Skydio 2 Drone Tested

By Ethan Ace, Published Oct 14, 2021, 10:51am EDT

Drones have been a "next big thing" in surveillance for many years, but how well do they actually work?

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In IPVM's first drone test, we bought and tested the USA-based Skydio 2 drone to see how it works in practical real-world applications. In this report, we look at:

  • How well does the drone handle in flight and landing?
  • How does its automatic case landing work?
  • How accurately does it track moving vehicles and people?
  • Does its AI-based obstacle avoidance avoid collisions with trees, poles, buildings, and overhead cables?
  • How does image quality compare to typical surveillance cameras?
  • The drone and controller's physical features and issues with both

Note: This is the first in IPVM's testing of drones and related technologies. We plan to expand this segment in the coming months.

*******

** *** *****, *** Skydio * ********* ****, with ****** ****** *** landing, ********* ********* **-***** landing ** *** ****, as **** ** ****** automatic ******* *** ****** tracking **** **-***** ********* avoidance ***** ******* *****, poles, *** ********** ** tested ****** ** ** ~35 ***.

*******, ****** **** *** integrate **** ***** *** either **** ********* ** archived *****. **** ********* via ****** ***** ** currently ** **** *** available **** ** ***** web ******. ** *** be ******** *** **** VMSes ** ***** ******** video ******* ** ****-**** cameras, *** ****** **** not ***** *** ** these ************.

************, **** ********* ** object ** *****, ****** approaches ** ~**-**' ********, which ** **** ********** both ******* *** ********. Range *** ** ******** once ******** (** ** ~120') *** ***** ** no *** ** *** a ******-***** *******, ** users **** ******** ****** this **** ****.

**** ** *** ****** controller's ******* *** ** confusing *** *** ***** as ***** *********** **** not ***** ******* ************ use, *.*., *** "****" button ***** ********** ***** the ***** ******/******* (***** the ****** *** * fixed ****) ** *** "shutter" ****** ***** **** nothing ***** ******* ******** (since ********* ** ********* by *******).

*******, **** **** *** drone ******** * ****** device *** ******, ***** below. *** ********** **** not ******* ** ********** screen (********* **** *** higher-priced ** *****). ** our *******, ***** ***** needed ** ** ******* in ***** ** *** them **** *** **********, as **** ****** *** not *** **** *** controller ** **** *** during ******.

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No ******** **** ******

** *** *** ******* feedback **** ****** ** our ******* ** **** did *** ******* ** requests *** ******* ***** our ******* ***********. ** will ****** **** ****** if ******** ** ********.

FAA *********** ***** ***** ************

***** **** ******'* *** limitations, ** *** ****** States, *** *** *** strict *********** ** *** drones *** ** ***** which **** ******* ** from ***** **** ** many ************.

  • **** **********, ****** **** maintain ****** **** ** sight **** *** ***** at *** *****. *** example, **** ***** **** a ***** *** *** fly * ***** * miles *** ** ******* an ********* ** * fenceline.
  • *** *** **** ******** regulates ***** ********** **** people *** ********, *********** flights ** ******* ******** (not ********), ***** ***** limit *** **** *** used ** ******* ** incidents ** ******* ******* facilities (*.*., ******** ** industrial ******, *** ******, etc.).
  • ************, ************* **** **** sure **** ********** ******* ******* ****** *** drone **********, **** * 1:1 ***** ** ********* pilot *****. *** *** report*** ***** ****** ***** Certification*** **** ******* ** this *******.

***** *********** **** **** drone *** ** ************ is *********** ******* ** live ******** ** ********* within **** ** *****, relatively ***** ** *** operator, ****** ****** *** find **** *** **** when ********** *********** ** sight ******* ** ***** to **** ******* ***** more ****** ** ***** angles ***** *** *** be ******** *********.

** **** *****, ******* may ** ******* ** the *** *** ****** line ** **** ********** and ********** **** ******, but **** **** ** far **** **** ** grant ***** ** * widespread *****. ** **** to ***** ***** *** other ********** ****** ********* drone ********** ** ************ in ** ******** ****.

