Skydio’s highly autonomous drone now has a robotic charging dock

The Skydio 2 autonomous drone is a piece of kit that impressed many when it was unveiled recently. Indeed, Digital Trends described it as “definitely one of the most exciting additions to the UAV market” in years.

Smaller and smarter than its predecessor, the team that created Skydio 2 has its eye not only on the consumer market, but enterprise, too.

With commercial and industrial buyers in mind, Silicon Valley-based Skydio has just announced a dock that makes the advanced follow-me drone even more automated.

This is the Skydio 2 Dock.

It combines the most advanced autonomous drone in the world with a compact, lightweight, weatherproof charging base station — letting you run drone operations in the background, without a pilot in the loop. pic.twitter.com/j3LUNFqPsG

— Skydio (@SkydioHQ) October 16, 2019

The dock is essentially a small box with charging smarts inside to keep your Skydio juiced up without you having to do a thing. As shown in the video above, when the Skydio goes out on a mission, the dock’s door automatically opens, enabling a small platform to slide out so the drone can take to the sky. Once the flying mission is complete or when the battery is running low, the drone automatically returns to the dock, which also provides shelter from the elements.

Skydio envisions the dock being set up at construction, industrial, and agricultural sites for monitoring and inspection missions using its drone. Those engaged in surveillance and security could also find it useful.

The Skydio 2 Dock looks like a neat addition for Skydio’s drone setup as it lets the machine work pretty much all by itself, from lift-off to landing.

We’re not sure about the dock’s pricing and availability yet. We’ve reached out to Skydio for more information and will update this piece when we hear back. The drone, on the other hand, costs $999, and Skydio has already sold its first batch, which should start shipping later this year. A second batch is slated for shipping in early 2020.

Skydio was founded in 2014 by Adam Bry, Abe Bachrach, and Matt Donahoe, all of whom attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Before starting the company, Bry and Bachrach were part of the founding team of Google’s Project Wing, an ongoing endeavor with commercial drone delivery services in its sights.