Connect with us

Business

Skydio says it’s not pivoting away from consumer drones, won’t weaponize its self-flying tech – The Verge

Self-flying drone company Skydio announced a shift to enterprise and military with its new Skydio X2 drone, but it’s still building new consumer drones too, CEO Adam Bry tells The Verge.

Published

on

post featured image

A quick chat with CEO Adam Bry about whats next and ethics
Image: Skydio
If youve been eagerly awaiting the day when self-flying drone startup Skydio becomes a true competitor to DJI, you might taken todays announcement poorly. You might have assumed that after two impressive drones that didnt quite fulfill their full potential, Skydios decision to build its next flying flagship camera exclusively for the enterprise and military markets meant it was done with consumers entirely.
But Skydio CEO Adam Bry tells The Verge hes just getting started there are more consumer drones on the way.
We have more products coming in that market that were excited about, reveals Bry, saying the timing was simply right to expand into the enterprise market, too. In both markets, he says, the goal isnt to try to beat DJI by copying DJI, but rather to build drones that can automatically do things which currently require an expert pilot to pull off.
Being able to follow you is something an expert pilot could do; being able to inspect a house is something an an expert pilot can do; being able to inspect a bridge is something an expert pilot can do. How do we put that in software so anyone can benefit from it? Bry asks, rhetorically.
Skydio sees itself building specific AI skills to do each of those things, starting with a few specific examples that use the drones cameras to first map out the area around itself, then automatically take a series of high-resolution images that can be stitched together to create a scan of a house, bridge, or other facilities for inspection:
Bry says he sees opportunities for skills outside of enterprise, too particularly in the cinematography world, where operating a camera also requires expert skills, and where flying cameras could theoretically make camera moves that are all but impossible for cinematographers on the ground.
But he also thinks a different business model may be the way forward whether they pick the new folding Skydio X2 or the consumer-grade Skydio 2, enterprise customers will be paying for a subscription service to these new skills rather than simply buying off-the-shelf drones.
Banking on Made in the USA
If this idea of skill-driven-drone-upgrades sounds familiar, you might be thinking of promising drone startup 3D Robotics pitch from several years ago, before it got edged out by DJIs then-quickly-advancing, reliable, and relatively affordable line of drones.
But history might not repeat itself. Now, governments and industries have become more wary of China-made products to the point the US Department of the Interior grounded its DJI-made fleet. Skydio is betting its made-in-the-USA pedigree will help it get contracts with enterprise and military customers that DJI cant touch right now. In fact, the company already has contracts with the US Air Force, Army, and DEA, reports Wired.
That doesnt mean Skydio is ready to become a weapon system provider, though, or necessarily help police surveil citizens. The companys new Engagement and Responsible Use Principles explicitly state that Skydio wont put weapons on its drones and is opposed to fully automated weapons in general and Bry tells me Skydio would not work with a company that plans to put weapons on its drones, either.
Photo: Skydio
We believe drones should be involved in emergency response situations, not active surveillance, and I think thats a pretty clear line, he says, adding that Skydio plans to be involved as it can in policymaking around autonomous drones, too. You ship a product out there, you wash your hands of it… thats not our approach, says Bry.
That said, the company is already working with at least one police department in Chula Vista, California, and its not clear how it would know if its drones were being abused to surveil protesters or other citizens. For now, Bry is focused on positive use cases, like how drones could theoretically serve as a sort of flying body camera, and perhaps how they could let more objective observers (like, say, a police captain) do a better job of assessing a situation at a distance.
Bry isnt saying how much the Skydio X2 will cost yet, or what we can expect from future consumer drones. (Does the X2s newfound folding ability mean we can finally get a pocket, purse or messenger-friendly folding follow-me drone? No comment.) He also wont say whether therell be a way to use the Skydios new 360-degree situational view with a VR or AR headset only that Im on the right track. For now, that features limited to an equirectangular projection (see below for an example) on the new Skydio Enterprise Controllers built-in screen or HDMI out.
And no, therell be no way to pair the upcoming Skydio Enterprise Controller, even if you could afford it, with todays consumer-grade Skydio 2. If you want a better consumer-grade self-flying drone than the Skydio 2 and the tradeoffs that come with its three different control schemes, youll just have to wait.

Click here to view the original article.

Business

Regal Owner Cineworld Swings to First-Half Loss, Says “No Certainty” on Future Impact of COVID-19 – Hollywood Reporter

CEO Mooky Greidinger also reemphasizes the firm will only show films that respect the theatrical window and says “negotiations with the banks remain ongoing in order to obtain covenant waivers in respect of December 2020 and June 2021.”

Published

on

Exhibition giant and Regal owner Cineworld Group on Thursday swung to a loss for the first half of 2020 as revenue fell sharply amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, which led to cinema closures worldwide.
Revenue fell to $712.4 million, adjusted EBITDA dropped to $53.0 million, and the group swung to an after-tax loss of $1.58 billion, or $436 million on an adjusted basis.
Revenue in the comparable period of 2019 had come in at $2.15 billion, with after-tax profit of $200.8 million, and adjust…

Click here to view the original article.

Continue Reading

Business

Warning over Woolworths Ooshies priced at tens of thousands of dollars online – 9News

Auction site eBay is packed with Disney 'Ooshies' listed at extortionate prices, despite being handed out for free at the local Woolworths. But eBay has a warning for anyone trying to make a quick buck.

Published

on

Property News: 12 edibles to plant this spring – domain.com.au…

Click here to view the original article.

Continue Reading

Business

Crown gave Packer secret profit forecast before $1.7b share sale – Sydney Morning Herald

Crown Resorts boss Ken Barton says the $1.7b share sale to Lawrence Ho’s Melco Resorts could have stopped the briefs to James Packer.

Published

on

Mr Barton told the inquiry he did not know that deal was underway when he shared his profit forecasts, which he did as part of an arrangement intended to maintain a “strong relationship” with Mr Packer under a “controlling shareholder protocol”.
Under that agreement, Crown officers could only share information with Mr Packer if it was in the interests of Crown and had to consider whether doing so could be inappropriate or benefit others.
Counsel assisting the inquiry Adam Bell asked Mr Barton …

Click here to view the original article.

Continue Reading

Trending