Skydio Unveils Fully Autonomous Camera Drone

By Mike Ball / 19 Feb 2018

Skydio R1 camera drone

Skydio has announced the availability of the company’s first product, the R1, a fully autonomous flying camera drone. Skydio has designed the R1 for visual storytelling applications.

“The promise of the self-flying camera has captured people’s imaginations, but today’s drones still need to be flown manually for them to be useful,” says Adam Bry, CEO and co-founder of Skydio. “We’ve spent the last four years solving the hard problems in robotics and artificial intelligence necessary to make fully autonomous flight possible. We’re incredibly excited about the creative possibilities with R1, and we also believe that this technology will enable many of the most valuable drone applications for consumers and businesses over the coming years.”

R1 was built from the ground up for autonomous flight and is powered by the Skydio Autonomy Engine, enabling it to see and understand the world around it so that it can fly safely at high speeds while avoiding obstacles, even in dense and challenging environments. It can see people and anticipate how they will move, letting R1 make intelligent decisions about how to get the smoothest, most cinematic footage in real-time. The only tool required to capture 4K video with R1 is Skydio’s mobile app.

The Skydio Autonomy Engine sees the world through R1’s 13 cameras, giving it the ability to map and understand the world in real-time, allowing it to be fully autonomous and independently capture footage. Powered by NVIDIA Jetson, a powerful AI supercomputer, R1 is able to make intelligent decisions, plan real-time movements, and navigate complex environments.

Launching R1 is done by swiping up with one finger in the Skydio app. Capturing dynamic shots takes a single tap on one of the available cinematic modes like Follow, Orbit, or Side. HD-video clips of the flight can be made with the Skydio app.

R1 is built with cutting-edge aerospace materials — including lightweight aluminum and carbon fiber — in a slim design that fits in a backpack.

Posted by Mike Ball Mike Ball is our resident technical editor here at Unmanned Systems Technology. Combining his passion for teaching, advanced engineering and all things unmanned, Mike keeps a watchful eye over everything related to the unmanned technical sector. With over 10 years’ experience in the unmanned field and a degree in engineering, Mike’s been heading up our technical team here for the last 8 years. Connect & Contact