Other *******' **** ****

***** *********** ** **** of *** ***** *** similar ** ***** ** place ** *** ** (line ** ***** ********, avoiding ********** **** ******, etc.). *******, **** ******* allow ********** ****** ****** line ** ***** (*****).

*** *******, ********* ** *** ********** ******* ********** *** operations **** ****** ** BVLOS,** ******, ****** *** ******* drones ** ** *** (4.4 ******) ****** **** of ***** **** ** distance *********** ** ****** below **** (~***'), *** heavier ****** ** ** 1km (*.* *****) ****. This ***** **** ********* operations *** ******-***** ************ possible, ***** ** ** not ** *** **.

*******

****** * ******* ****** at $*,*** *** ******** from ******, ****** *** base ******* **** *** include *** ****** ********** (app ******* ****). *** least ********* ******* **** a ********** ** *** Cinema *** ($*,***). * Professional *** ** **** available ***** ******** *** same ********* ** *** Cinema ***, ***** **** VIP ******* ($*,***).

**** ******* ** ******* higher **** **** ***********, such ** ***, ***** Air ** ***** *** ~$1,300, ********* ********** *** additional *********. *******,

Compared ** ****** **

** ******** ** *** prosumer/commercial ****** *, ****** also ****** ***** ********** ******(~$**,*** *** ******), ***** uses *** **** ***** platform ** ******'* ** enterprise *****, **** **** key ***********:

  • ********* *******:*** ** ** ******** with ********* ********* ********* beacons (*****/*** ******) *** lighting ***** ****** ** to *** ** *****. The ****** * ****** notifies ***** **** ** is *** **** ** launch.
  • ******* ******:** ******** ** *** 4K ****** ******** ** the ****** *, *** X2 ******** * **** Boson ******* ******* ******.
  • ********** **********:******'* ** ********** ********** includes * ***** ******* and ********** ******** ******* and **** *** ******* a ****** ****** ** be ********* *** **** video.

Skydio ** ******

****** * (*** **) ship **** ******* "******" pre-installed (*.*., ****** ******** or *****), *** ****** also ****** * *** of ******** ***** ** a ************ *****. ***** advanced ****** ***** *** drone ** ***** ******* while ******** ** ***** (instead ** *********), ****** close-proximity ******** *********, ** return ** **** ******** instead ** ***** ***.

**** ** ***** ****** are ******** *** ****** inspection ************, ****** ***** responding ** ********/****** ****** are ****** ** **** additional ******** ***** *** visual ****** ******, ** well.

** ****** ***** ** $1,499 *** ***** *** year *** *** ** and $*,*** *** ***** per **** *** *** X2.

Flight ***********

** *** *******, ****** 2 *** ****** *** able ** ****** ***** of ** ** ~**-** mph **** ******* ****** in *** ******** *******.

************, ******* *** *********** automatic *** ** ******'* built-in *********** ** *** cases. **** *******, *** camera ***** ****, *** if * **** ** seen, *** ***** **** automatically **** ** **** on *** ** **.

*** ***** ***** ***** this ******* ******* *** demonstration, *** **** ******* worked ********** ******* ** 10-15 *** *****, ** well.

Strong ******** *********

******'* ****** ******* **-***** object *********, ***** * 4K ******* ******* (* top/3 ******) ** ****** a ** *** *** predict ****** ********. ** the ***** **** *** close ** ** ******, it **** ************* ****** its ****** **** ** avoid **, **** ****** manual ****** *** ****-********.

*** *******, ** *** clip *****, *** ******* walks ** *** *** of * *** ** trees, **** *** ***** automatically ********* ***. ** can ** **** ******* wide ** ***** *** tree *** ** *** point ********** ******** ** avoid ******** *** **** the ******* ** ****.

