It’s not easy to fly DJI’s drones despite all the sensors. The newly introduced Skydio 2 virtually eliminates the need for you. The drone does it with artificial intelligence.
Skydio is one of the most innovative names on the drone side. The first model, the Skydio R1, has done an amazing job with artificial intelligence but could not reach the end-user, as it was kinda big and at $2,500, prohibitively expensive for the majority.
Now the company announced its new drone Skydio 2, which is appealing to a wider audience with both price and size. The new model is much smaller, lighter, quieter, has an improved camera and more life than its predecessor, the Skydio R1.
So far, Skydio 2 is considered a potential competitor for Mavic 2 Pro. The drone comes in the dimensions (with the 4280 mAh battery): 223mm x 273mm x 74mm – nearly 50% the size of the R1. It weighs 775 grams, reaches a top speed of 58 km/h (36 mph), and can fly autonomously for up to 23 minutes, which represents 43% more battery life.
As the main processor, it has a Tegra X2 from NVIDIA, responsible for providing the quick calculations necessary for it to behave so well autonomously and successfully avoid obstacles.
For cameras, its flagship system features a Sony IMX577 sensor that promises 10-bit HDR recordings, 4K 60fps, and 12.3MP photos, managed by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 605 SoC. The navigation system has six other 4K cameras (three above and three below) working in conjunction with the Skydio Autonomy Engine. The drone still promises to capture much more of its surroundings with a 200-degree field of view and 45-megapixel visual detection, autonomous flight system managed by the Tegra X2 chip.
To ride Skydio 2, there are three different modes to choose from: the app available for both Android and IOS, the Controller joystick and the new Skydio Beacon, a controller similar to a television controller. While the communication range between a Skydio 2 and a smartphone is about 200 meters, the beacon extends that to 1.5 kilometers, and the controller has a range of 3.5 km.
Besides, the drone has a GPS sensor too, so if the Skydio 2 can no longer see you, it can fall back to GPS for tracking. More features include options like Dronie, Rocket, and Cable Cam to help with high quality captures. Skydio also claims that it is the “easiest to fly and hardest to hit planet drone.”
The Skydio 2 starts at $999 and a Controller, and a Skydio Beacon can be bought for an additional $149 each. Overall not cheap, but compared to the first version. The company also promises to repair or replace your lost or damaged drone for free as long as you fly within their safety guidelines.