There’s been a considerable advancement in the world of drone safety thanks to the people over at SkyFallX. For the last few years they’ve been hard at work developing what they call SkyFallX Recovery System, parachutes that fit on top of drones and release automatically when they sense the drone is in danger.

SmartChutes - Autonomous Quadcopter Parachute Recovery System from SmartChutes on Vimeo.

How do they know when to deploy? Because science, that’s how! The SkyFallX Recovery System can be broken down into two main sections. The pod, which contains a small, but effective (for drones, not people) parachute, and the sensor bay. The sensor bay is fitted with an accelerometer and a gyroscope, so if the SkyFallX Recovery System senses the drone free-falling, or if it rotates beyond 90 degrees, the parachute automatically deploys. It takes the human element completely out of the equation. Drone experiencing technical difficulties? recovery system will still deploy. Flew your drone way, way out of your field of vision? recovery system will still deploy. What if your battery dies and your drone becomes a powerless chunk of metal and plastic plummeting towards the ground below? The SkyFallX Recovery System comes with its own battery pack, so it will still deploy.

Why is this important? Well, besides the obvious benefit of your expensive drone becoming a shattered pile of broken dreams, one of the major obstacles in the fight against drone regulations is the argument that a falling drone has the potential to seriously injure or even kill anyone it might come in contact with. With SkyFallX Recovery System, this isn’t a problem. Not only does the recovery system slow the falling drone to a safe speed of descent, it sounds an alarm to notify any unsuspecting parties below. If SkyFallX can demonstrate this effectively to law-makers, it could create a major shift in drone regulatory law.

Plus, it’s an accessory, and accessories are awesome.

Right now, SkyFallX is furiously looking for funding. Intelligent drone-chutes ain’t cheap! I doubt they’ll have too much trouble, though. They’ve got a cool product that could really do some good for the drone community.

SkyFallX, Drone Law Journal, SUAS News