/> ED I T O R S C H O I C E IN N O V A T IO N A W A R D
X

How Skydio makes its second-gen video drones

Here's a look at how the Silicon Valley startup makes its the new self-piloting video drone.

stephenshankland.jpg
Stephen Shankland
Skydio factory
1 of 13 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Skydio factory

Many companies rely on overseas manufacturing, but Skydio makes its own drones at its headquarters in Redwood City, California.

Skydio R2 drone
2 of 13 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Skydio 2 drone

The $1,000 Skydio 2 drone has four propellers, six navigation cameras, a belly-mounted removeable camera and a 4K main camera to shoot video.

Skydio CEO Adam Bry and the R2 drone
3 of 13 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Skydio CEO Adam Bry

Skydio CEO Adam Bry stands by one fo the company's Skydio 2 drone. Drone manufacturing isn't as mature a process as making phones or PCs, he says.

Skydio R2 drone calibration
4 of 13 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Skydio 2 drone calibration

A robot calibrates a Skydio 2 drone's orientation controls in a room papered with QR codes.

A Skydio blasts an R2 drone with a leaf blower to see if it can withstand strong winds.
5 of 13 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Skydio wind blast

A Skydio employee blasts a Skydio 2 drone with a leaf blower to see if it can withstand strong winds.

Skydio drone history
6 of 13 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Skydio drone history

Skydio's headquarters in Redwood City, California, shows off earlier drone models. At right is the the first product that went on sale in 2018.

Skydio headquarters in Redwood City, California
7 of 13 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Skydio headquarters in Redwood City, California

Before manufacturing comes design. Skydio's development lab is decorated with remote-control model aircraft hanging on the walls and ceiling.

Skydio drone assembly line
8 of 13 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Skydio drone assembly line

A short production line is at work building Skydio 2 drones.

Skydio programmer
9 of 13 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Skydio programmer

Skydio is a drone AI navigation company at its core, which means software is a crucial part of the company's work. Programmers get giant 4K TV screens to use as monitors if they want.

Skydio controller manufacturing
10 of 13 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Skydio controller manufacturing

A Skydio employee stamps a company logo on to an R2 drone joystick controller.

Skydio R2 beacon controller
11 of 13 Skydio

Skydio 2 beacon controller

The Skydio 2 beacon controller

The Skydio R2 joystick controller has a spring-loaded clasp for a phone.
12 of 13 Skydio

Skydio 2 joystick controller

The Skydio 2 joystick controller has a spring-loaded clasp for a phone.

Skydio R2 drone
13 of 13 Skydio

Skydio 2 drone

The Skydio 2 drone

More Galleries

2023 Toyota Sequoia debuts bold new look

More Galleries

2023 Toyota Sequoia debuts bold new look

57 Photos
2022 Ford Bronco Raptor is ready to catch big air

More Galleries

2022 Ford Bronco Raptor is ready to catch big air

55 Photos
The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz is one cute ute

More Galleries

The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz is one cute ute

38 Photos
2022's best TV shows you can't miss on Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus and more

More Galleries

2022's best TV shows you can't miss on Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus and more

64 Photos
The best Nintendo Switch games to play right now

More Galleries

The best Nintendo Switch games to play right now

41 Photos
2022 Ford Bronco Raptor: My, what big everything you have

More Galleries

2022 Ford Bronco Raptor: My, what big everything you have

75 Photos
2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class gains S-Class tech and swagger

More Galleries

2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class gains S-Class tech and swagger

49 Photos