Axon and Fotokite Offer Tethered Drones for Public Safety

Fotokite says its drone is the only one permitted by the FAA to be operated by public safety personnel without a pilot's license.


Fotokite's tethered drones now work with Axon's law-enforcement systems.

Axon Enterprise Inc. and Fotokite today announced that the Fotokite Sigma UAS with wireless livestreaming and evidence management is now commercially available to public safety customers in the U.S. and Canada. The companies said the drone system includes wireless livestreaming and evidence management capabilities.

The Fotokite Sigma can launch, fly, and land with the push of a button—no setup time, calibration, or active piloting required, claimed the companies. It is the only unmanned aerial system (UAS) that the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration permits any professional public safety team member to operate without the need for a pilot's license or further authorization, they said.

The tethered drone is capable of more than 24-hours of continuous flight time. It is able to withstand extreme weather conditions to ensure it is ready to operate when and where it is needed, said Fotokite.

Partners work to improve situational awareness

Axon and Fotokite, which have been exclusive partners since 2020, said they have changed how agencies use drones for real-time aerial situational awareness. The Axon Respond platform provides ground operators real-time streaming video to support effective decision making and improved outcomes, said the partners.

In addition, the integration of Fotokite's drone with the Axon Evidence digital evidence management systems allows footage to be easily and securely stored and managed. This ensures integrity and availability throughout the chain of custody, they said.

“We are thrilled to bring an actively tethered drone solution to public safety,” stated Jeff Kunins, chief product officer and executive vice president of software at Axon. “Whether the use case is traffic control, accident scene management, search and rescue, or routine patrol, users can easily operate the Fotokite Sigma to receive a bird's-eye view of an incident.”

“The Fotokite team is proud to work alongside Axon to deliver a solution integrated with situational awareness and evidence management for first responders,” said Christopher McCall, CEO of Fotokite. “Combining Axon's industry-leading Evidence and Respond platforms with autonomous technologies like the Fotokite Sigma helps public safety agencies save lives, serve their communities and stay safe while doing so.”

“While the demands on first responders grow in complexity every day, we are grateful to be part of the solution by delivering actionable intelligence at the push of a button,” he said.

About Axon and Fotokite

Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Axon described itself as “a network of devices, apps, and people that helps public safety personnel become smarter and safer.” The company claimed that it has saved “more than 257,000 lives and countless dollars.” Axon has a global software engineering hub in Seattle, as well as additional offices in Australia, Canada, Finland, Vietnam, the U.K., and the Netherlands.

Perspective Robotics, which does business as Fotokite, said its technology is used on a daily basis to help manage complex, safety-critical situations in North American and European public safety markets. The company has offices in Zurich; Syracuse, N.Y.; and Boulder, Colo. Fotokite is backed by MSA Safety Inc., Swisscanto Invest, Credit Suisse Entrepreneur Capital, Sony Corp., Qualcomm Ventures, and 360 Capital Partners.

For information on pricing and availability, contact or visit

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Fotokite's tethered drones now work with Axon's law-enforcement systems.

Robot Technologies