Skydio’s new auto-follow drone is basically a flying A.I. cinematographer

Up-and-coming unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) manufacturer Skydio unveiled a new drone today. The Skydio 2, as it’s called, is essentially a new-and-improved version of the Skydio R1 — an autonomy-focused camera drone that was released in early 2018. The new version boasts a bundle of improvements, including better battery life, longer range, and dramatically improved auto-follow capabilities

“Skydio 2 combines groundbreaking artificial intelligence with a best-in-class 4K60 HDR camera, 3.5 kilometers of wireless range, and 23 minutes of flight time in a drone that fits anywhere you can carry a 13-inch laptop,” the company said in a statement. “For experienced pilots, Skydio 2 makes every aspect of flying drones more creative, more fun, more useful, and less stressful. But it’s also capable of flying completely by itself with the skills of an expert pilot, opening up the power and magic of aerial capture to new audiences.”

Auto-follow mode has been a standard feature on camera drones for years now, but despite the fact that it’s relatively common, it’s typically more of an afterthought than a flagship feature on most drones. For Skydio, however, auto-follow functionality is the main event — and it shows. The company’s first-generation drone can fly and dodge obstacles better than practically any other drone on the market, and the Skydio 2 builds upon that already stellar foundation.

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