Drone News Roundup: Skydio Recognized as Company of the Year, Drone Champions League Launches Women’s Cup, and More!

BY Zacc Dukowitz
16 April 2021

This week we’re covering the news that Skydio has been recognized as the North American drone company of the year by consulting firm Frost & Sullivan.

We’re also covering the launch of a new drone racing cup for women called the DCL Women’s Cup by the Drone Champions League, a stunning aerial tour of Hong Kong, a viral video showcasing ways to get “drone” shots where drones aren’t allowed to fly, and DroneAnalyst’s call for survey respondents for its annual survey.

Now let’s get to those links!

Skydio Recognized as U.S. Drone Company of the Year

Photo credit: Skydio

Skydio has been recognized as the company of the year by consulting firm Frost & Sullivan. The specific title of the award Skydio got is kind of a mouthful: North America Company of the Year Award for Excellence and World-Class Performance in the Commercial Drone Industry.

Frost & Sullivan uses a data-driven approach to choose winners for awards like this, including reviewing “best practices criteria” that are evaluated across two dimensions, according to a recent press release from Skydio. The award is yet another feather in Skydio’s cap after a string of major announcements, starting with the launch of its X2 enterprise drones in July of last year. Skydio’s proprietary autonomy technology seems to be a large contributing factor in the criteria considered by Frost & Sullivan in making its choice. But the company’s selection for the Pentagon’s list of five Blue UAS approved for government use and its new strategic partnerships with giants like Axon probably didn’t hurt.


Drone Champions League Launches DCL Women’s Cup


The Drone Champions League recently announced a new drone racing cup for women. Called the DCL Women’s Cup, the first annual cup will be held this year. DCL Women’s Cup pilots will be part of the eight teams that compete in the DCL World Championship 2021, with the two competitions running parallel to each other. (The two competitions will not overlap, but female pilots may be selected for the DCL World Cup 2021 if teams wish to be represented in both tournaments.)

According to DCL, the goal of the new cup is to “shine a light on the talent of women in drone racing . . . We want to inspire girls and women, get them excited about drone sports and grow the entire FPV community.” Now that is a cause we can get behind.


Check Out This Aerial Tour of Hong Kong from Timelab Pro

Magic of Hong Kong. Mind-blowing cyberpunk drone video of the craziest Asia’s city by Timelab.pro


We’re a sucker for a good aerial tour. And lately the creators at Timelab Pro—a Russian-based aerial services company—have been pumping out some very impressive content. This tour of Hong Kong shows an impressive touch when it comes to getting just the right shot, syncing the music with what’s on the screen, and also showing a narrative arc through images. From the dark, brooding cityscape that starts the video to the giant statue of the Buddha in what could be the morning light at the end, the video manages to pack a journey and a real sense of place into just under three and a half minutes.

The team at Timelab Pro has been around since 2010, and in that time it has racked up two wins at the New York City Drone Film Festival, over 400,000 YouTube subscribers, and clients like Universal, Paramount, the BBC, and the New York Times.


Viral Video Shows How to Get “Drone” Shots in No Drone Zones Using Low Budget Tricks

Want to get a drone shot in places where you can’t fly your drone? A video by content creator Karen X. Cheng that recently went viral highlights some low-budget tricks to get the feel of an aerial shot without actually using a drone. Some of the tricks she employs include hanging a camera from a kite, attaching a camera to a fishing rod, and even sliding a camera along a zipline. While all of these methods may not sound very impressive, the end result looks pretty drone-ish—not to mention professional—to us. Watch the video above to see what we’re talking about, and follow the link below to learn more about Cheng and other tricks she’s come up with to mimic the look and feel of aerial shots without using a drone.


DroneAnalyst’s Annual Drone Market Survey Is Live


It’s that time of year again—DroneAnalyst is conducting its annual market survey, and it needs your help to get the pulse of the drone market. How can you help? By taking the DroneAnalyst survey, of course.

The survey takes about 15 minutes to complete. In exchange for taking the survey, you’ll be entered to win one of two DJI Mavic Minis ($400 value). You’ll also get a free summary of the final report from DroneAnalyst ($95 value).

Wondering if you’re a good fit for taking DroneAnalyst’s survey? If you’re reading this, you probably are, but just in case here is a list of who DroneAnalyst is looking for:

  • Individuals or organizations who have purchased a drone in the past 12 months for any reason
  • Commercial drone service providers
  • Businesses, enterprises, and public agencies that perform drone-based operations


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