** ******* **** ** testing *** ****** ** flight ***** (****** *** object ********), ******'* ****** avoidance *** ******. ** experienced **** *** *********, with ******* ******, ***** below, ***** ******** **** tracking * ******* ** 15-20 ***. ***** ***** as *** ***** **** the **** *** ***** to *** ***** ***** (only ***** **** *******, no ***** ******).

** *** ** ****** with ********** **** *****, buildings, *****, ** ***** objects.

Person *** ******* ********

****** ****** ****** *** vehicle ******** ***** ** enabled ****** ** ******* on * **** **** (+) ** *** ** valid *******. ***** *** select **** * ******** directions *** ****** ***** from *** ***'* **.

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** *** *******, ** found ******** ** ** solid, ***** ** ******'* object *********, ********* *****. For *******, **** * subject ******* ** *** out ** ***** ** the **** *****, *** drone ***** *** ** the ***** ** **** at *** *****.

******** **** ********** **** vehicles, ****** ** ****** up ** **-** ***. In *** **** *****, the ******* *** ***** the ******* *** *** speeds ** ***** ** mph, ******** *****, *****, and ***** ** **** the ******* ** *** field ** ****, ****** distance ******* ** ** accelerates, **** *** ***** catching ** ****** *** end ** *** ******.

******** ****** *** * maximum ***** ** ~***' (measured ******** ** ******* from *** *****), ~** PPF.

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Tracking ** *** ******

**** **** ******* ******** is *** ******** *** to *** ***** ** the ***** ****** (~**-** db ** **' ********). Even ** **** ***' altitude, ** ******* ******* audible *** ****** ******* to ******** ** ****, though ** *** ** more ********* ** ****** for ***** ** ********.

******* ******** ******** ** not **********. *** ***** flies ** ~**' ******** from *** ******* **** tracking ** *******, *** can **** ** *******, but ***** **** **** this ********** **** **** a ******* ** *******.

Other ******* ******** ** ********/******

** *** *******, *** Skydio * ********* ******** other ******* ** *********, such ** *** **** vents ***** *****, ** well ** ********* *** trash ****, ******* ** only ******** *** ******.

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No ********* ******

****** * ****** ** flown ** ***** ** it ***** ****** **** to **** *** ***** "see" *** ******* ******* so ****** *** *** it (****** ***** *** included ** ******'* **** expensive ** *****). ** the **** ***** ** launch ** *****, *** Skydio *** ****** ******* them ** ** *** dark.

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F2.8 **** **** ******

*** ****** * ******** a **** ****** **** a ***** **Β° ****. It **** * **** (for ************) **.* *-****, with ****** ********** ****** than ******* ************ ******* in ******* ****** ********** (~200-300 ***).

*** *******, ** (~** PPF), ****** *** ********** dim *** ********** *****, with ****** ******** ********* muddy *** ****** ********* to *******. ** ********, even * camera ******** ******** ****** with ****** ****** *** more ***** ******.

IPVM Image

******** ** **** ******** or ******** **********, ***** levels **** ****** **** to ********** ********, ***** in *** ****** *****.

Physical ********

** *** ***** *****, we **** ** *** physical ************ ** *** Skydio * ***** *** controller, **** *******:

  • ** ****/***** ***** ** battery:****** **** ***** ******, the ****** * **** not **** **** *** landing. *******, ** ***** on *** **** ********* of *** *******. ** our *****, ** ***** that **** *** **** to ** ******** ***** during *******, *** *** integrated ********* **** ******* feature *** ** **** to ***** ****.
  • ***** *** ********* ********* cameras:*** ***** **** * 4K60 ***** ****** *** in-flight *****, ** **** as *** ** ********* collision ********* ******* (***** do *** ***** *****).
  • ********** ******** ***** ***** to ** *******:*** ****** **** ***** hold *** ****'* ****** phone ****** ****** *** small, ********* *** *** very ***** ***** ** be ******* ***** ** inserting.

