Skydio, Flyability: more drones focus on Remote ID compliance

Remote ID has been a buzzword in the drone industry for a few years now, but this year Remote ID compliance is crucial. Come September 16, 2023 at exactly 12:01 a.m., all drone pilots required to register their UAS must operate their aircraft in accordance with the final rule on remote ID. Given that the September deadline is less than three months away, increasingly more drone makers — recently Skydio and Flyability — have made moves to ensure Remote ID compliance among its customers.

Remote ID compliance Elios 3
Photo courtesy of Flyability.

Flyability launches Remote ID-compliant drone

Even though Flyability is known for making drones that fly indoors, even it’s seeking to become Remote ID compliant. Today, the Swiss drone maker released a new version of its Elios 3 drone that is compliant with FAA regulation on UAS Remote Identification.

That’s despite the fact that its drones are designed to fly in indoor spaces (which are not under FAA regulation). But the company says it doesn’t want its drones restricted to indoor use. In fact, its Elios 3 drone has seen significant use cases outdoors, including inspecting and mapping of pipe racks offshore and on land, as well as radiation surveying of radioactive waste structures. The Elios 3 launched last May as the world’s first collision-tolerant drone equipped with a LiDAR sensor for indoor 3D mapping.

Now, the Elios 3 RID meets all requirements set forth in the FAA’s Remote ID ruling, adding that implementation has adverse effects on the use of the device in areas with no GPS. 

Remote ID compliance Skydio

Skydio drops software update to its follow-me drones

California drone maker Skydio, which is famous for its follow-me drone called the Skydio 2+, released a software update in June that enables Remote ID for your Skydio drone

Skydio drones purchased before Sept. 16, 2022 must be updated with new software (download the Skydio 2/2+ update here and download the Skydio X2E update here). Skydio also has issued Remote ID label templates that are based on FAA Standard Remote ID Compliant label, which should be taped or otherwise securely affixed to your drone.

Drones purchased after September 16 2022 are already good to go.

What’s the buzz around Remote ID?

Remote ID regulation technically went into effect in September 2022, but the real big date here is September 2023. That’s when drone pilots are legally required to abide by the rules and ensure their aircraft is Remote ID compliant, meaning they’re flying a drone that can be identified and located from the ground.

In short, it’s an electronic licensing plate system for drones, with a built-in layer of location information. With it, most drones will have to broadcast certain information about itself (such as its serial number) and its operation (such as its current position, emergency status, speed, the controller’s position, and a timestamp).

There are four different types of drone flights that your operations will fall under as far as the Remote ID rules go. Small drones under 250 grams aren’t impacted at all, if flying for recreational purposes. Drones with Remote ID capability built-in are easy on the pilot’s end, while drones that do not have built-in Remote ID capability necessitate more work from the pilot to become compliant. It’s for that reason that companies like Skydio and Flyability are making versions (or releasing updates to existing models) to reduce work on the drone operator’s end.

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