The American drone specialist Skydio has presented at CES 2022, on the one hand, the new Sykdio 2+ drone, which fixes a major handicap of the Skydio 2, and also a free update that brings a very interesting new feature called KeyFrame. §PIC1§:Skydio 2+
The Sykdio 2+ is the successor to the Skydio 2 it replaces and is essentially identical to it, but brings with it a significant improvement in the range and quality of video transmission between the drone and controller thanks to 5 GHz WLAN and new antennas. Thus, using the optional Skydio 2 Plus Beacon Controller, a double flight distance of 3km is now said to be possible, and with the (also optional) joystick remote control, even 6km. The second big improvement concerns the batteries, which now also allow a longer flight duration of 27 (previously it was 24) minutes thanks to 20% more capacity.
Mounted on a 3-axis gimbal, the camera shoots 4K HDR video at up to 60fps (as well as 120 fps FullHD video) and HDR photos at 12 megapixels (4,056 x 3,040) and a range of 13 stops of dynamic range - using Sony&s IMX577 1/2.3" CMOS image sensor with 12.3MP resolution.
The Skydio 2+ costs around 1,100, and kits are also available with multiple batteries and replacement propellers, as well as other accessories such as the Skydio 2+ Beacon, ND filters, and joystick controller. Unfortunately, however, Skydio only offers its drones in the US and Australia so far.
KeyFrame flight and recording mode
. One of the specialties of Skydio&s drones is their flight intelligence, that is, their ability by means of six sensors to automatically avoid obstacles even at high speeds and also to provide reliable camera tracking shots via object detection. This capability is further enhanced by the new update, which gives both the Skdydio 2 and the new 2+ the new KeyFrame flight and recording mode.
The name says it all: the app can be used to set "keyframes" during a scouting flight, i.e. key images that the drone should take - after setting all keyframes, the drone then independently calculates and flies through a flight course on which all these images are captured, and is thus intended to replace a combination of pilot and cameraman necessary for professional shots. A practical feature is the possibility to edit the flight path including keyframes afterwards and then let the drone fly the optimized route.