Today, U.S. drone manufacturer Skydio introduced the Skydio Remote Flight Deck, a new feature that facilitates remote control of Skydio X10 drones through a web browser over cellular networks. The Remote Flight Deck allows easy transitioning of flight control between local and remote pilots, ensuring continuous situational awareness via live streaming.
This solution enables operators to command drones from virtually any location, either indoors or outdoors. The sectors that could benefit from this include public safety, utilities, construction, and transportation. When rapid response is crucial, such as in law enforcement activities, search and rescue operations, or firefighting, drones can offer faster, more effective reactions. Drones have proven their merit in numerous law enforcement roles by granting first responders rapid access to real-time aerial visuals, thus assisting in efficient decision-making and resource allocation. Furthermore, after natural calamities, drones can expedite infrastructure assessments, assisting in determining recovery priority levels and ensuring community safety. The Skydio Remote Flight Deck allows for faster drone deployment than most traditional emergency response vehicles, offering a faster initial assessment of situations. In potentially dangerous scenarios, a ground officer can delegate flight control to a remote pilot, ensuring localized situational awareness.
The Remote Flight Deck, compatible with Skydio’s X10, enables drone operations from any global location via a browser. Remote pilots can initiate or take over flights, and these missions can extend indefinitely with the 5G-enabled X10 drone, bound only by flight duration, cellular network availability, and aviation regulations.
Adam Bry, Skydio’s co-founder and CEO, stated,
"We foresee a scenario where drones become a standard infrastructure. The Skydio X10 could be an essential tool for every first responder, and with Remote Flight Deck, it can provide immediate awareness and remote assistance."
The Skydio Remote Flight Deck has diverse applications, including:
- Public Safety: Enhancing incident response with patrol-led Drone as First Responder (DFR), facilitating officers to deploy drones and transfer control to command centers. Additionally, in search and rescue, drones can augment ground operations, with remote pilots expanding the aerial search zone, even using thermal imaging.
- Infrastructure: Streamlining power substation inspections by allowing ground teams to activate drones at inspection sites and then transfer control to a remote pilot. Bridge inspections can also be optimized by granting remote inspectors access to live drone footage.
Key features of the Skydio Remote Flight Deck:
- Web Browser Piloting: Remote pilots can initiate and control flights via any connected computer browser, ensuring real-time visual access for decision-making.
- Smooth Pilot Handoffs: Drone control can be transferred between pilots, ensuring operational adaptability.
- Complex Mission Capability: Coupled with the Autonomy Engine, Remote Flight Deck lets pilots confidently undertake intricate missions from vast distances, navigating around buildings and obstacles.