Skydio Autonomy Platform brings R1 self-driving drone smarts to devs

Chris Burns - Sep 6, 2018, 8:01 am CST
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Skydio Autonomy Platform brings R1 self-driving drone smarts to devs

The folks at Skydio made a drone that took self-driving car-like tech to the skies – now they’re releasing that tech to developers. With the Skydio Autonomy Platform, developers were invited this week by the Skydio team to join in on the Skydio R1 fun with Skills. Skills can be developed by developers “in a few lines of Python via a rich set of APIs.” How much could this affect the life of the average SlashGear reader? Maybe a little, maybe a lot.

Opening API to developers out in the wild creates the potential for massive growth – and massive sharing of knowledge. That’s true of almost any piece of technology for which the contents are futuristic or otherwise widely valuable. In this case, the folks at Skydio created a drone that maps the world around it and traverses the skies with a healthy set of features.

• Subject tracking
• Path planning
• Mapping
• Scene understanding
• Collision avoidance

These are key elements in the Skydio Autonomy Engine, now being shared through the Skydio Autonomy Platform. With the platform, developers can expand on their understanding of AI. Developers can also potentially move their own projects forward by incorporating what they know with what Skydio can share.

“Building on the Skydio Autonomy Platform means harnessing the full weight of the state-of-the-art in AI and robotics to solve your problem,” said Adam Bry, CEO and co-founder of Skydio.

For now, this platform includes a Skills SDK, Mobile SDKs (for smartphone/tablet based apps for Skydio R1), and the Skydio simulator. That last element is probably the most interesting, as it allows the developer to test their software on a virtual drone flown in a screen-based 3D environment. Kind of like running an app on a virtual phone, but with the added bonus of flying the phone through the sky of a virtual 3D environment – all on your computer.

Developers will find more information on getting involved with Skydio over at Skydio dot com.

Skydio R1 Availability

The first set of Frontier Edition R1s are “completely sold out” according to Skydio, and they’re “excited to begin shipping mass production R1s. These mass production R1 drones will be available immediately for approximately $2k apiece. These drones will also be available to rent from Omni in the San Francisco Bay Area and in Portland (coming soon).


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