May 4, 2021

Skydio X2™: Ready to Take Flight

Roy Goldman

Roy Goldman

Skydio X2

When we released the Skydio 2, it became an immediate and overwhelming success, confirming that Skydio Autonomy™ delivers tremendous value to consumers and professional users alike. Now, after meticulous development and hardcore testing by some of the largest and most ambitious drone programs in the world, we are proud to announce that Skydio X2™, along with Skydio Autonomy Enterprise Foundation for X2, are ready to take flight and are now shipping to customers.

All of the power of Skydio’s intelligence in a body built for work

Skydio X2 is based on the same groundbreaking autonomous flight technology that powers Skydio 2, but implements it on a ruggedized vehicle that is ready to withstand more challenging environments and longer missions with up to 35 minute flight time.

Skydio x2 drone features

X2 is available in two configurations depending on the type of user for the platform:

  • Skydio X2D, designed for defense and other federal agencies to perform reconnaissance, incident response, and security patrol missions. The Enterprise Controller provides ground control compatibility with the Skydio Enterprise App, or Skydio QGroundControl app if required. In terms of radio, the system is available on the 5 GHz band with a wireless range of 6 km*, or the reserved 1.8 GHz band with a 10 km* range. For its high level performance and security, in February, the U.S. Army selected the Skydio X2D SRR system for final integration in their Short Range Reconnaissance (SRR) program. 
  • Skydio X2E, optimized for enterprises, first responders, and civilian agencies, is the ideal solution for situational awareness and inspection of infrastructure such as bridges, power plants, power stations and railyards. X2E is controlled exclusively from the Skydio Enterprise App on the Enterprise Controller, and is available with a 5 GHz radio with 6 km* wireless range.

Built tough. Airborne in under 75 sec.

X2 leverages cutting-edge technology for hyper-strength composites to deliver a ruggedized airframe that is both light and highly durable. It also boasts an incredibly portable design with foldable arms and pinch-release antenna, which means the system can be airborne in under 75 seconds.

skydi x2 drone unfolding

Available with single (Color) or dual sensor (Color/Thermal) payload.

If you have followed our announcements and blogs, then you know the X2 as a dual color/thermal system with an 4K60 HDR camera with 16x digital zoom and a FLIR® Boson 320x256 thermal imager with 8x digital zoom.

skydio x2 drone thermal optical camera

I am happy to announce the upcoming availability (available for pre-order) of a new X2 configuration with a color-only payload optimized for up-close capture.

skydio x2 optical color only camera

While the color lens on the X2 color/thermal offers ~46° HFOV, which is ideally suited for situational awareness with longer standoff distances, the new X2 color features a wide-angle lens with ~80° HFOV. This new system will be ideal for detailed up-close inspections, particularly those leveraging our revolutionary Skydio 3D Scan. X2 with color-only payload will be available in all other configurations previously outlined in this blog, such as X2E and X2D, and the multiple radios for X2D.

Ready for night operations.

X2 is equipped to fly in the dark, using onboard GPS-based navigation, as well as strobing lights in both visible and IR wavelengths that help with aerial deconfliction. When used in combination with the thermal sensor available with the color/thermal configuration, X2 becomes the ideal solution for night-time missions, including as search & rescue, reconnaissance and security patrol.

Skydio x2 night flight

A new professional-grade controller.

To take the effectiveness of X2 flight experience to the next level, we have invested a big portion of our R&D to build an entirely new controller, the Skydio Enterprise Controller. Designed by Skydio for professional operators, the Skydio Enterprise Controller is built with high-impact plastic to withstand tough environments. It offers a high performance, bright AMOLED touchscreen and a unique protective cover with built-in antenna that also functions as a sun shield. From a usability standpoint, the controller is comfortable for extended use periods with an ergonomic, contoured design and glove-compatible joysticks.

Skydio X2 Enterprise Controller

Secure and trustworthy.

Skydio X2 is designed to deliver enterprise-grade cybersecurity, offering signed and encrypted vehicle firmware, encrypted hard drive and password protection for the controller, as well as data link encryption.

Ultimately though, the most important way to gain the customer’s trust regarding the integrity and security of the system is to prove that the manufacturer itself can be trusted. The X2 meets the levels of supply chain security demanded by the US government, including compliance with National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). For these reasons, Skydio X2 was selected as a trusted drone platform for the DoD as part of DIU’s Blue UAS Program, making it available for purchase on the GSA schedule.

Supercharge X2 with advanced AI software and Skydio Cloud.

So far we have described what comes out of the box with any X2, but it doesn’t end there.  Skydio is ushering a new era of software-defined connected drones, which means that the capabilities of all Skydio systems can be supercharged with advanced software and now also with cloud services.

skydio enterprise architecture diagram

Skydio Enterprise Autonomy Foundation for X2.

Along with X2, we are also releasing Skydio Autonomy Enterprise Foundation. Just like the version for S2, Autonomy Enterprise Foundation provides several value added capabilities that enhance X2’s flight autonomy to perform better inspections, fly in more challenging environments and further increase situational awareness:

  • 360 Superzoom: the drone blends the feed from the six 4K navigation cameras to create a unique 360 degree live view of the drone’s surroundings. It’s a feature only possible with a Skydio drone, great for increasing situational awareness in both tactical and inspection use cases.
skydio x2 superzoom bridge

Point-of-Interest Orbit: the drone navigates around a user-defined point on a map. Paired with Skydio’s 360° obstacle avoidance, this feature redefines the ability for first responders to deploy aerial overwatch, without the usual fear of crashing into an overlooked tree.

  • Track In Place: the drone can visually track a car or person and keep the object in frame from a fixed position in the sky at long distance. It’s another great addition to the suite of features to augment situational awareness.
  • Close Proximity Obstacle Avoidance: the drone can fly closer to objects than the standard ~34” distance with full obstacle avoidance. There are two different modes: Close (~11” from objects) or Minimal (~4” from objects). A third mode allows you to turn off obstacle avoidance and fly manually, if that is desired. This feature is ideal for navigating obstacle-dense environments, either for inspection or situational awareness.
  • Vertical View: the gimbal can look straight up overhead of the drone, for a full 180 degree range of vertical motion. Paired with the ability to fly in GPS-denied environments, this feature is perfectly suited for bridge inspections or other overhung structures.
  • Visual Return-to-Home: the drone can return to home using purely visual wayfinding when flying in GPS denied environments. Regardless of the use case, this feature redefines the sense of confidence and peace of mind instilled by the well-known return-to-home functionality.

Ready for what’s next?

We couldn’t be more excited about reaching this milestone. If you are ready to get started with Skydio X2, please contact us directly from our website.

If you want to learn about our Skydio Cloud announcement made in parallel to this one, please read this blog.

And finally, with Skydio 3D Scan, we are ushering in a new era of autonomous drone inspection. If you want to see and learn more about our latest advancements in AI for inspection, please join us for our biggest-ever event on June 2, hosted by our CEO, Adam Bry, from the US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. You won’t want to miss this event, so please register now here to receive updates and get online access.

* Always follow local rules, regulations, and FAA guidelines, and fly your drone in line of sight at all times.

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