Available on the Skydio X10 drone, NightSense enables drone operators to fly in zero-light environments. This revolutionary system makes the X10 the ideal platform for inspections, mapping, public safety, and other critical operations that take place GPS-denied or high EMI environments.

“NightSense enables operators to fly with confidence 24/7—no matter how much light is available,” said Jason Tillman, Director of Product Marketing at Skydio. “This is a first in the drone world. No other drone can provide obstacle avoidance in complete darkness. It's only available on the Skydio X10.”

NightSense is an attachment that augments the six high-resolution navigation cameras with 360° perception found on Skydio X10 drones. NightSense “lights the way” for the X10 navigation cameras, unlocking their perception even in total darkness.

This provides unrivaled situational awareness, night and day, and represents a dramatic improvement over widely used infrared systems. 

According to Tillman, the pairing of NightSense with the Skydio X10 will benefit drone operators performing a wide variety of missions. “There are many industries, notably public safety and defense, where missions are not limited to only daylight hours,” he said. “Police are often most active during the evening and late-night hours, typically from 6 PM to 2 AM.

Skydio X10

A drone often will be used during this time and without the ability to confidently navigate these hours with minimal/no light, its usefulness is negligible. We built the X10 with NightSense to unlock those critical hours where drone missions can maximize impact for the community and agencies alike.”

Although the capabilities enabled by NightSense are particularly valuable for nighttime operations, the system can bring real value to almost any drone-based application. “Drone autonomy (e.g. obstacle avoidance) is useful in every type of mission,” he asserted. “Knowing you can focus on the mission at hand and not about crashing into trees, buildings, or other obstacles enables operators to complete their tasks faster, more accurately and with less stress.” 

Introduced last fall, the small and easy-to-operate Skydio X10 was designed for enterprise and public safety applications. In addition to NightSense, the drone boasts many impressive features. For example, the AI used to power autonomous flights is powered by 10x improvements in computing power, and the X10 Spatial AI engine enables real-time environment mapping and fully automated modeling at the edge with 3D Scan and Onboard Modeling.

In addition, the X10 is modular in design, with four payload bays, replaceable gimbal sensor packages, and an IP55 weather resistance rating. The versatile airframe can move easily between operations, and the drone can go from folded up in a backpack to flying in the air in less than 40 seconds.

Learn more about the Skydio X10 and NightSense. 

Also, watch our NightSense "Behind the Build" video below.