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Disappointed with Skydio 2

Skydioskip

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Looked today at this video:
The guy is running on a track and Skydio 2 lost him completely and followed the wrong guy.
He had a hard time to get it back focussing on him . . . (Maybe the blond girl walking in front of him was more attractive to Skydio 2 ;))
During the later run the drone got confused several times, but caught up with him after a while.
That is very disappointing . . . and raises some doubts, if I made the right decision with with my downpayment on the Skydion 2
 

skydioconvert

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INMHO the S2 performed admirably not disappointingly.

The lighting must have been right on the edge of being unacceptable for safe flight. Deep shadows coupled with multiple other targets in very brightly lit portions of the trail in the same frame occasionally exceeded the S2's ability to remain locked on the target.

It was a good test of the S2's abilities but choosing to fly the S2 in the approaching twilight wasn't a very smart move....
 
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Skydioskip

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Thanks skydioconvert,
I didn’t think about the fact that the twilight was close. I just thought the video is just on the dark side.
But your comment makes sense.
I thought the runner had his beacon with him and the Skydio connected to him via GPS and I was wondering why it switched to the other guy and followed him.
 

deedeebulldog

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Thanks skydioconvert,
I didn’t think about the fact that the twilight was close. I just thought the video is just on the dark side.
But your comment makes sense.
I thought the runner had his beacon with him and the Skydio connected to him via GPS and I was wondering why it switched to the other guy and followed him.
I have not used mine a lot around people, but I have had this happen to me. I was using the Beacon only and it started tracking someone else. I think because it always uses both visual and GPS. Once we separated enough it realized where the GPS signal was coming from. Maybe this will improve if I use the phone as well.
 

Ridefreak

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I blame the results of that test on the guy posting the video. First he's flying in an area where he's basically camouflaged by the brush up to his waist then add a low sun angle and shadows he's very hard to see in much of that video, if we as viewers can't hardly pick him out then the drone isn't going to do much better when it's using visual tracking. Early on in the video with the standoff distance he was using the drone was relying on GPS tracking and was doing fine, likely would have continued to do so. That's what he should have stuck with in those conditions but when he pulled it in close it switched back to visual tracking and almost immediately lost the subject. No surprise there considering what it had to work with. All he would have had to go to get it locked back on quickly would have been to push the blue SD butting on the beacon and reposition the drone a little or pushing the (-) button, that would have forced it back to GPS tracking and the drone would have homed in the the beacon's GPS location. Manually flying it into position works but it's time consuming. I've found that somewhere around the second standoff distance (from the closest) the drone will switch from relying on visual tracking distance to using GPS. I say somewhere because if during it's avoidance and tracking if the maneuvers causes it to come in close it will sometimes switch back to visual for a period of time.
 
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Skydioskip

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Hmm, I really have to read up on this. . .
I am new to the Skydio and was under the impression that it always works with a GPS position when using the beacon and uses visual to compliment.
So, what actually does the blue SD button do, when you push it during tracking?
 

Ridefreak

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When you push the button it links the beacon position to the drone in anticipation for wanding (is that a word?), if you don't wand it at that point that's all that happens, if it's lost you it will use that info to re-acquire. Once you get some flights in you'll start seeing the tracking differences and their limitations. I often film at speed and it switches over to GPS almost every time. I just posted
a video where it sought me out when I was out of sight behind a cliff, I'm pretty sure it's using visual and GPS at that point. I directed the drone in closer at that point and you can see it switched to visual and locked onto the other person, If I would have left it distant the drone would have continued to track me. One of the techs from SD told me it weights the two modes of tracking and makes a decision which to use, I can say it almost always uses GPS when it's further away, when it's close you'll realize it's switching between the two, especially if it looses sight of the subject.
 
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singular.droid

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From my experience S2 is not 100% accurate in tracking and can’t keep up tracking you with speed above 10kmh in forest. But forest is a very difficult terrain for drones as well as piloted drones and apart from this I believe most of issues will be solved with further software updates. As for light conditions as well as some others- definitely you will find hardware limits and this is something true. But being just 1000 usd consumer device it is hard to expect it can see in the dark and fly like it has been piloted by human brain. I skipped S1 some time ago just because I wanted tech to become mature enough
Now is time
 

flymyjunk

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Maybe it lost interest due to the fact the "runner" was going so slow. Lol just kidding. It's poor lighting in a camo-like area. I would say it did pretty well.
 

