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Skydio 2 Launches, Sells Out in a Single Day

BY Isabella Lee
4 October 2019

A new drone is taking over the commercial market, and it’s made in America. The Skydio 2 launched Tuesday, October 1st, and was sold out by Wednesday, October 2nd. Talk about a fast takeoff.

Skydio 2

The lucky customers who reserved Skydio 2 before the batch sold out are expected to receive their drones in November. If you missed out on the first batch, you can reserve your place in line for the second production batch, which is expected to start shipping in January 2020.

The Skydio 2 was such an obviously smart purchase for some drone users because of a few standout qualities:

  • Price point – The Skydio 2 cost less than other high-end drones, retailing for just $999.
  • Autonomous flight – Skydio 2 flies itself, serving as your personal, portable, flying film crew.
  • Unparalleled intelligence – High-speed, trustworthy, 360° obstacle avoidance enables you to punch through narrow gaps – forwards, backwards, or sideways – or skim a surface, with no fear.

Skydio also brought some unique features to the commercial drone market that we haven’t seen before, like three ways to fly—with the iOS or Android app, controller, or the brand new Skydio Beacon. With Beacon’s wand feature, you can control Skydio 2 by simply pointing where you want it to go.

Impressed yet? Keep reading for the full features and specs.

Skydio 2 Built on Foundation Established by Skydio R1 — New Features and Specs

Skydio 2 combines groundbreaking artificial intelligence with a best-in-class 4k60HDR camera, 3.5 kilometers of wireless range, and 23 minutes of flight time in a drone that fits anywhere you can carry a 13” laptop. It builds on Skydio R1’s foundation and takes it to the next level, with tracking speeds up to 36 miles per hour, and a new planning algorithm focused on cinematic capture.

skydio 2 case

Skydio 2 Key Features and Specs:

  • Weight – 775 g
  • Flight Time – 23 minutes
  • Max Flight Speed (sea level, no wind) – 36 mph (manual or autonomous)
  • Storage – Removable MicroSD card slot
  • Autonomy System – 6 x Navigation Cameras
  • Obstacle Avoidance – Omnidirectional including above/below
  • Object Tracking and Identification – Up to 10 simultaneous objects of interest
  • Camera Sensor – Sony 1/2.3” 12.3MP CMOS
  • Still Resolution – 12 MP
  • Video Resolution – 4K 60 FPS

“R1 was like the Roadster of autonomous drones,” says Skydio. The Skydio 2 takes feedback from early customers, and delivers an improved autonomous drone at a lower price point (over $1,500 less than the R1 when first launched) and a wider set of features.

How does Skydio Compare to DJI?

Skydio provided a side-by-side comparison between Skydio 2 and the Mavic 2 Pro, and featured a crashing DJI Phantom in its launch video. It’s no secret that Skydio knows who they’re competing with, and the competition is tough. Skydio has taken obstacle avoidance and object tracking to the next level, as seen in their comparison footage below.

The company is seeking to create a healthier level of competition in a marketplace that has long been dominated by one manufacturer.

We have immense respect for DJI and the products they create, but the industry as a whole is not healthy. The current generation of manually flown drones haven’t delivered on the ideas that have gotten so many of us excited about drones over the last few years.

—Skydio

We can see Skydio 2 in the hands of action and sports cinematographers, professional filmmakers, and aerial photographers. The company has also taken on a new partnership with DroneDeploy, leading provider of drone software solutions, to position Skydio 2 for enterprise applications, like surveying and mapping, as well.

The same technologies that enable Skydio 2 to follow and film subjects while avoiding obstacles, enable it to navigate in GPS denied environments, get close to structures to inspect them, and enter dangerous situations ahead of people. With Skydio 2 plus DroneDeploy, you can fly with confidence in challenging environments, getting closer to what you want to capture for unparalleled detail in your maps.

[Read our in-depth interview with DroneDeploy CEO, Mike Winn.]

“We want to challenge the myth that an American company can’t build a superior drone,” says Skydio. Their new drone is designed and manufactured at their headquarters in Redwood City, California.

To increase buyer confidence, Skydio has also has backed their new drone with a 1-year warranty: if you’re flying Skydio 2 within Skydio’s “safe operating guidelines” and it crashes, they’ll repair or replace it for free.

What do you think of the Skydio 2’s new features and how does it stack up with DJI’s Mavic 2 Pro? Share your perspective in this thread on our community forum.

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