December 3, 2019

Becoming Skydio 2 - How it's Made

Skydio Logo


skydio drone how its made

The first Skydio 2s are now shipping! As our manufacturing line kicks into gear, we’re excited to share a behind-the-scenes look at some of the steps on Skydio 2’s path from a collection of parts through to a fully integrated product delivered to your doorstep.

The journey of your Skydio 2 begins with each individual part, painstakingly inspected for quality and tracked into inventory. Not counting every individual component on the circuit boards, Skydio 2 consists of 208 individual parts (96 unique) tracked through 130 checks as part of incoming quality control.

In addition to optimizing for frictionless flight, Skydio 2 is also designed for efficient assembly. This focus on manufacturing has enabled us to increase our capacity by more than 5x using half the physical space compared with our first product, the R1.

Skydio 2 is truly homegrown — all the steps below are performed by our dedicated team at our manufacturing facility in Redwood City, CA.

Here is a gimbal being tested as a sub-assembly with three axes of motion and a 4K HDR camera. Over 1,900 variables are collected and analyzed to determine a properly functioning gimbal.

Our main logic board is one of the first parts installed to the magnesium chassis. Skydio 2 is designed to capitalize on the material properties of magnesium by using its frame as a core structural element as well as a heat sink for the flying supercomputer.

Each 4K navigation camera is installed onto Skydio 2’s magnesium chassis. A rigid, stable frame holding all six cameras is a critical part of enabling precise 3D vision for our autonomy system.

Each motor is precisely and securely locked to the magnesium skeleton, and has 3 phase wires that are routed and soldered to the motor controller board.

After all motors, circuit boards, and cameras are installed, Skydio 2 enters the first phase of testing to confirm that all subsystems are functioning properly. After completing two test rounds with 59 checkpoints, we close up the vehicle with its covers and trim. Skydio 2 assembly is now complete.

At the calibration station, we collect 2,400 images which are used to build an accurate calibration of all the cameras and inertial sensors. Robust calibration is an essential ingredient for building trustworthy and precise 3D maps.

Now it’s time to strap Skydio 2 down to the “burn-in” testing rack, where all systems are put through a series of extreme tests to ensure that they’re fully equipped to robustly handle the wide range of challenging scenarios that they’ll soon encounter out in the wild. Skydio 2 includes GPS and communication radios which are also exercised thoroughly as part of the integration and testing process.

As a final test, Skydio 2 embarks on its maiden voyage within our flight testing room. None of this would be possible without the tireless efforts of our lovely mannequin who is the first “human” subject each Skydio 2 tracks.

testing skydio drone

After passing the first flight test, we securely flash Skydio 2 with our latest customer software release.

We also build the Beacon in our facility. Each Beacon is assembled and rigorously tested before being sent off for final quality inspection and packaging.

After the final cosmetic quality check, we bundle Skydio 2 with all of its essential goodies — battery, cables, power adapter, cleaning cloth, gimbal lock, spare propellers, and quick start guide — into the final kit.

And that’s a wrap. Be sure to check out our support site for more tips, tricks and helpful articles. Happy flying.

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