Axon and Skydio Partner to Bring US-Manufactured, AI-Powered Autonomous Drones to Public Safety
Mar 11, 2021
As you may have heard, Axon just announced a new partnership with Skydio, the leading US-based UAS/drone manufacturer and a powerhouse in autonomous flight technology. This partnership will make Skydio’s drones and autonomy software solutions immediately available through Axon, and by next year Skydio’s offerings will be integrated with Axon’s suite of products to improve evidence management, real-time situational awareness and scene reconstruction for agencies. To say I’m excited about this announcement would be an understatement!
The Axon Air team has seen the value that drones provide in public safety, and is therefore committed to lowering the barriers of entry for agencies to adopt drone technology. Currently, we provide hardware, software and training to help agencies overcome regulatory hurdles and simplify livestreaming, evidence and program management. With the addition of Skydio, drone adoption will be even easier thanks to AI-assisted piloting and easy-to-use 3D scene reconstruction.
Today, a growing number of public safety agencies are using drones for aerial situational awareness – similar to how the biggest agencies use helicopters, but at a much lower cost that's accessible to more agencies and for more scenarios. At Axon, we believe that this is just the beginning, and that autonomous and AI-assisted autonomous flight have the potential to dramatically improve community and officer safety in the years ahead.
Skydio's autonomy engine already allows for better obstacle avoidance and autonomous flight, so Skydio drones can maneuver in harder-to-pilot situations where there would be greater risk of crashing or missing critical vantage points. In the future, Skydio's technology may enable beyond visual line-of-slight (BVLOS) flight to power a true “drone as first responder” system. This increased situational awareness will allow for faster response times from agencies and safer outcomes for all.
It’s a lofty goal, but we have a roadmap for making it happen:
- First, we’ll integrate Skydio drones with Axon Evidence for seamless upload and evidence management. What does this mean for you? Being able to easily manage, share and build cases leveraging drone files alongside your existing Axon-generated evidence, including body-worn video.
- Next, we’ll integrate Skydio drones with Axon Respond for Devices to give greater situational awareness to first responders before they arrive on-scene. Command staff will be able to view streams from both Skydio drones and Axon cameras to get real-time intelligence as a scene unfolds, which will help keep officers safer.
- Finally, we’ll build a pathway to manage the 3D models generated by Skydio 3D Scan in Axon Evidence and Axon Records to help with scene reconstruction. This will transform quality of evidence by introducing reliable 3D models into proceedings.
Longer term, these goals come together to position drones as a comprehensive solution for public safety, bringing the vision of drones as a first responder to life.
In the coming months, our teams will dive deep into collaborating on this partnership, and we will share exciting updates as they come to fruition. In the meantime, you can sign up to receive more info about Axon’s partnership with Skydio at axon.com/skydio. Fritz Reber, Head of Public Safety Integration at Skydio, also wrote a blog on the partnership, which you can read here.
About the Author:
Aydin Ghajar is the General Manager of Axon Air – Axon's UAS/drone team that's providing public safety agencies with the tools they need to leverage drones as part of their daily operations. Prior to Axon, he held leadership roles at Uber, Facebook, and Salesforce.com after several technology startups in his early career. Aydin is passionate about building UAS technologies to make it easier for public safety agencies to benefit from the use of drones.