Here we go again, another follow-me drone to capture your rad mountain biking shred-fests. So many have promised this feat but none have come close to delivering on the promise of self-flying video capture.
Skydio does a fine job following Stacey the mountain biker in this promo video.
The technology is certainly getting there with self-driving cars and chipsets like the one on this drone from Intel, purpose-built for these applications. What’s been missing is the right set of rocket scientists to work on this problem of spatial awareness and collision avoidance.
Enter a pair of Massachusetts Institute of Technology engineering graduates and $70 million in funding to introduce the Skydio self-flying R1 drone/camera. Utilizing 13 cameras to map the world plus an Nvidia Jetson chip found in some of the most advanced self-driving cars. The Skydio R1 promises to capture your adventures on video and not hit anyone or anything.
To say that this is a difficult problem to solve is an understatement. We at Mtbr have seen and heard from many efforts in this arena, and they’ve all delivered nothing substantial or usable.
The tech behind this Skydio is backed up with bright minds.
Some examples are 3D Robotics Iris drone, Lily Robotics, and their vaporware drone and $30+ million in lost gofundme funds. And finally, GoPro and their Karma drone which was not self-flying but aimed to have follow-me features, recently cancelled.
So we ARE skeptical of this product. But listening to the the team gives us confidence that great strides have been made to get this product launch. And the next couple of years will push this company and the brightest minds in this category.
This is a great interview from tested.com digging to the Skydio’s details.
Skydio has raised about $70 million in funding since it was founded in 2014.
- Size: 13”x16”x1.5”
- Weight: 2.2 lbs
- Battery: 16 minutes each, 2 batteries included
- Top speed: 25 mph
- 4k, 30fps
- 1080p, 30, 60fps
- Vibration isolated
- 150° FOV
- 64GB onboard storage
- 1.5 hrs @ 4K, 4.5 hrs @ 1080p30
- Stabilized (2 axes mechanical gimbal, 1 axis flight control)
- Pitch range: +50° to -105°
- Roll range: +35° to -35°
- 256-core Nvidia Jetson GPU
- Quad-core 64-bit ARM CPU
- 4GB RAM
Live Video Stream
- 720p, 15fps
- Wi-Fi range 300 ft (Depending on phone)
- 12x navigation cameras for omnidirectional vision
- 1x user video camera
- 4x IMU
- Instant clip creation after every flight via the Skydio app
- Full flight recording can be downloaded, edited over USB
The price for the Skydio R1 is $2499. For more information, visit www.skydio.com.
And when perfected, there’s that issue of trail use legality. Thoughts?