° obstacle avoidance, real-time 3D mapping, object and scene recognition, and motion planning.
Skydio Enterprise Controller
The drone is controlled by a Skydio Enterprise Controller unit equipped with a built-in 6.8in touchscreen and precision joysticks. The unit has 4.5 hours of battery life and can be recharged through USB-C connector or external batteries.
The hand-held controller integrates a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor and multiple sensors such as GPS, barometer, compass, gyro and accelerometer. The memory can be stored in 256GB disk and 12GB RAM. The external antennas of the controller can extend the wireless range of X2D to 10km.
The Skydio 3D Scan will allow the complete scanning of structures such as the ones with overhangs or near-the-ground details to create a real-time map.
Skydio X2D uses two operating radio frequencies. The 1.8GHz government band needs frequency authorisation to fly in the US, while the FCC-certified 2.4GHz configuration can be used by any customer.
Skydio X2D performance
The drone offers a range of 6km in urban environments, while the maximum line-of-sight (LOS) range is 10km. It has a flight endurance of up to 35 minutes and can fly during day and night.