California’s Freefly Systems introduces a new commercial drone for the enterprise: The Astro. The Astro Enterprise Drone Solution is a collaboration with Auterion, the largest open source drone software platform. The Astro is a multi use enterprise drone for utility, telco, and infrastructure companies, as well as drone service providers and first responders.
The Astro isn’t Freefly’s first offering: the company has been developing drone hardware systems for more than 10 years. Freefly’s existing drone platforms are well known in commercial cinematography and media fields. Freefly has a reputation for building rugged systems capable of handling heavy cameras for perfect imagery: they also have an excellent reputation for support and service. The Astro is designed for enterprise and government customers, a “highly capable workhorse” for mapping, inspection and public safety.
“With a 2 lb payload, the Astro can achieve a 30 minute flight time, supports over nine payload options including the industry leading 60 megapixel Sony A7R4, folds into a backpack, is weather sealed, and cloud connected,” says an Auterion press release. “The Astro is engineered and built by Freefly around the Auterion Skynode reference design and is powered by Auterion Enterprise PX4 software on board and by Auterion Mission Control on the ground station. The platform provides customers’ with fleet management, 4G LTE connectivity for online workflows, predictive maintenance, geotagging, and the Auterion SDK for enterprise developers.”
“The partnership between Freefly and Auterion delivers a drone system that is greater than the sum of its parts. Freefly relentlessly pursues hardware excellence that exceeds their customers expectations, while Auterion enables the user to tap the full power of the Astro by creating a cohesive software ecosystem and user experience,” says the press release.
Tabb Firchau, CEO of Freefly says, “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. We can’t wait to see what users will think!”
“Sony is excited about Auterion-Freefly team’s usage of our new SDK to integrate the Alpha 7R IV full-frame camera into their new enterprise drone system,” said Neal Manowitz, Deputy President of Imaging Product and Solutions Americas for Sony Electronics. “We will continue to evolve our software to meet the growing demands of commercial clients, ultimately allowing them to capture, measure and create in ways never before possible.”
Lorenz Meier, Auterion co-founder and CEO said, “The release of Astro is the culmination of more than a decade of work to make open source the default in the commercial drone industry. Auterion Enterprise PX4 is giving businesses a trusted, known base and better integrations than any of the proprietary alternatives.”
The Astro is available for pre-order today with first units shipping in Q4 2020.