The upcoming Skydio 2 drone could be the ultimate action sports filming companion. It uses six 4k cameras to “see” its environment, then process it all with advanced AI, letting it follow you virtually anywhere…at full speed. And film you the whole time. Check this out:
Designed, engineered and built in the USA, the Skydio 2 promises some insane specs:
- 3.5km range
- 23 minute flight time
- 36mph top speed
- completely autonomous obstacle avoidance
- free repair or replacement if it crashes
- $999 MSRP
And as for the film quality, the 4k camera will shoot at up to 60fps, all stabilized with a 3-axis gimbal. Or drop the resolution slightly to get 120fps slow motion. It’ll also shoot 12MP RAW photos, helping you capture whatever type of footage you’re after. The quality should be good, too – it uses a Sony sensor, Qualcomm RedDragon processor and 100MB/S bitrate. And it does all that in HDR to keep hot spots from getting blown out, and shadows from disappearing.
With sensor cameras all over the chassis and a built in GPS mapping system, it’s able to not just create a 3D rendering of its environment in real time, but also able to navigate it at high speed. Compared to other drones in this price range that offer partial obstacle avoidance only in some planes, the Skydio 2 steps it up with full 360º awareness of its surroundings. Watch the demo reel above and you’ll see what this allows – spinning in flight to keep you in frame no matter where you are in relation to the drone.
You can control it one of three ways: With the tracker, your phone, or a full featured remote that uses your smartphone as the screen. The phone app means less to bring with you, and lets you pin-point routes using street & satellite maps to tell the drone where to fly. And you can download pics and vids right away for sharing.
As with all drones, through, range is limited (just 200m) when using your phone as the controller, mainly due to the phone’s limited WiFi transmission power. Add the Skydio Beacon (left) and you can point to where you want the Drone to start, then it’ll aim at your and follow you as you go. The Beacon ups the range to 1.5km, but for the biggest range, grab the remote and get 3.5km.
The remote control also lets you fly it just like any other drone, but with the added benefit of the obstacle avoidance keeping you from doing something stupid. Need to get from point A to B? Just gun it in that direction and the drone will make sure it (you) doesn’t hit anything along the way.
The Skydio 2 comes with its own case and one battery, plus an extra set of propellers, for $999 (pre-order now, they start shipping in November). The Beacon and Controller are sold separately for $149 each, extra batteries are $99 each, and propeller sets are $24.
Check their website for comparison footage between it and other drones, plus a full tech specs list.