Skydio

51 - 100 Employees
51 - 100 Engineers
$50M - $100M Funding
Series B

Our fundamental goal is to deliver the power and magic of drones without the complexity. Current drones are cool gadgets for enthusiasts but still a curiosity to mainstream consumers. Our belief is that advanced onboard computer vision and artificial intelligence, combined with world class hardware product design, will yield a breakthrough that makes drones a trusted part of our daily lives.

A big part of what excites us not just what we’re building today, but the possibilities ahead. Onboard intelligence is an architecture not a feature. This intelligence is rooted in a fundamental connection between algorithms, compute hardware, and sensors, which fuels our dedication to building world-class software and hardware teams.

If these are problems you'd like to help solve, we'd love to hear from you.

Skydio photo 1

Why join us?
  • Build flying robots with a passionate group of world-class experts spanning multiple disciplines: Founders met as MIT grad students building autonomous fixed-wing airplanes & co-founded Google X's Project Wing. Our team is made up of leading researchers from many of the top AI/robotics/vision labs and seasoned hardware experts from Apple and Tesla.

  • Already recognized as the leader in autonomous drones, we're at the forefront of an emerging technology category with the potential to transform operations across multiple industries. (McKinsey estimates that “Commercial drones – both corporate and consumer applications – will have an annual impact of $31 billion to $46 billion on the country’s GDP.”)

  • Low-barrier for testing out new ideas and capabilities in real-world scenarios (e.g. your next outdoor adventure).


Engineering at Skydio
Engineering team and processes

We have a world-class hardware product development team but will focus here on an overview of the software side of things:

-Infrastructure/Platform: Backend systems and internal tools for developing, testing, and improving the overall flight system (Python, Javascript, C++, Git, Linux, AWS, Docker, Kubernetes)

-Autonomy (Computer Vision, Deep Learning, Motion Planning/Controls): Developing and implementing flight algorithms (C++, Python, TensorFlow).

-Interface (Mobile & SDK): Full-stack software product development. Prototyping, refining, and shipping compelling self-flying camera experiences (Android, iOS, C++, Python, Javascript).

-Embedded: Onboard software bridging the gap between high-level algorithms and sensors/mechanical hardware (Linux, MCU)

Other processes: Quarterly goal planning w/ significant self-prioritization, system design docs, 2-week sprints, recurring subteam and project-specific standups, rapid prototyping, real-world testing, dogfooding (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eating_your_own_dog_food)

Technical Challenges

Imagine a pocket sized device that can fly for hours, is comparable in noise to a small house fan, costs a few hundred dollars, can capture omnidirectional three dimensional video, has access to the internet at all times, and freely communicates with people around it through sound and light. Imagine also that this device has agility and maneuvering capabilities beyond those of a bird, acts with human level intelligence in whatever capture or communication task it is given, and most importantly its behavior is easily customized by software developers for whatever applications they can imagine. While this is pretty far from a description of any current drones, including ours, the trajectories of silicon, camera, and most importantly AI/SW technologies combined with the physics of flight, make this a virtual certainty at some point.

Across the board, our technology will become a universal platform for physical computing in the world. Our core electronics and navigation stack will power a range of products across different payloads and geometries, which themselves will expose APIs to provide expressive control of our drones. A key goal will be to build powerful APIs that can reason at a high level and preserve our core capabilities, so third party developers don’t have to worry about the problems we’ve solved. This will span from behavior that users can program in our app and share with friends to fundamental integrations with existing business systems. Done right, this platform will grow into a vast ecosystem of apps and ideas across film, inspection, mapping, delivery, security, agriculture, accessibility, entertainment, and gaming. Using a Skydio product will mean harnessing the full weight of the state of the art in AI and robotics to solve your problem.

Challenges/opportunities:

  • Achieving state-of-the-art autonomy onboard super small, highly optimized hardware

    • Leveraging the power of the Skydio Autonomy Engine to deliver a seamless end-user experience that feels more like taking a picture with your iPhone and less like sitting in the cockpit of an airplane
  • Building tools and systems for analyzing and learning from the vast amounts of real-world autonomous flight data generated by the vehicles

  • Building and shipping cutting-edge aerospace and robotic systems at a consumer electronics pace and scale

Projects you might work on
  • Prototype, refine, and ship compelling self-flying drone experiences that leverage the power of the Skydio Autonomy Engine. E.g. https://youtu.be/ID3xdv8FHZA & https://youtu.be/7DdlnuvFR8c.

  • Write a WebGL-based simulator environment for SDK developers to fly and test their code

  • Design the APIs used on the drone for communicating with mobile apps and the cloud

  • Write tools for effectively parsing and analyzing real-time performance of the full flight software stack

  • Create a web-based log player that lets internal teams easily parse through videos and flight data

Tech stack
Android
Linux
C++
Python
Git
Tensorflow
JavaScript
Docker
AWS
Ffmpeg
Flask
Jenkins
PostgreSQL
TypeScript
React
Redux
Redis
Modern Front-End Frameworks
NGINX
Ansible

Working at Skydio

Solving hard problems that unlock powerful product experiences is what gets us up everyday, and we approach development with an adventurous spirit. It’s not an accident that our work has us spending a lot of time outdoors and our office has a backyard for test flying, team meals, and general relaxation.

We value raw intellectual horsepower, relentless resourcefulness, curiosity, and hunger to learn. We've had a lot of success hiring relatively junior people based on these traits and putting them in positions of significant ownership within the team.

Company Retreats
Flexible Hours
Pet Friendly
Maternal/Paternal Leave
Health Insurance
Relocation
Team Activities

External Links

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