Drones With ‘Most Advanced AI Ever’ Coming Soon To Your Local Police Department #drone #droneday

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AI powered drones are inevitable. How we incorporate and regulate this technology is yet to be determined. Forbes has a profile of Skydio, a company poised to outfit America’s police departments.

This year, America’s border police will test automated drones from Skydio, the Redwood City, Calif.-based startup that on Monday announced it had raised an additional $170 million in venture funding at a valuation of $1 billion. That brings the total raised for Skydio to $340 million. Investors include blue-chip VC shops like Andreessen Horowitz, AI chipmaker Nvidia and even Kevin Durant, the NBA star. It’s not clear just how fast its drones are selling. Dun & Bradstreet estimates its 2020 revenues were firmly sub-$5 million, a figure Skydio says is “significantly off-base.” What is clear is while the company isn’t pre-revenue, it’s still early days in terms of sales. The Army and Air Force spent $10 million on its drones in the last two years, but much of that revenue came in 2019. By Forbes’ calculation, based on documents obtained through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests and Skydio’s public announcements, more than 20 police agencies across the U.S. now have Skydios as part of their drone fleets, including major cities like Austin and Boston, though many got one for free as part of a company project to help out during the pandemic.

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Welcome to drone day on the Adafruit blog. Every Monday we deliver the latest news, products and more from the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), quadcopter and drone communities. Drones can be used for video & photography (dronies), civil applications, policing, farming, firefighting, military and non-military security work, such as surveillance of pipelines. Previous posts can be found via the #drone tag and our drone / UAV categories.


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