HomeAutodesk invests in drone technology startup Skycatch

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By Kim Slowey

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Dive Brief:

  • Software company Autodesk, creator of AutoCAD design software, has invested an undisclosed sum in drone data company Skycatch, Inc., according to sUAS News. Autodesk’s investment is part of Skycatch’s $25 million second, or Series B, round of financing.
  • According to the companies’ plans, Skycatch drones will collect aerial data about construction sites, and Autodesk ReCap software will process the information, making it possible for designers, engineers, architects, BIM managers and other AEC professionals to utilize it in their design, workflow and collaboration processes.
  • Skycatch specializes in unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), or drone, services and applications for construction, energy and agricultural companies. The company raised $13.2 million in its first round of financing in May 2014.

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Dive Insight:

Events move quickly on a construction site, much faster than humans can often track. If drones can successfully monitor construction sites, take photos, collect information, and then send that back to the project managers or design team, this collaboration could be a game-changer for the industry.

“Aligning our knowledge and experience with Autodesk’s expertise will yield greater success for our commercial clients. This partnership validates the position and direction for Skycatch within the market, and we are excited to work with their incredibly talented team to explore opportunities for integration that advance how we build for the future,” Skycatch CEO Christian Sanz said in a release.

Autodesk Product Marketing Manager Dominique Pouliquen said: “UAV technology is rapidly transforming the way people gather information, and Skycatch has proven to be among the most influential leaders in the UAV field. We look forward to expanding our collaboration with Skycatch to accelerate the development and adoption of reality capture for our customers across the AEC industries.”

Construction firms and real estate agents are still anxiously awaiting approval to use drones from the Federal Aviation Administration, which hasn’t yet announced blanket rules across all industries for the technology. As of July, 127 construction-related companies had received permission from the FAA to fly drones.

Global construction and engineering giant Bechtel, which was among those companies to receive permission from the FAA to fly drones over its job sites, already employs Skycatch technology.