Civilian in Florida Controls Drone Over Detroit With Commands Sent From Italy

Mind-bending, we know, and something our parents certainly never thought possible: a pilot remote-controlled a drone from over 1,000 miles (1,609 km) away, but with his commands sent to the thing from servers located even further, in Italy.
1,000 miles are nothing for modern-day drone pilots 1 photo
Photo: Fat Shark
One could argue the military does this all the time, and from even greater distances. Yes, but this is not the military we’re talking about, but civilians.

Two companies, one in the business of making hardware for drone racing and the other assembling actual UAVs, came together for what it is a very impressive feat. Fat Shark and Skypersonic is how the two are called, and together they achieved “the first commercial completion of a remote flight similar to how drones are used by military forces.”

The details of how all this went down have not been announced. What we do know is that the drone used for the test was a Skycopter, powered by a new flight technology called Shark Byte. According to the two companies, the flight, which was made public earlier this week, involved a pilot in Orlando, Florida, controlling a drone flying in Detroit, Michigan. He did so while giving the drone commands that were routed through servers in Italy.

"The ability to control the flight of a drone from thousands of miles away should accelerate the commercial adoption of drone technology, expand the number of business services that can be provided by drones, and lower travel and training costs for companies deploying drones," said in a statement Jeff Thompson, CEO of Red Cat.

"The combination of our recently launched Shark Byte digital system and Skypersonic's patent-pending software platform provides video resolution that will enable pilots to navigate more safely and execute commercial flights that were not possible with an analog system."

As a result of the test, which you can learn more about in the video below, Skypersonic announced it would be upgrading its fleet of uncrewed fliers to use the new Shark Byte digital system.

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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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