UNIXman

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Looked today at this video:
The guy is running on a track and Skydio 2 lost him completely and followed the wrong guy.
He had a hard time to get it back focussing on him . . . (Maybe the blond girl walking in front of him was more attractive to Skydio 2 ;))
During the later run the drone got confused several times, but caught up with him after a while.
That is very disappointing . . . and raises some doubts, if I made the right decision with with my downpayment on the Skydion 2
In this video, I was using the beacon, and intentionally "threw obstacles into it's path" by choosing different directions to fly around me. You can see that up close, it used visual, and out a ways, the GPS did a phenomenal job of tracking me. No visual at all when it was going around trees and houses, but it kept following me accurately.
 

skydioconvert

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Looks like the S2 is doing a good job of predicting where you'll be (AI at work) if its in an uncluttered environment.

Whats really impressive is how it can do so given the speed you are travelling.
 

dmac1

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New pilot here and haven't had a chance to do much with the drone, but doesn't it seem like it would be better if we could select the mode it follows in? I mean, what does optical gain vs GPS? Is the image from the camera more accurate? It actually seems the opposite in that it will lock on the wrong person. I was surprised to learn it uses optical when a beacon is employed. Has anyone talked to SD about this?
 

UNIXman

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Actually, OPTICAL is more accurate and doesn't suffer from latency. GPS accuracy depends on the number of satellites that it locks onto at any given time. In flat country, GPS is more accurate than it is in the canyons of my state of Colorado, where most of the sky is often blocked by cliff walls. So I'd leave things as they are. If you look at a map, where your position is indicated by a dot on the map that represents your GPS position, you'll see that dot wander around a bit. Sometimes by a hundred feet or so.
 

dmac1

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Actually, OPTICAL is more accurate and doesn't suffer from latency. GPS accuracy depends on the number of satellites that it locks onto at any given time. In flat country, GPS is more accurate than it is in the canyons of my state of Colorado, where most of the sky is often blocked by cliff walls. So I'd leave things as they are. If you look at a map, where your position is indicated by a dot on the map that represents your GPS position, you'll see that dot wander around a bit. Sometimes by a hundred feet or so.
Yeah, I'm in Colorado too...too cold to fly and gonna stay that way for awhile.

What I'm wondering is if anyone knows if SD considered giving us the option to select what mode the SD2 uses as primary for follow. I can select how my Mavic Pro follows, but it doesn't do either (optical or gps) well hence why I got SD2.

With SD2, as I understand it, we currently have no control...it uses what it thinks is best so clearly switching is already programmed in....but I've been told it can take off optically following the wrong person even when beacon is being used.

That concerns me for when riding where there may be other riders and it seems to me that there could be solutions involving a setting where a pilot tells it, up front, for example:

1- use the program we currently have; 2 - GPS controls, lock optical to GPS coords and follow via it always;, or 3 - use current setting (autonomous) but if get X distance from GPS coords, abandon optical lock and go to GPS coords and follow via that until otherwise instructed via Beacon.

The object is to avoid a lost drone. Just some newb ideas....
 

UNIXman

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Yeah, I'm in Colorado too...too cold to fly and gonna stay that way for awhile.

What I'm wondering is if anyone knows if SD considered giving us the option to select what mode the SD2 uses as primary for follow. I can select how my Mavic Pro follows, but it doesn't do either (optical or gps) well hence why I got SD2.

With SD2, as I understand it, we currently have no control...it uses what it thinks is best so clearly switching is already programmed in....but I've been told it can take off optically following the wrong person even when beacon is being used.

That concerns me for when riding where there may be other riders and it seems to me that there could be solutions involving a setting where a pilot tells it, up front, for example:

1- use the program we currently have; 2 - GPS controls, lock optical to GPS coords and follow via it always;, or 3 - use current setting (autonomous) but if get X distance from GPS coords, abandon optical lock and go to GPS coords and follow via that until otherwise instructed via Beacon.

The object is to avoid a lost drone. Just some newb ideas....
Whereabouts in Colorado? Yeah, we've been blessed with SHORTS weather for a while, and it's time for us to make like the bears and hibernate for a while. Just upgraded two bicycles, and am itching to try out the upgrades as soon as the weather cooperates!

No, I think you're reading too much into "problems." This bird is really SMART. As you gain experience, you'll appreciate it's smarts more and more. Skydio frequently updates the software to make the bird smarter with each update. The choices that the bird chooses are pretty darned close to what I would choose as far as when to use optical or GPS. If anything, it makes better choices than I'd make.

