The best autonomous drone just got better

The best autonomous drone just got better


– Nobody is flying this drone. There’s no human at the controls. This flying camera can follow me without crashing into trees
or obstacles all by itself. It maps out the world
using a set of cameras, it predicts where I’ll go, and it keeps me in the shot. It’s called the Skydio 2, and it’s one of the most amazing gadgets I’ve ever flown? (electronic music) Last year I got the chance
to play with its predecessor, the Skydio R1, which could also follow me through a park without crashing into trees. I wanted it so badly. But the actual product just
didn’t make any sense to buy. It was big. I couldn’t fit it in my backpack. I couldn’t really fly
it like a normal drone because it didn’t have a controller, and it cost $2,000 on sale. But today, Skydio is launching a second, more consumer-friendly
model, the Skydio 2. The Skydio 2 does fit into a backpack, and at $1,000 without a controller, it’s going head to head with
DJI’s Mavic Drones in price. Only it does have an optional controller, one that lets you take the
Skydio out to three kilometers instead of being tied
to your phone’s WiFi, and one that Skydio says a three year old could learn to fly. Here’s how easy. I’m just pushing forward
on the right analog stick, and it’s dodging these trees by itself. You can do the same thing backwards too, since it’s got omni-directional sensing. But I’d be lying if I said this rebranded $150 Parrot Anafi controller is the thing that excites
me about this drone. Or even the 40% battery life
increased to 23 minutes, or the 50% decrease in size and weight. It’s that Skydio’s
second gen flying system is even more impressive than the one that blew me away last year. While the Skydio 2 only has six cameras to the R1’s original 12, they’re no longer the low-res
black and white affair that couldn’t see tiny
tree branches reliably. They’re 4K, full color, with a 200 degree field of view. Skydio says that’s
enough angular resolution and processing power to
see smaller obstacles from far enough away to fly fully autonomous at 36 miles per. And if you’re mostly looking
for a drone that flies itself, the company has another
intriguing optional controller you’ll be able to buy. This is an Airwalk that
lets me just point it where I’d like the drone to go, or tap a few buttons to set its course. But it also doubles as a GPS beacon, so the Skydio can
automatically hunt you down, even if its cameras lose
track of where you’re going. Even in my brief demo, it was clear the navigation
system has been improved. Watch this. The original Skydio R1 would’ve totally gotten
stuck behind this fence. And I saw the Skydio 2 whip around to keep me in the shot in ways the original wouldn’t
have dared to attempt. Here’s a mind-blowing video of what the drone actually
sees according to Skydio. The company claims the camera
system’s intelligent enough you can fly it indoors, too. Of course, none of this
matters if the drone doesn’t capture photos
and videos worth sharing, and it seems Skydio’s improved there, too. You’re looking at a 12.3
megapixels Sony sensor at F2.8, that shoots 4K video up
to 60 frames per second at up to 100 megabits per second, or 120 FPS at 1080p if you
want to try some basic slum. It’s a little bit choppy
here in low lighting without an ND filter. But we can already see greatly
improved dynamic range. And Skydio says it’ll have third party snap on magnetic
filters post launch, if that’s what’s keeping you away. It also helps that
Skydio 2 has a three axis gimbal for stabilization this time, one that can also point fully upwards. You know, in case some industrial
warehouse wants a drone that can inspect a
vehicle’s undercarriage. That could happen, by the way. While the consumer version of Skydio 2 is programmed to keep a
one meter protective bubble around itself at all times, they’re letting partners bring
that down to 50 centimeters to slowly squeeze into human sized spaces. And the company says it’ll be announcing some
partnerships down the road. But here’s something else
fascinating about Skydio. These drones aren’t coming
out of a Chinese factory. They’re all made right here
in Redwood City, California, where former Apple and Tesla engineers are stress testing every
piece of this drone. Co-founder Adam Bry says every single Skydio R1 was
built and shipped right here on this miniature assembly line, and the Skydio 2 will
be the same to start. Here’s where they put thermal compound on the magnesium alloy frame, which acts as a giant heat
sink for all the chips. Here’s the industrial robot arm that tests all the drone’s cameras. Bry says every single drone will run the gauntlet before it ships. What we’re seeing here is impressive, both for what this drone is capable of, and that they’re able
to build it right here. But it also makes me a tad skeptical. The Skydio 2 is trying to
be the drone for everyone. For people who’d never
dream of flying a drone ’cause they’re afraid of crashing it, for aerial cinematographers, and yet it’s just this
tiny bay of stations producing this craft for theoretically everyone who’d want it. So for now, you’re gonna
have to put some money down. Skydio says these will be
available in limited quantities, and it’s asking for $100
deposit on your pre order. I’m impressed enough that I’m
seriously thinking about it if I were an early adopter dying to show this off to my friends. But I coulda said that about
the $2500 Skydio R1 as well, and I didn’t actually end up buying that. But that’s me spending an hour
with the Skydio 2 in a park. We’re gonna put this drone
through its paces later this year and tell you if it’s really worth buying. Thank you for watching our
video with a flying robot. If you liked that, check out our video with a walking robot dog named spot. Also, this is me falling
off a scooter, good bye.