** ****** ***** *** other ****** ** **** video:

Drone ********* ** ***/***** ********** **** ** *****

*** ****** * ****** is ****** ** ********* in ***, ***** *** battery *** ********** *** made ** *****.

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Tested ******* ****: **-** *******

******'* ********* ******* **** is ** *******, *** in *** *****, ****** flight ***** ** ***** 15-20 ******* **** ******. Battery **** ***** ************* in **** *** **** using *** "*****" ******** for ****** ******, ** both ******* **** ***** to *** **********.

No *** *********** ** **** *****

****** **** *** ********* with ***** *** ****** live ********* ** ******** video *** ** *** discussions ********* **** *** not **** **** ***** to ** **. **** streaming ** ****** ** an "********" ******* ** Skydio *****, *** **** is ******** ** ** available *** ***** *** interface, *** ***** *******. It *** ** ******** for **** ***** ** index ******** ***** *** "offline" ***** ************, ******* to *** ****-**** ******* are *******, *** ** VMS ***** ****** ** supported.

*** ******** *** ** download ****** **** *** Skydio * ** ** remove *** ** **** and **** ***** ** a ********. *********, ***** may ****** ******* (****** full ***** ** *******) and **** **** ** a ****** ******. ****** Cloud ******** ********* ***** sync ***** ******** *** drone ** *** ***** network *** **** *** automatically ******* *****, *** this ******* ** *** included ** *** **** Skydio * *******.

Skydio *** **

*** ****** *** ****** is ****** **** *** live ***** *********, ******** motion ********, *** ********** recordings, ****** ** **** shows ******* *****, ******** from *****, ********, *** battery ****. *** ***** flight *********, ********* ****** to ****, *******, *** simply ********, *** ********** is **** (********* ** the ******** ******** *****).

IPVM Image

Skydio *****

****** *** **** ********* a ***** ********, ****** Cloud, ***** ********* ****** enterprise-wide ********** ** ******, e.g., ****** *****, **********, firmware *******, ***., ** well ** ********* ***** sync ** * ******* location.

IPVM Image

****** **** *** ***** to *** **** ***** streaming *** ****** ******* (teleoperation) ** ****** ***** last ** **** ** early ****. ******* *** Skydio ***** ** ********* undisclosed *** ******* *** opportunity.

********

*** ********* ******** **** used, *** ****** ** the **** ** *******:

  • ****** *: *.*.**
  • ****** * ***: **.*.*

Comments (12)

******: ********* ***** ***** releasing **** ******, ****** released * ******** ****** for****** *, ******* **.**.**.

** *****'* ****** ** change *********** ** ******, but ** **** ** some **** ******* ** check. ** **** ********** safety ******** **** ** improved ******* **********, ********* what ** ** ** the *****/********** **********, *** how ** ******* ** home.

Agree: 1
Disagree
Informative: 2
Unhelpful
Funny

* *** *** * far ****** ***** ******** has * ***** ******** drone **** ******* **** everywhere, ******* **** *********** and ******* **** ******.

Agree: 2
Disagree: 3
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny: 1

** ** ***** **** IPVM *** ***** ***** testing *** *******.

**** *** **** *********** and ******** * ***** overview ** *** ********* features, *********** ***************, *** cost ************** **** ********* drone ********* ** **********.

** ** **** ****** that *** ***** *********** regarding ********* ** **** clear. *** *********** *** a ***** ** ****** within **** ** *****, as **** ** ***** requirements *** ********* *** important, *** **** *******. It ***** **** *** β€˜within *****’ ************ ***** affect *** ****** ** people ********* ** ***** technology.

* **** ******* ** future *******.