I'm surprised at how WELL it knows "which target" to acquire. It isn't OFTEN that it wants to follow the wrong target, and if you're flying with the beacon, it pretty well figures out when it acquired the wrong target, and corrects to the correct target. You'll gain confidence the more you use it. BTW: I also fly a Phantom 4, Mavic Pro, M2P. More and more, I'm choosing the Skydio as my drone of choice unless I want to fly a long distance. This is a bird for "close-in action," while the DJI line has the ability to fly far away. The "6 mile flight to Warren Mountain" on my channel was recorded with a Phantom 4. You couldn't do that with the Skydio.

So where in Colorado are you?
 

dmac1

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Whereabouts in Colorado? Yeah, we've been blessed with SHORTS weather for a while, and it's time for us to make like the bears and hibernate for a while. Just upgraded two bicycles, and am itching to try out the upgrades as soon as the weather cooperates!

No, I think you're reading too much into "problems." This bird is really SMART. As you gain experience, you'll appreciate it's smarts more and more. Skydio frequently updates the software to make the bird smarter with each update. The choices that the bird chooses are pretty darned close to what I would choose as far as when to use optical or GPS. If anything, it makes better choices than I'd make.

I'm surprised at how WELL it knows "which target" to acquire. It isn't OFTEN that it wants to follow the wrong target, and if you're flying with the beacon, it pretty well figures out when it acquired the wrong target, and corrects to the correct target. You'll gain confidence the more you use it. BTW: I also fly a Phantom 4, Mavic Pro, M2P. More and more, I'm choosing the Skydio as my drone of choice unless I want to fly a long distance. This is a bird for "close-in action," while the DJI line has the ability to fly far away. The "6 mile flight to Warren Mountain" on my channel was recorded with a Phantom 4. You couldn't do that with the Skydio.

So where in Colorado are you?
Thanks for the info! Hopefully will get to try out SD2's follow myself sooner rather than later, but yeah, it'll be at least a week.

I'm in Elbert county...about 5 miles from Elizabeth, out in the country in an area of alot of 50-60' Ponderosa pines. Its pretty, but my property isn't great for flyin autonomous drones...at least until I know what its going to do.

I see you're in Jeff Co. Where at? I too ride bicycles (mtb and road) but my main use for SD2 will be on dirt bikes.
 

UNIXman

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I'm 10 kM SW of Littleton, near where C-470 makes it's "great bend" from EW to NS. Near Chatfield State Park. There should be some great spots in Elbert, Kiowa, Douglas and Arapahoe Counties for that. I ride both a MTB and E-Bike. I'm 76 years old with a badly mangled right leg, so it took 3 years on the E-bike to build up my leg for riding the MTB. It still isn't strong, but in flat country I am doing pretty well. I just can't pull hills with this leg. I ride the riparian trails at Chatfield most every day.
 

Skydioskip

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In this video, I was using the beacon, and intentionally "threw obstacles into it's path" by choosing different directions to fly around me. You can see that up close, it used visual, and out a ways, the GPS did a phenomenal job of tracking me. No visual at all when it was going around trees and houses, but it kept following me accurately.
I saw this on and also your other videos with the S2 and it really showed some good tracking, even when you have been obstructed. Great job . . .
 

Skydioskip

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Now I saw that Jim got his S2 back with the home button.
In another video a guy explained that you have to fly it manually right above the logo of the box and then can start to land.
So, how is it working now?
Can you just press the home button and it will returns to the box, or do you have to wait until it hovers above the box and then press the land button?
 

Skydioskip

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When you push the button it links the beacon position to the drone in anticipation for wanding (is that a word?), if you don't wand it at that point that's all that happens, if it's lost you it will use that info to re-acquire. Once you get some flights in you'll start seeing the tracking differences and their limitations. I often film at speed and it switches over to GPS almost every time. I just posted
a video where it sought me out when I was out of sight behind a cliff, I'm pretty sure it's using visual and GPS at that point. I directed the drone in closer at that point and you can see it switched to visual and locked onto the other person, If I would have left it distant the drone would have continued to track me. One of the techs from SD told me it weights the two modes of tracking and makes a decision which to use, I can say it almost always uses GPS when it's further away, when it's close you'll realize it's switching between the two, especially if it looses sight of the subject.
Great riding video. loved it. Unfortunately my riding times are over:cry:
 
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