100 Comments

  • The Verge

    October 1, 2019

    Does autonomous flying make drones more appealing to you?

    Reply
  • Juan Macias

    October 2, 2019

    I wish I had one of these😩😩

    Reply
  • boots fpv

    October 2, 2019

    way to exspensive you can not fly with a phone it just doesnt work the thing is neat ill say that

    Reply
  • Ace Greene

    October 2, 2019

    Does the camera truly point straight up? The website says "PITCH CONTROLLABLE RANGE

    -110° to +45°." Does that mean up 45 degrees?

    Reply
  • MAVIC 514

    October 2, 2019

    Next on my list 🌱

    Reply
  • Kitchen C

    October 3, 2019

    Man, when did you work for the Verge instead of Cnet?

    Reply
  • PSYCHO

    October 3, 2019

    If it can't last AT LEAST 1 hour bare minimum per battery charge, then I'm not interested.

    Reply
  • Donkey Kong

    October 3, 2019

    Nice concept that’s typical of Americans, DJI makes things reality.

    Reply
  • bugatti314159

    October 3, 2019

    With the accessories and 2 extra batteries the real cost is about $1500. The flight capabilities seem to be its main selling point since the camera is the typical small 1/2.3" sensor with fixed aperture. I'll wait for the customer reviews before ordering one. Looks promising though. At least it's U.S. made which is a major plus.

    Reply
  • Gabe Darrett

    October 3, 2019

    I'm quite impressed

    Reply
  • Mini tomate

    October 3, 2019

    The first time hearing this name I though:
    It was me, SkyDIO!

    Reply
  • Brian Baliat

    October 3, 2019

    DJI, hold my beer…6 months later, masterpiece

    Reply
  • Mohd Khalid

    October 3, 2019

    Kim Jong Un would like to know your location.

    Reply
  • Faheem Ahmad

    October 3, 2019

    i hope thay update the software weekly!

    Reply
  • Psytronex

    October 3, 2019

    This comes across as an ad, rather than an independent review.

    Reply
  • touchme onmynono

    October 3, 2019

    I wish I was white, you guys make all the best stuff!!

    Reply
  • John Wood

    October 3, 2019

    This is unbelievable technology and from an AMERICAN COMPANY!

    Reply
  • AJ_Creations

    October 3, 2019

    No one to beat DJI Mavic 2 pro & zoom

    Reply
  • 3d tech

    October 3, 2019

    Basically, the Tesla of drones.

    Reply
  • A. Aqil

    October 3, 2019

    It all nice until this thing chase you with a gun.

    Reply
  • Young360

    October 3, 2019

    very interesting!

    Reply
  • TroyArn

    October 3, 2019

    make one that fits in the palm of the hand with great video quality and at least 30 minutes of autonomous flight. then convince the authorities to actually let us use it.
    until then, meh.

    Reply
  • Dennis Vidot

    October 3, 2019

    Myron Magnet
    Clarence Thomas and the Lost Constitution

    Reply
  • Luke Skywalker

    October 3, 2019

    so your telling me it can follow you and miss thin branches and leaves on branches? weave in and out of trees and buildings go up down left and right like a guy with a camera jig hmm

    Reply
  • vitix

    October 3, 2019

    Is that a Pebble watch?

    Reply
  • Walla

    October 4, 2019

    how video link works? its over wifi? can it get digital video over 1,5 km on wifi signal?

    Reply
  • Edgars Dimants

    October 4, 2019

    AirDog did this a while ago 🤦‍♂️

    Reply
  • Aero FPV

    October 4, 2019

    Just take my credit card won't ya!

    Reply
  • glenesis

    October 4, 2019

    Can't turn off the sensors!?!?

    Reply
  • Jesus died for you.

    October 4, 2019

    US made no thanks!

