Collaborating Authors

Skydio R1 review: The ultimate follow-me drone comes at a price


In a park, perched on San Francisco's east bay, I set down Skydio's R1 drone, open an app on my phone, click "launch" and do something I would normally never do. I walk straight under a tree, knowing full well that the R1 will follow me and that the branches are directly in its flight path; I am trying to make it crash. I repeat this task a few more times, even with the drone flying backward but, try as I might, the R1 slips right under (and sometimes over) the tree's canopy. I am doing nothing but walking, no controller or phone in my hand; the R1 is figuring this all out by itself. Should I be surprised at this?

Skydio Demonstrates Incredible Obstacle-Dodging Full Autonomy With New R1 Consumer Drone

IEEE Spectrum Robotics

Almost two years ago, a startup called Skydio posted some video of a weird-looking drone autonomously following people as they jogged and biked along paths and around trees. Even without much in the way of detail, this was exciting for three reasons: First, the drone was moving at a useful speed and not crashing into stuff using only onboard sensing and computing, and second, the folks behind Skydio included Adam Bry and Abe Bachrach, who worked on high-speed autonomous flight at MIT before cofounding Project Wing at Google[x] (now just called X).

First Impressions: Skydio R1 Raises The Bar For Drone Technology But It Will Cost You

Forbes - Tech

Drones have become a mainstream product for businesses and consumers over the past five years, as functionality has expanded and pricing has dropped below $999. Companies like DJI, Yuneec, and Parrot have achieved significant market growth in the space, with affordable, relatively easy-to-use drones capable of capturing high-resolution (even 4K-class) content that would have previously required highly specialized equipment. Today I wanted to take a look at Redwood City-based startup Skydio's new R1 drone--a product that I believe has the potential to disrupt the crowded $5 billion drone market. Positioned essentially as a "self-driving camera," the R1 is embedded with 13 cameras. While this makes the R1 the definitive "follow me" drone, is it worth forking over the $2,499 asking price?

The Autonomous Selfie Drone Is Here. Is Society Ready for It?


It's 2035, the Second American Civil War has been won by the other side, and you find yourself in a heap of trouble with Attorney General Logan Paul. He has dispatched an all-seeing eye-in-the-sky to tail you, an agile flying machine equipped with 13 cameras and a top speed of 25 miles per hour. The drone knows your face, your gait and your clothing. It hovers persistently behind your back, moving when you move, stopping when you stop, resisting every effort to shake it. You run into the woods, but you still can't lose it.

Drones With 'Most Advanced AI Ever' Coming Soon To Your Local Police Department


Three years ago, Customs and Border Protection placed an order for self-flying aircraft that could launch on their own, rendezvous, locate and monitor multiple targets on the ground without any human intervention. In its reasoning for the order, CBP said the level of monitoring required to secure America's long land borders from the sky was too cumbersome for people alone. To research and build the drones, CBP handed $500,000 to Mitre Corp., a trusted nonprofit Skunk Works that was already furnishing border police with prototype rapid DNA testing and smartwatch hacking technology. They were "tested but not fielded operationally" as "the gap from simulation to reality turned out to be much larger than the research team originally envisioned," a CBP spokesperson says. This year, America's border police will test automated drones from Skydio, the Redwood City, Calif.-based startup that on Monday announced it had raised an additional $170 million in venture funding at a valuation of $1 billion. That brings the total raised for Skydio to $340 million.