Freefly Systems, which is known for producing high-end cinematography drones, including the Alta X, and Auterion, the largest open source drone software platform, recently announced the release of the Astro drone. An Enterprise solution combining respective hardware and software expertise from Freefly and Auterion, the Astro is geared toward commercial professionals working in utility, telco, and infrastructure companies. Both companies believe drone service providers and first responders will benefit as well.
What’s notable about this system is that it is made in America, Washington state to be exact. President Trump’s move on banning government use of Chinese drones has created issues with battling recent wildfires. Skydio, another US-based drone manufacturer, announced its entry into the commercial market back in July and Parrot also released its ANAFI USA drone for the enterprise. Now it has company. Here are some of the features the Freefly Astro drone offers:
- A 2-pound payload
- 3-axis gimbal with a payload quick release
- 30-minute flight time
- Compatibility with leading cameras including the Sony Alpha 7R IV and FLIR Duo Pro R
- Folds down to fit into a backpack
- 1 minute 27 seconds from opening your backpack or case to launch
- Auterion Enterprise PX4 software
- 4G LTE connectivity for online workflows
- Auterion SDK for enterprise developers
“Partnering with Auterion to bring the Astro to market allowed us to aim much higher than we could have on our own. As a small self-funded startup of 35 people we have huge ambitions and often end up having to cut scope from the end product. Working with Auterion allowed us to deliver even more than we originally planned. The open architecture and collaborative nature at Auterion enabled several key pivots during the product development process, ultimately landing on a product that is more flexible, efficient, and ultra adaptable,” says Tabb Firchau, CEO of Freefly.
Both Freefly and Auterion have over a decade’s worth of experience developing their respective products. The Astro is currently available for pre-order and is expected to start shipping in Q4, 2020.