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Skydio Unveils Autonomous 4K Camera Drone For Athletes

 Skydio Unveils Autonomous 4K Camera Drone For Athletes

  Skydio's autonomous drone

One of Kevin Durant’s recent technology investments, Skydio, has unveiled an autonomous flying drone that athletes say could offer a hands-free approach to training and present new content opportunities.

After years of stealth development, Skydio unveiled this month the company’s first product: a fully autonomous artificially-intelligent flying 4K camera called R1.

The technology virtually “sees” the world through its 13 cameras and use of AI and vision algorithms, enabling it to maneuver around physical objects at high speeds without input from humans while predicting how the people it’s tracking will move.

“The promise of the self-flying camera has captured people’s imaginations, but today’s drones still need to be flown manually for them to be useful,” Skydio co-founder and CEO Adam Bry said in a statement. “We’ve spent the last four years solving the hard problems in robotics and artificial intelligence necessary to make fully autonomous flight possible.”

Athletes say the drone can unlock new training opportunities. A runner, for example, might be able to record themselves as they soar down the track or through dense forests for trail runs, while a tennis player might be able to use the bird’s-eye view to improve their technique. Professional tennis player Bethanie Mattek-Sands said she sees it as both a teaching tool and a content-creating tool.

“It offers an angle and a vantage point that’s difficult to get,” she said in a video promoting the drone. “I’ve had to make some adjustment on technique just based on my injuries. Sometimes you don’t know how much you’re bending, if you’re leaning forward too much, or if you’re on your back heels. And now I finally have a camera system that’s going to keep up with me and be able to give me the angles that I want to really improve my game.”

Athletes also see the drone as a way to record high-quality high-action content, which is especially helpful when they’re training alone and don’t want to disrupt their flow. 

The drone, which retails for $2,499, is compatible with the Skydio app from the user’s smartphone and be controlled through the app if the user wants to shut off the autonomous feature.

Skydio has been backed by a number of companies in addition to The Durant Company, including NVIDIA and Andreessen Horowitz. It recently closed a $42 million Series B funding round, bringing its total funding to $70 million.

                                            Courtesy; www.sporttechie.com