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Silicon Valley’s Skydio is building auto-pilot for drones

Would you trust a man wearing those sunglasses?

Watch the Drone

Suddenly, it’s not all that unusual to see a drone hovering overhead – massively unsettling, perhaps creepy, but not unusual. So in the near future, when everyone’s got a personal drone and the skies are swarming with them, how are we going to keep them from colliding with buildings, passersby, or each other?

Silicon Valley’s Skydio believes it has the answer. Founded last year by three friends out of MIT Media Lab, Skydio seeks to equip drones with powerful environmental awareness and stabilization using simple cameras instead of the laser technology typically used today.

Skydio’s auto-pilot tech promises to allow average users the ability to shoot high-quality drone footage without having to worry about navigation, as well as allow the hovering beasts to get closer to structures without fear of collision.

“The goal is to take something that normally costs $5,000 and sell it for $50,” CEO Adam Bry said. “We think vision is going to win the day. It’s an incredibly rich data source, it’s just algorithmically challenging. But computers are getting faster and these algos are coming into place.”

In January, the company announced a $3 million round of funding from Accel and Andreessen Horowitz.

You can check out Skydio’s tech right here. They’re also hiring for engineers and hardware architects – get all the details here.

Now go forth (and don’t hover).

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