***** *** ..

Agree: 2
Disagree
Informative: 2
Unhelpful
Funny

**** ***** **** **** testing *** *** ****** is *** ***!!

Agree: 1
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

**** * ***** ** to ***** *** ** UAVs, *** *** ******* test ** **** ****** and **** *** * first **** ***** ** pass. *** *** ******** chances ** ******* *** simple ****** ****. **** take *** **** * quick ****** ****** *** test *** **/**** *** answer ***********, **** **** you *** ******* ****** and ***** *** ** start *** **** ********* again. ****** *** *** strapped *** ****, ******** will ****. ****, **’* well ***** **** ****** obeys *** **** ***********, except ** ** ****** πŸ˜‰

Agree
Disagree
Informative: 3
Unhelpful
Funny: 3

**, ******! ******* ********* ***** ****** ***** Certification

Agree
Disagree
Informative: 1
Unhelpful
Funny

** ** *****, *** you ******* ***** *************** ****? **** ***** ***** 20 ******* *** *** can't **** **.

************* ****** **** ******, ** questions *** *********, *** they ********** ** *** tell *** **** *** got *****.

****, **’* **** ***** that ****** ***** *** VLOS ***********, ****** ** of ****** πŸ˜‰

* ***** **** ******* heavily ******** ** *** drone ****** **** ********* like **% ** ***** flights *** ******** *********** in **** ***, *** the **** *********** ** one ** *** **** common. *'* *** **** my *** ******** ******* it's **** **** ** get ******* ** *** video ****** *** *** up ****** * **** of ***** ** ********* where *** ***'* *** it.

Agree: 3
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

** * ********* ****** listed ***** ******** ****** there *** * ***** basic *** ******** ***** is **** ** **** with * ******* ******* less **** **% ** is **** ******* ** a ****** ******. ***** is **** ******** *** both *** ** *** Canada ** **** ***** are * **** ******** coming *** *** *** knowledge ** ****** ****** to * *** ******** pilot. ** **** ****** a ***** **** * security ***** ** *** visual ******** *** *** drone ***** ********** ** a ******* ****** ** a **** ***********. *** of ****** ** ** a **** ******* ** it *** ** ********** into * ***.

Agree
Disagree
Informative: 2
Unhelpful
Funny

**** ******* ******. ****** the "** ****" ************ of ******, **** ******** helps ** ****** ********* the ********* ** * "drone ** * ******* (DAAS)" ******** *****..........

******

Agree: 1
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

*'* ** ********** ** the ***** *** ** drone ** ****'* *** on **** ***** *******. They ***** **/** *****. I ***'* **** *** conflicts ** ********.

Agree
Disagree
Informative
Unhelpful
Funny

** ***'* **** *** immediate ***** ** **** Autel, *** ***** *** a ****** ** ****** that *** ***** ***** them. *** **/** ********** is ***. *** ***** is ***** "**** ****" ***** ** * hardware *********/**** *** ***, where **** ***** ****** simply ****** **** **** the **********.

***** ********** *********** ***** ** the ** (**********), *** is ****** ***** ******* *********** ********** ****, Ltd., ***** ** ********, China.

Agree
Disagree
Informative: 1
Unhelpful
Funny

**** *** *** ***** on ****** ** **** I **** **** ** a *** **** ** our ******** *******.

**** ********** ** ***** response ***** ******** (***** rc) ** ** ******* follow *** ******** ******* use ** ***** *** there ** ***** **********, ease ** *******\********, *** autonomous ****** ******* *** need ** * ***** or **** ** *****. All ***** ****** **** to ******** *** ***** drone ************ *** *********.

** ******** **** **** not ***** ** *** research *** ***** ***** issues:

*. *** ** *** zones ** ******* ** fly ***** *** ** large *** *** **** business ******* ***** ****** or ***** ****** ** check ** **** **** totally ** ******** ** at *** ***** ******* while ******** *** ******* for * ***** ** fly *** ***** ** those *****.

*. ****** ** * lot **** * ******** station (** *** ***** drone (*** **'* ****** junk *** ***** ********) would ** * **** changer *** * ****** officer ** * ***** lot, *** **** ***** are **** *** *** small ***** ****.

******** *'* **********? *****?

**

Agree
Disagree
Informative: 1
Unhelpful
Funny
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