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Drones have been fun again

The autonomous flying Skydio 2 camera (referred to by some as a drone) is being delivered to customers today, and that means it's time to talk about our first impressions.

I got my hands on the 2 a few weeks ago and because of my experience with the Skydio R1 I could not have been more zealous. The 2 is superior to the R1 in almost every way. It's smarter, faster and easier to control than ever before.

Skydio's drones do not like anything you've seen or flown before. They are essentially autonomous ̵

1; they navigate with complete object avoidance all by themselves – although the new, smaller model offers different methods of hybrid control. You can control it with an app on your phone or an optional controller sold separately for $ 149.

The controller itself is nothing more than the cheap remote controls I used with other drones. This has been developed in the quality of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 gamepads – it is a modified Parrot Anafi software running proprietary software.

Photo credits: Nicole Gray

When I launched the 2 for the first time, I got a huge, silly grin on my face that I did not could get rid of. It's just too too cool to fly. The only way to describe the experience of flying in tandem with the onboard AI of 2 is to use The Force from Star Wars. You can fly it directly to a tree, and as if it responds to your thoughts, it gently slides out of the way and then corrects itself back to the course on which you sent it. It never feels like the drone does its own thing. It feels like she knows what you want to do.

Credit: Nicole Gray

[19659002] You can also purchase a Beacon Controller ($ 149) that works like a GPS tracker and a remote control. You set up the drone to follow the tracker, put it in your bag or purse, and you can run, ride a bike, ski, drive, or choose another activity, and the Skydio 2 follows you. I have not had a chance to test the beacon yet, but I'll test it thoroughly for our next detailed test.

The Skydio 2 also features an exceptional 4K60FPS main camera based on Sony's 12.3-megapixel IMX577 1 / 2.3 CMOS sensor. In my limited tests, it provided beautiful, clear images with less noise than the R1. Expect a detailed coverage of the camera functions of the 2 also with the full test.

Artificial intelligence is the main attraction here. The Skydio 2 has six cameras on board to monitor the environment, an AI processor, and a proprietary mix of machine learning systems that make it smarter and safer than any other drone I've used. In fact, I'm setting the record here and say I'm pretty sure the Skydio 2 will be my favorite AI product for end users from 2019. I only had about 30 minutes flight time with it – which felt like 30 seconds – subject to an unforeseen deal breaker in my test, it is hard to imagine today that machine learning in a gadget will be more impressive and intuitive.

Credit: Nicole Gray

If you are interested in the Skydio 2 and can afford it, you should afford it , It's not the best drone for aviation enthusiasts (this will not scratch your racing drone), but it's the best drone for AI enthusiasts and independent filmmakers. They would spend more than $ 5 to $ 10,000 to get just one of the stunning aerial shots the Skydio 2 can do effortlessly. This thing is like a flying film crew, and best of all, let it do all the work while you're filming, playing with your kids, or doing sick moves on your bike or skateboard.

The Skydio 2 is an innovative product that enhances the original in every way – I miss the larger format and the elegant, unfamiliar design of the original. The 2 is more like a "normal" drone. None of this matters as soon as you get it airborne and start filming.

Be curious about our detailed review of Skydio 2 shortly. In the meantime, you can place your order here on the Skydio website.

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Published on December 3, 2019 – 20:22 UTC


Product 2 from Skydio

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