    Reply
  • Robert Alexander

    October 4, 2019

    Looks computer generated

    Reply
  • Christopher Garcia

    October 4, 2019

    Created and manufactured in ‘Murica’… hats off to you guys!

    Reply
  • Open Roader

    October 4, 2019

    I REALLY like the fact that it is made in the US

    Reply
  • Merxellus Gogou

    October 4, 2019

    Anyone knows why the motors are facing downwards?

    Reply
  • SINBAD

    October 4, 2019

    The best!!

    Reply
  • Harsh Singh

    October 4, 2019

    If they improve their cameras then after 3-4 years of experience they can go head to head with dji.

    Reply
  • filip stevens

    October 4, 2019

    will skydio 2 come to europe also

    Reply
  • Mike Garcia

    October 4, 2019

    To much tech

    Reply
  • Harold Jorge

    October 4, 2019

    4:50 , dude got caught sharing memes on slack hahaha jk

    Reply
  • Hello Goodbye

    October 4, 2019

    3:16 gotta go fast

    Reply
  • Alexander Caceres Gerasymlyuk

    October 4, 2019

    That's a boosted rev 🙂

    Reply
  • WranglerJKLS

    October 4, 2019

    DJI is great at PROMOTING Active Track, Skydio actually delivers.

    Reply
  • Jean Roch

    October 4, 2019

    Softbank : breathing heavily

    Reply
  • Graph Guy

    October 4, 2019

    And how are those upside down roters suppose to land?

    Reply
  • Alvin Nukman

    October 5, 2019

    Doesn't he used to be in CNET? Nice catch verge

    Reply
  • Drone Point of View

    October 5, 2019

    Impressive indeed. Probably will add to my hangar. 👍 👍

    Reply
  • Mark Weathers

    October 5, 2019

    ill shoot this down if i see it in real life

    Reply
  • Andrew MTB

    October 5, 2019

    DJI has left the chat

    Reply
  • Mark's Tech Time

    October 5, 2019

    Definetly buy this instead of mavic 2 pro

    Reply
  • harshanath unni

    October 5, 2019

    Will we get the beacon or a controller with the $999 purchase ?

    Reply
  • Derek Smythe

    October 5, 2019

    Can you add a pre-flight plan App?

    Reply
  • Surferant666

    October 5, 2019

    Price?

    Reply
  • Magnus Persson

    October 5, 2019

    I WANT ONE!

    Reply
  • Rizqi ali a

    October 5, 2019

    Compare with spark or mavic air

    Reply
  • Marat Astafyev

    October 5, 2019

    You dropped donut?

    Reply
  • Drone star 1

    October 5, 2019

    And I guess you think DJI isn't working on something similar or even better? This company will be sold in a few years. Along with their technology is the culture of American capitalism with being bought out versus truly trying to be a competitor

    Reply
  • J W

    October 5, 2019

    23 minute battery life?

    Reply
  • Pacal Votan

    October 5, 2019

    Can Skydio 2 be used with ESRI software to collect georeferenced imagery using the onboard camera (and presumably GPS) by processing the image through Drone2Map?

    Reply
  • Roberto

    October 5, 2019

    Someone needs to bring down dji.

    Reply
  • RAPA Ent.

    October 5, 2019

    Thank you for all the great info.! I have one on reserve that will be shipped in January. I came across a concern today, somebody stated that the R1 batteries were discontinued when they discontinued the R1. In addition, nobody was told about this in advance. I did a little research, and I can't find them on the Skydio site or elsewhere. If this is true, it leads me to believe that the same thing may happen with the Skydio 2. I'm a DJI MA owner and love it but, if the Skydio is everything they're saying, I'll be head over heals. Thanks again. Ray

    Reply
  • kVar

    October 5, 2019

    I'm not a fan of autonomy… I can't get the kind of shots I want with sensors blocking me from every cool shot… This is the only an advantage for beginners and hobbiest and they probably aren't going to dish out $1000….

    Reply
  • idworkhard

    October 6, 2019

    Blade Runner 2049

    Reply
  • doobyboy21

    October 6, 2019

    Skydio can you please get into the flying manned vehicules so we can avoid traffic ?

    Reply
  • iblackfeathers

    October 6, 2019

    flying autonomously, walking autonomously, falling autonomously…

    Reply
  • Leonel Mondragon

    October 6, 2019

    Anybody want to buy a tightly used mavic 2 zoom!!??

