Flying Drones Are a Difficult Hobby But the World Can Change With Useful Automated Drones

Skydio gave the keynote to the 2021 HotChips Conference. They have raised $340 million and are the first US Unicorn drone company.

Consumer drones are still mostly a hobby because drones are difficult to fly. World changing capability gets unlocked with easy automated drones.

13 thoughts on “Flying Drones Are a Difficult Hobby But the World Can Change With Useful Automated Drones”

  1. All fair points. Yet I assume that Amazon can get people to put up markings that are even more clear than a parking spot. They'll just sell you a little helipad kit. It can have whatever QR codes, reflectors, glow in the dark paint, or blinking infrared LEDs they deem necessary.

    If the drone flies by and, using its best computer vision judgement, determines that the helipad was installed too close to a tree, they can always deny you service until you move it or call in a proper installation technician.

    Admittedly, if your cat has decided that the helipad is the best napping spot, you're out of luck and your package just can't be delivered.

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  2. I have played with a couple of different 'toy' drones – under $100 with cameras – both inside the house and at a nearby park. I just make sure no one or anything
    is close by that I can hurt.

    Controlling a drone is a fun challenge. However, without any image stabilization, the videos look like a drunken pilot was flying.

    I don't try to INTENTIONALLY do any aerobatics.

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  3. You can fly a drone without any liability concerns providing you don't leave anything on it with your name or address. Or fingerprints.

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  4. To an extent, roads are designed to tell you where to go. Car parking is designed to be marked in a way that is clear and unambiguous about where is a safe, legal park and where is not.

    Now there are a lot of badly marked areas. And reality can change faster than the markings can keep up. But 95%, maybe 99%, of the time it's OK.

    Once you get away from roads, it's ALL a matter of choice and judgement. Practically nothing is marked for the benefit of aerial vehicles.

    (My opinion is that the first real advantage that most people will get from the rise of SDVs is that the authorities will be forced into making ALL the road markings clear and correct.)

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  5. Is it really any harder than preventing your Tesla from parking somewhere inappropriate, though? Sure, right now the car computers are pretty large and maybe power hungry, but that will come down like it always does. Eventually, Musk will either license his puddle/dog recognition engine, or open a drone wing himself.

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  6. I would love to get into flying drones as a hobby but I would never want the liability of flying one anywhere need inhabited areas and I can’t afford to live in the deepest wilderness or deserts.

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  7. Once we will be able to automatically regulate drone delivery traffic Regular drone delivery will become more common than UPS and Uber Eats.

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