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Verizon shutting down Skyward drone administration firm

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Skyward’s drone software program platform will probably be unavailable after June 30, 2022. | Supply: Verizon

Skyward, a drone administration firm owned by Verizon, is shutting down. The corporate’s drone software program platform helped prospects handle their complete drone workflow, together with coaching crews, planning missions, accessing managed airspace and extra. 

Skyward despatched its prospects an electronic mail to announce the closure. The e-mail said: “We’re saying at the moment that Skyward, a Verizon firm, will probably be ending operations within the coming weeks. This was not a straightforward determination. The Verizon Robotics crew will probably be focusing our efforts on floor robotic administration, connectivity providers, and answer improvement.”

Skyward started in 2013 in Portland, Oregon, and was acquired by Verizon in 2017. On the time, Verizon deliberate to make use of the corporate’s know-how to streamline drone operation administration via one platform. 

For the reason that acquisition, Skyward’s drones obtained an Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) waiver to function throughout Washington’s 2020 wildfires. The FAA and Skyward additionally collaborated in 2021 to check cellular-connected drones. 

Screenshot of a part of the e-mail Verizon Skyward prospects obtained saying the shutdown.

The choice to shut Skyward got here as a shock to most of the firm’s prospects. In keeping with the e-mail despatched to prospects, Skyward’s Drone Administration Platform will proceed to be in use via June 30, 2022. Afterwards, customers will now not have entry, in accordance with the corporate. 

“This determination is about market agility and making certain that Verizon continues to deal with areas that present each close to and mid-term progress alternatives,” A Verizon consultant instructed DroneLife. “We proceed to focus our funding on floor robotics together with incubedIT, supporting industrial and outside makes use of within the US and Europe.”

In February 2021, Verizon acquired incubed IT, an Austria-based startup that develops autonomous navigation and fleet administration software program for autonomous cell robots (AMRs). Verizon launched its Robotics Enterprise Know-how unit, which included Skyward, in July 2021. The corporate gained an RBR50 Robotics Innovation Award in 2022. 

Since opening the brand new enterprise unit, Verizon appears to have pivoted an increasing number of in direction of AMRs. “The Verizon Robotics Group allows enterprise prospects to effectively undertake and scale Autonomous Cell Robots (AMR) to enhance productiveness, ship quicker time to perception, and scale back prices via automation and 5G,” it mentioned in a press release to DroneLife.

The video under from CES 2021 particulars a part of the imaginative and prescient Skyward and Verizon had for the long run.

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