As some of you may know I spent a week in San Francisco recently, and during that trip I did some riding around the city. The footage captured during my riding session wasn’t pretty enough to be used on the site due to limitations of the tech I had on me at the time. Then I heard about Skydio, a California-based drone company who have released their first fully autonomous product, which intrigued me intrigued. The R1 as it’s called is a fully autonomous flying camera, and is the companies first step step toward the future of autonomous drones which enable a new type of visual storytelling.
“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 by a team of world-class researchers and engineers. R1 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.
Built for early adopters including athletes, adventurers, and creatives, R1 elevates users to the center of their stories. The only tool you need to capture stunning 4K video with R1 is Skydio’s mobile app. Take off, set it to follow you, and show the world what you can do. If you can operate the camera app on your phone, you can control R1.
Key features of R1 include:
- Full Autonomy – 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 that once required a Hollywood film crew.
- Powered by NVIDIA Jetson, a powerful AI supercomputer, R1 is able to make intelligent decisions, plan real-time movements, and navigate complex environments.
- Smartphone Simplicity – Launching R1 is as easy as 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.
- After you land, make HD-video clips of your flight with the Skydio app, perfect for instantly sharing your story.
- Designed and Built in California – R1 is built with cutting-edge aerospace materials — including light weight aluminum and carbon fiber — in a slim design that fits in your backpack.
- Each Skydio R1 Frontier Edition is made at Skydio’s corporate headquarters in Redwood City, CA, ensuring each one operates at peak performance.
Pricing and Availability
- Skydio’s R1 is available now for athletes, adventurers, and creators alike at www.skydio.com in the USA and Canada for $2499 USD.
Initial availability of R1 will be in the limited Frontier Edition, assembled at Skydio’s corporate headquarters in Redwood City, CA. Hopefully I’ll be able to get one before my next trip so that I show you all how it performs under pressure.