The Skydio R1 is the most impressive autonomous drone on the market today. It uses 13 different cameras to see obstacles in every direction. Those cameras communicate with a 256-core AI supercomputer, the NVDIA Jetson, to map areas around it. The 3D map allows the MIT-designed Skydeo to avoid obstacles in its way.
The R1 is both lightweight and durable so it is easy to take with you and can handle the occasional mishap. While DJI may have been the first to proliferate visual object tracking and obstacle avoidance, it is clear that they suddenly have a lot of catching up to do, as they have been surpassed by the Skydio R1.
The main camera is capable of capturing 4K footage at 30 fps or 1080p at 60 fps. It uses a mechanical two-axis gimbal combined with electronic image stabilization to ensure smooth video. It has a wide 150-degree field of view to help capture video footage.
The Skydio has 64 GB of onboard storage which is enough for 1.5 hours of 4K video or up to 4.5 hours of 1080p video.
The Skydio was built to fly autonomously but can be controlled via your smartphone through an app. The range is limited to the WiFi connection of your phone and would max out around 100 meters in perfect conditions. You will get about 16 minutes of flight time from the Skydio R1.
The Skydio R1 is a game-changing drone. It shows that real autonomous flight is possible. We hope that other manufacturers like DJI take note and implement something similar soon. At $2499 the Skydio R1 Frontier Edition isn’t cheap, but if you are looking for the best Follow Me drone on the market, this is it.
If you are looking for something more reasonably priced but you still want obstacle avoidance features, we would recommend either the DJI Mavic Air or the Phantom 4 Pro V2.0. The Air is smaller and compact but only has front and rear obstacle avoidance. The Phantom has it on the front, back, and sides as well but it is a larger drone.
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