Auterion's New Skynode S Is an Ultra-Compact Autopilot Platform with On-Device AI Smarts

Built around the same flight management unit as the Skynode X, the Skynode S packs everything you need into a tiny footprint.

Software-defined robotics firm Auterion has announced the Skynode S, a fully-integrated autopilot and mission computer designed with deliver full capabilities in a minimal footprint for compact autonomous robots and drones.

"Skynode S is low-cost, extremely compact, and will be produced in the tens of thousands," says Auterion chief executive officer Lorenz Meier of his company's latest autopilot launch, "introducing unprecedented scale to the western drone industry for the first time."

The new Skynode S follows the release of the Skynode X in October last year, which offered a reduction in weight size over the original Skynode while doubling the compute performance of its flight management unit (FMU). The Skynode S, though, is considerably smaller than the X β€” yet, the company claims, can deliver the full functionality available in the Auterion software suite, and uses the same FMUv6x flight management unit.

Measuring just 49Γ—37mm (around 1.9Γ—1.5") and with standard four-hole mounting, the Skynode S can control up to eight motors and/or servos on a range of vehicle platforms, including larger fixed-wing drones. It offers direct input for an 8S lithium-polymer or lithium-ion battery system, without the need for a separate power modules, and can link to most quad electronic speed controls (ESCs) with a single connection.

The company is positioning the new platform not only for flight management but for on-device machine learning and artificial intelligence, promising enough compute power to deploy AI and computer vision applications without the need for an uplink to a more powerful server system. For this, it includes connectivity for two MIPI Camera Serial Interface (CSI) image sensors with USB connectivity for more, with an on-board neural processing unit (NPU) for power-efficient computation.

More information on the Skynode S is available on the Auterion website; the company had not confirmed pricing at the time of writing, but requests that interested parties get in touch through its contact form for more details.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire:
Latest articles
Sponsored articles
Related articles
Latest articles
Read more
Related articles