Drones With ‘Most Advanced AI Ever’ To Track Your Movements Could Soon Be Used By Police

by : Niamh Shackleton on :

Drones with hugely advanced artificial intelligence (AI) may be used by local law enforcement in the near future.

The drones, created by California-based company Skydio, have been trialled by police and successfully helped a SWAT team bring down two armed suspects.


The incident, which took place last year, saw the team involved in a five-hour stand-off with the two gunmen, who were holed up in a large suburban house. SWAT then used the Skydio drone to weave through the woods where the house was located to get footage of the two culprits. The two men handed themselves in 30 minutes later.

America’s border police are next up to try the high-tech drone.


Skydio claims that its drone, Skydio 2, has the most powerful AI ever built and has the ability to follow moving objects while avoiding obstacles. The company’s drones can cost as little as $1,000.


According to Forbes, the drones’ software can even predict a target’s next move, whether that target is a pedestrian or a car – perfect for use on the front line.

Drone DJ had a handful of police officers review the drone at the end of last year to see how useful they found it. Carl Blando, a sergeant detective with the Boston Police Crime Scene Response Unit, said that it proved beneficial when using it higher up, but was less effective at lower heights.

He explained, ‘When you wanted to fly low, it wasn’t always the greatest for what equipment we had. I think it became a lot better when we picked up the Skydio unit… If a suspect runs through a backyard, trying to fly a drone in between buildings, over fences, the Skydio unit definitely helped us out with all that.’


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While the drones are currently controlled by someone on the ground, Skydio cofounder and CEO Adam Bry hopes to create a drone that doesn’t need a pilot.

He told Forbes:

We’re solving a lot of the core problems that are needed to make drones trustworthy and be able to fly themselves. Autonomy – that core capability of giving a drone the skills of an expert pilot built in, in the software and the hardware – that’s really what we’re all about as a company.

These self-flying drones won’t be used by police just yet though, as current Federal Aviation Administration rules state that these type of drones can only fly on their own when a pilot can see the drone or has the ability to regain control over it.


Whether we’ll see them in use next year or in 2030, they seem like a great idea.

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Niamh Shackleton

Niamh Shackleton is a pint sized person and journalist at UNILAD. After studying Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford, she did a year at Caters News Agency as a features writer in Birmingham before deciding that Manchester is (arguably) one of the best places in the world, and therefore moved back up north. She's also UNILAD's unofficial crazy animal lady.

Topics: Technology, Artificial Intelligence, Drones, Now, Police, Tech


Forbes and 1 other
  1. Forbes

    Drones With 'Most Advanced AI Ever' Coming Soon To Your Local Police Department

  2. Drone DJ

    Police officers praise Skydio 2 for ease of use