When Skydio’s R1 hit the market in early 2018, the California startup set the bar for sense and avoid technology in a consumer drone.
Since then, the company has launched a developer platform to encourage enterprise adoption and a number of new ‘skills’ to help R1 users make the most of having a personal flying camera.
Is the Skydio R2 inbound?
Skydio have recently updated their website to reflect a shift away from the original R1 drone, hinting that something new is on the horizon. It looks as though what we presume will be the R2 is set to launch this Fall.
The company doesn’t give much away at all, simply stating: “If you’re thinking of buying a drone, wait.”
The following statement was also sent to subscribers.
Last year Skydio launched a drone called R1. It completely blew people’s minds.
Now, we’re about to launch something even more spectacular. It’s the next chapter in fully autonomous flight, and when it arrives, you’ll be the first to know.
It’s the culmination of everything we’ve learned from our first drone and all of the feedback we’ve received from our first customers. We’ve listened closely and worked tirelessly to build something that truly redefines what a drone can do, opening up new possibilities in aerial video.
Here at Skydio we’re all about awesome autonomous drones and are super excited to have you along on this incredible journey to push the boundaries of aerial autonomy.
Stay tuned to @SkydioHQ for more information. Can’t wait to share more!” – Skydio
What can we expect from the Skydio R2?
The whole point of the Skydio R1 was to have a drone that was clever enough and aware enough of its surroundings to handle the aerial photography while you concentrated on being the subject.
The original R1 pretty much achieved that aim. So what can we expect from a revamped model?
Skydio say they have “listened closely and worked tirelessly to build something that truly redefines what a drone can do”, which is obviously a pretty big and exciting claim.
To become a more complete consumer drone, the R1 arguably needs to be cheaper, more versatile and more portable.
Following the trend of most major drone releases, we’d expect the next iteration to be a little smaller than the original R1. It could even be foldable. But you’d imagine that any sacrifice in terms of size is going to limit the Skydio’s leading computer vision system, which depends on a number of cameras and sensors.
It will also be interesting to see if Skydio sell the R2 with a controller, to give pilots the freedom to shoot scenes exactly as they like, rather than being limited to an admittedly growing number of ‘skills’.
There should also be improvements to the camera and flight time.
The final thing to watch out for will be price. When the R1 hit the market it was as expensive as it was impressive. Can Skydio release a drone that finds the right balance between capability and price and win over the mass market? We can’t wait to find out.