Location: Redwood City, Calif.
How it’s using AI: Skydio’s autonomous drones combine AI supercomputers and 13 cameras to capture video footage. The self-flying drone has several different styles of video capture (including tripod mode and follow mode), all of which require no human interaction.
Industry impact: The Skydio drone is used in many fields, including sports. Runners, bikers and hikers can choose a video capture mode and Skydio captures their every move. The drone also autonomously identifies and follows a film’s subject. Check out how Skydio captured
a freerunning and parkour session.
Location: San Jose, Calif.
How it’s using AI: Airlitix makes AI- and machine learning-enabled drones for greenhouse management that can fly around greenhouses and collect data on temperature, humidity and carbon dioxide levels to ensure that plants are growing in an optimal ecosystem.
Industry impact: In addition to ecosystem measurements, the Airlitix AI drones can analyze soil and crop health to ensure that plants are disease-free and unhindered in their growth.
Location: Mountain View, Calif.
How it’s using AI: Orby makes flying drones and robots for businesses. The artificially intelligent drones assist with mapping and the designing of large-scale warehouses and factories. They can also track inventory by using AI that performs a depth analysis on current stock via flight video.
Industry Impact: Currently in its pilot program, Orby uses drones and AI analytics to scan shelves and automatically track and order new inventory. Drone flights can even be programmed to perform tasks during off-hours and dock themselves thereafter.
Location: San Francisco
How it’s using AI: Above‘s autonomous UAV is used by businesses and policymakers to collect environmental analytics. The zeppelin-like drone can fly over forests, mountains, quarries or farms to assess damage from natural disasters or climate change and then report back using the analytics platform.
Industry impact: Besides environmental data-gathering, Above’s UAV can be used to inspect railroads, power lines or oil pipelines for quality-control and upkeep purposes. Operators can also plan exact routes for Above’s UAVs. The drone will then travel the route, film what it sees and create an actionable report based on its findings.
Location: San Diego
How it’s using AI: Shield AI‘s drone assists ground forces and first responders in exploration and data gathering. Equipped with proprietary “Hivemind” software, the company’s UAVs can communicate with each other to quickly discover surroundings and identify individuals in an emergency situation.
Industry Impact: The Shield AI “Hivemind Nova” drone assist law enforcement and military personnel in reconnaissance missions. The robots can access GPS-denied areas such as building interiors and underground facilities to gather ground-level intelligence.
Location: Monrovia, Calif.
How it’s using AI: Aerovironment uses AI to power its autonomous military drones. The company’s drones range from an undetectable three-foot-long recon plane to the Switchblade®, which is equipped with a precision strike warhead for military operations.
Industry impact: Aerovironment makes a host of AI-powered drones for different military purposes. The company’s UAVs are also being used in agriculture to map field acreage, spot crop health issues and determine irrigation issues.