The Autonomy Revolution with Hayk Martiros of Skydio

Nathan Labenz interviews Skydio's VP of Autonomy Hayk Martiros on drone technology, AI systems, and the ethical stance against weaponizing drones.


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Video Description

In this episode, Nathan Labenz sits down with Hayk Martiros, VP of Autonomy at Skydio. Martiros leads the autonomy team, which holds the state of the art in complex autonomous flight. Skydio is the largest drone developer in the US, and recently raised $230M to expand its US manufacturing 10-fold, bringing its valuation to $2.2 billion. In this discussion, Hayk and Nathan discuss why Skydio will not weaponize its drones, Skydio’s systems and AI approach, and the considerations of choosing an autonomous system over a human agent.

End-to-End Learning of Geometry and Context for Deep Stereo Regression (Skydio’s 2017 paper):

(00:00) Episode Preview
(01:12) Nathan’s episode intro
(07:44) Hayk’s story
(11:21) What is Skydio?
(14:59) Sponsor: Omneky
(16:56) The core driver of Skydio’s business
(20:21) Skydio’s AI approach
(23:56) Updating the voltage 30,000 times per second
(24:52) How is the Skydio system built?
(34:07) The loops in the Skydio system
(36:00) SymForce, Skydio’s open source library and Hayk’s creation
(41:06) Writing symbolic expressions as a roboticist
(42:14) Writing an expression for a toy race car
(47:58) Skydio neural networks
(51:29) Going from designed systems to end-to-end systems
(58:17) How much does a Skydio drone and dock cost to install?
(01:00:19) The cost savings of using a Skydio drone
(01:02:59) Are $1 drone missions in the consumer’s future?
(01:06:22) Vertical integration vs platform
(01:09:29) The advantages and disadvantages of drones
(01:11:17) Running LLMs on a drone
(01:14:36) Power consumption going to compute vs mechanics
(01:18:26) Hayk’s predictions for consumer autonomous systems
(01:21:51) Standards for choosing autonomous systems over humans
(01:25:23) Skydio’s societal impact
(01:28:34) Universal basic income
(01:30:27) Skydio drone usage in defense
(01:34:34) The Ukraine-Russia conflict
(01:38:02) Hayk’s experience with the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

@SkydioHQ (Skydio)
@labenz (Nathan)
@eriktorenberg (Erik)

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