Drones manufactured in the U.S. are gaining traction – and a new partnership between U.S. manufacturer Skydio and Arris, a leader in advanced manufacturing of high-performance products, could help to revolutionize drone design and manufacturing.
Skydio and Arris “have redefined airframe design leveraging Additive Molding™, Arris’s breakthrough carbon fiber manufacturing technology,” says a press release. Arris’s Additive Molding™ is “…a high-speed composites manufacturing technology, combining continuous aligned fibers and electronic components within topology-optimized structures.” Skydio says the new design and manufacturing process will result in better aircraft and faster manufacturing.
Skydio will implement the new design and manufacturing process starting with the new Skydio X2 drone. The new carbon fiber tech will mean “lighter, longer-range, and more robust aircraft structures at scale,” says the release.
The collaboration with Skydio is the first use of Arris’s technology in the drone industry, and could lead to additional game-changing advantages for Skydio’s drones manufactured in the U.S:
- Advanced airframe design with component consolidation allowing Skydio to replace a 17 part assembly with a single, multi-functional structure.
- Strength and stiffness of titanium at a fraction of the weight, enabling the Skydio X2 to increase range, and speed
- Optimized carbon and glass fiber layout based on functional requirements of individual regions of the airframe
- Scalable US-based manufacturing and innovation to bring peak aerospace performance at lower cost
“We are excited about the value that our partnership with Arris will bring to our customers. At Skydio, we pursue cutting edge innovation across all facets of drone technology. The unique properties of Arris’s Additive Molding carbon fiber allow us to optimize the strength, weight, and radio signal transparency of the Skydio X2 airframe to deliver a highly reliable solution that meets the needs of demanding enterprise, public safety, and defense use cases” says Adam Bry, Skydio’s CEO.
Skydio X2 series are autonomous aircraft designed for either enterprise or defense use. They are a small, foldable drone designed for rugged use. The new manufacturing method should be stronger, lighter – and faster to produce. “The X2 airframe will include a newly designed core structural element manufactured with Arris’s Additive Molding™ technology. Arris’s first-of-its-kind Additive Molding leverages 3D-aligned continuous fiber composite materials for complex shapes where material composition can change within regions of a single part. As a result, Skydio has been able to use a single carbon-fiber component with the structural results that would have otherwise required 17 parts.”
“The evolution of aerospace design has been punctuated by breakthroughs in manufacturing and materials. Such a moment has come where manufacturing of optimized structures has converged with composite materials ideals to unlock previously impossible, high-performance aerospace designs,” says Ethan Escowitz, founder and CEO of Arris. “While we’re working with leading aerospace manufacturers to improve aircraft performance, sustainability, and costs; Skydio’s culture and market have enabled an unsurpassed pace of innovation that has fast-tracked this transformation to deliver the next-generation of aerostructures. It’s simply amazing to see such a revolutionary product broadly available and flying today.”