New Drones, Award Winners, and More—All the Drone News from CES 2023

BY Zacc Dukowitz
10 January 2023

The annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) wrapped up a few days ago in Las Vegas and there were a lot of big drone launches and news that came out of the event.

ces-2023-drones

CES is one of the largest electronics and technology events in the world. This year it had over 3,000 exhibitors, a third of which were new for 2023.

To accommodate all those companies, the exhibition hall was expanded to include over two million square feet of exhibit space—a growth of 70% from last year, when attendance was still relatively low due to COVID-19.

Because of its size, CES provides a great venue for drone companies to kick the year off with a bang by launching new products and showcasing their latest technology. Last year at CES Sony launched Airpeak, the first drone it’s ever made, and Skydio unveiled the Skydio 2+ along with its KeyFrame mode.

Let’s take a look at all the drone-related launches and news that came out of CES 2023.

Major Drone News from CES 2023

Here’s some highlights we’ve selected from all the drone-related news that came out of CES last week.

Autel Launches the EVO Max 4T Drone

Autel Robotics EVO MAX 4T New Release!

The biggest drone launch of CES 2023 may be Autel’s new enterprise drone, the EVO Max 4T. With an impressive 42 minutes of flight time, the Max 4T is a rugged drone equipped with a thermal sensor that can fly without GPS, allowing it to support remote operations where it may not be available. The Max 4T made for public safety and inspections, but could also be used for a variety of other commercial applications.

Autel Launches the Dragonfish NEST and EVO NEST

autel-evo-nest-ces-2023
Credit: Autel

Autel also launched two new nests, or docking stations, at CES this year—one for its enterprise Dragonfish drone and one for its consumer EVO drone. The Dragonfish is an eVTOL (vertical takeoff and landing) drone, and Autel says that the Dragonfish Nest is the first ever made for such a craft.

DJI Not Allowed to Exhibit

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Credit: DJI

Another piece of drone-related news from CES this year is that DJI was banned from exhibiting due to its inclusion on the Department of Defense’s official blacklist. The company was added to that list in October of last year.

Apparently CES doesn’t allow companies on that list to exhibit or participate. That being said, we haven’t seen any official confirmation of DJI being banned or, we should note, any indication that DJI had planned to attend even if it wasn’t.

Ring Showcases the Always Home Mini Drone

Ring Always Home Cam | The World’s First Flying Indoor Security Camera for Your Home | Ring

Ring first started talking about its Always Home Cam back in 2020, but at that point it was just a concept. The Cam is a mini drone designed to do security flights when you’re not home. At CES 2023, Ring shared its first real-world look at the drone in flight, though it still hasn’t announced a price or release date. When the mini drone is available, you’ll need to train it by walking it around your home, following the flight path you want it to follow. One thing to note—like most drones, the Always Home Cam is loud. Good thing it will only be flying when you’re not home.

Skye Air Mobility Launches the Skye UTM Platform

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Credit: Skye Air Mobility

Skye Air Mobility, a drone logistics company based in India, launched its Skye UTM platform at CES this year, showcasing what it calls one of the “most advanced UTM* platforms in the world,” which comes with numerous layers of data for drone operators and other stakeholders.

*Note: UTM stands for Unmanned Traffic Management, and refers to the logistics involved in incorporating drones into any national airspace.

VICE News Documentary Featuring Flyability’s Elios 3

Flyability, makers of the Elios 3 indoor drone, was at CES to promote the short documentary it participated in with VICE News last year.

Why You Should Be Worried About This Glacier

Ouster, makers of the LiDAR sensor that comes on the Elios 3, shared a booth with Flyability. The VICE News documentary covered a trip to Iceland that Flyability and Ouster made with researchers from an organization called La Venta to study the effects of climate change by 3D mapping glacial melt by drone.

To promote the documentary, Ouster and Flyability had an event at their shared booth and then played the video to a live audience.

Three Drone Awards

Three drone companies received CES 2023 Innovation Awards in the Drones & Advanced Air Mobility category this year—Skydio, SkySafe Cloud, and CLROBUR.

Skydio’s Scout

skydio-scout-convoy
Credit: Skydio

Skydio received its award for Scout, an advanced object tracking flight skill, which it released back in September. Scout allows Skydio drones to fly at a set distance and height from either the Skydio Enterprise Controller or the Skydio Beacon while the pilot is on the move, without the pilot having to actually fly the drone at all.

SkySafe Cloud

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Credit: SkySafe Cloud

SkySafe Cloud is a system for tracking city-wide drone operations that uses a sensor network to give stakeholders the data to detect, identify, track and analyze the drones in their airspace without having to buy or maintain expensive hardware.

DROW 4D Lapse

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Credit: CLROBUR

CLROBUR’s DROW 4D Lapse is a web-based app that allows drones to autonomously take pictures for 3D mapping, facility management, or inspections. Using AI and a 3D point cloud of the object of interest, the drone automatically sets waypoints instead of requiring people to set them manually.

Women and Drones Award Winners, Hall of Fame Inductees, and Summit

Major news from Women and Drones this year is that it inducted the first ever group of women into its new Hall of Fame. On the list of those inducted was Sally French of the Drone Girl, Miriam McNabb of DroneLife, and nine other women who have made a significant contribution to the drone industry.

Women and Drones also announced the winners of its Women in Emerging Aviation Technologies Awards at CES, recognizing women in ten different categories.

We have announced our 2022 Women to Watch Global Awards.

In addition to the awards and Hall of Fame announcements, Women and Drones hosted the 2023 Emerging Aviation Technologies Thought Leaders’ Summit at CES this year. The event featured speakers from NASA, the FAA, and the Chula Vista Police Department.

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