    Reply
  • A&D-GAMING

    October 6, 2019

    Guess what… i'm waiting for Boston Dynamics to buy this company. Oh wait Google owns Boston Dynamics…

    Reply
  • A&D-GAMING

    October 6, 2019

    Imagine having these drones being weaponize… and being deployed in wars. Damn. I bet the government is itching their hands right now to buy this company.

    Reply
  • Moueyad Azrie

    October 6, 2019

    i like the review but the guy who speak should be more enthusiastic when he speaks ..

    Reply
  • FSEVENMAN

    October 6, 2019

    Impressive.

    Reply
  • Do RC

    October 6, 2019

    And every single skydio 2 will be assembled here too (to start). Translation: as soon as they can afford to production will be moved to China.

    Reply
  • Saint Michael

    October 6, 2019

    I’m good with my DJI mavic pro 2 👊

    Reply
  • flaj

    October 7, 2019

    OMG, this would be so great for aerial 3D scanning .

    Reply
  • Okie-Tom

    October 7, 2019

    Is FPV available?

    Reply
  • Trusten Baker

    October 7, 2019

    That is f cool

    Reply
  • weerobot

    October 7, 2019

    That sounds better Specs….Now I'm Tempted to get one…

    Reply
  • Dave Ridlespriger 2

    October 7, 2019

    All booty bandits are on high alert.
    My PRISON aint going nowhere.
    ☝️🤪

    Reply
  • drone nut

    October 7, 2019

    Looks promising. Nice to see a bit of competition for dji.

    Reply
  • Bud Stephens

    October 7, 2019

    Must be my phone … wasnt really impressed with the video quality , hope it’s better in real life

    Reply
  • RideWithWill

    October 7, 2019

    so happy I waited for the skydio 2. going to use it on my channel and see how it does in dense wooded areas. that is what I am worried about since I am a dirtbiker wanting to run around trees

    Reply
  • R. T.

    October 7, 2019

    What is battery life ?

    Reply
  • Samuel kirk

    October 7, 2019

    bye bye dji

    Reply
  • Rubin lopez

    October 7, 2019

    They could've made it foldable. I think that will be skidoo v3

    Reply
  • DividingByZero FPV

    October 7, 2019

    No thanks

    Reply
  • Christopher Valdez

    October 7, 2019

    Very disappointing flight time for the price.

    Reply
  • Lewis Busch-Vogel

    October 7, 2019

    So happy to finally see a worthy competitor for dji. Have had enough if their monopoly

    Reply
  • iSpike

    October 7, 2019

    B R I L L I A N T

    Reply
  • iSpike

    October 8, 2019

    I WANT ONE BUT living in AUSTRALIA we must wait till 2020, Oh well I will enjoy all the new owner's videos until then, Have fun everyone. Cheers

    Reply
  • Rolex drone channel.

    October 8, 2019

    I want to fly and do the flying myself, not a chip doing the flying. Great video. ROLEX IN IRELAND 👍👍☘☘❤❤

    Reply
  • Kevin Appleton

    October 8, 2019

    I'm thinking that you'd have to have a good reason to lay out that cash on it

    Reply
  • Hari Kalay

    October 8, 2019

    It's pretty damn impressive. DJI defo can't compete with this level of autonomy… Not yet anyways. Good to see competition.

    Reply
  • Zuru 77

    October 9, 2019

    nahhh….I'll stick to China made DJI's

    Reply
  • Grant Stinnett

    October 10, 2019

    Love that it’s American made. We can support our own economy while making great videos! 🙂

    Reply
  • brendan carlin

    October 10, 2019

    4k and FULL colour?

    Reply
  • E. K.

    October 10, 2019

    best info about the Skydio 2…Thanks!

    Reply
  • Mike Ivy

    October 10, 2019

    Like the reviews… best for this ole guy before I lay money down on something I will crash!

    Reply
  • THOMAS FISKE

    October 11, 2019

    Just 'subbed'…

    Reply
  • Polz Channel

    October 11, 2019

    Tjakepzzz 👍 Nice

    Reply
  • AdvocatusDiaboli

    October 11, 2019

    What turns me off of these things is the battery life. 2 hours and I'm in! That's what I need to record an average bicycle ride in one take.

    Reply
  • ORGANIZED CoNfUsioN

    October 12, 2019

    WOW I think the future just arrived. HELLO.

    Reply
  • GLime28

    October 12, 2019

    I’d rather watch paint dry than listen to this guy talk again for 5 minutes

    Reply

Leave a Reply