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Firmware update requests

Hiflyer808

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Hey Skydio! I was going to pre-order your drone but reports of a variety of problems have me thinking I should get the Autel Evo 2 instead. But most of the problems seem fixable with firmware changes, so here are my top firmware update requests:

1. Can turn off OA for night flying and other situations where you want complete manual control.
2. Can make the OA "bubble" around the drone smaller.
3. Can set a height "ceiling" in the same way you can already set a height floor, so that in situations such as a forest the drone doesn't try to fly up into the canopy to avoid an obstacle. I've seen numerous videos where the Skydio gets hung up trying to find a way through dense branches when it would have found a much eadier path if it had dodged below or to the side of the original obstacle instead of over it. Maybe call it "forest mode," there are a lot of situations like that where most of the obstacles are up high and close to the ground is the preferred path.
4. When using the beacon and visual tracking is lost and the drone is tracking via gps only, have the front of the drone point towards the gps signal. I've seen several videos where the subject thought the drone was lost when it was simply in gps tracking mode but with the camera pointing the wrong way. Also, the shots you get would be more usable if the camera is pointed in the right general direction.
5. Same thing when signal is lost and automatic RTH is activated. Again, based on what you see on the screen when the video signal comes back it can seem like the drone is flying aimlessly when actually it's flying towards you.

Any ideas on other improvements?
 

OldBlueHeron

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All good requests. Not sure if #1 is even possible though... no compass, optical flow, etc... I think this drone relies on its cameras...
 

Hiflyer808

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Interesting point about the cameras.. It does use gps though and provides telemetry. How would it know how high up it is if only relying on cameras? I would guess that with OA turned off navigation would be pretty rough, you couldn't track, and you'd want to stay well clear of any obstacles. Seems like it could work for just straight cruising shots at a high elevation..
 

Ridefreak

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Doubtful you'll ever be able to turn off the OA. #4 is the one I've had issues with. The subject lock is primarily dependent on visual tracking, personally I'd like to see it switch to a GPS lock at higher speeds or be selectable to have the SD2 use GPS instead of visual lock.
 

Lon Denard

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All good requests. Not sure if #1 is even possible though... no compass, optical flow, etc... I think this drone relies on its cameras...

I've seen the drone fly at night if you can trick it into launching, so I believe it is capable. Quite frankly, I'm old enough to have flown drones that didn't even have GPS and then only GPS and they did "okay".... Besides, the Skydio 2 uses GPS to fly the entire time the sensors are out of their range which is a few meters at best. It can't "see" the ground when it's 400' high.
 

Lon Denard

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I'm with you on number one, I'm just about over being the co pilot to this drone.

As far as improvements, better battery management would be high on my list.

Better stick control and less "meandering" and "drifting".

They could lose some of their control lag as well. Although that may be a factor of the transmission system they are using. Of course, it may also be a factor of the drone considering your "suggestions" before it implements them. Hahaha!
 
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OldBlueHeron

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I've seen the drone fly at night if you can trick it into launching, so I believe it is capable. Quite frankly, I'm old enough to have flown drones that didn't even have GPS and then only GPS and they did "okay".... Besides, the Skydio 2 uses GPS to fly the entire time the sensors are out of their range which is a few meters at best. It can't "see" the ground when it's 400' high.
I hope your right. It would greatly benefit us all as owners of this drone.
 

Hiflyer808

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After watching more videos, another firmware update request would be this:
When the drone pauses its tracking in a difficult environment to try to find a way around an obstacle, and then finds a way, it doesn't immediately rush to catch up with the subject, but rather slowly ramps up the speed. I've now seen quite a few videos where you have impressive segments as the drone avoids obstacles, but they are interspersed with segments that are unusable because the drone suddenly speeds up after a pause in a difficult area. To me those pauses are not so objectonable in cinematic terms as the rushes to catch up, an when you edit out pauses you lose a lot less content than when you cut out the rushing.
 
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Ridefreak

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I pretty much use the SD in the "rush" mode all the time. The avoidance tends to fly over the majority of the obstacles when at speed and does it well. But the terrain I'm flying in supports it. For me the loosing lock issue is the most prevalent problem. I'd write it up and send them a email, that's what I did as well as put it in their recent survey. To me SD seems very receptive. Plus its all in-country, no language barrier, much easier to get a point across.
 

skydioconvert

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Hopefully Skydio management is following the mixed bag of complaints regarding how well and quickly complaints are being addressed.

If they stayed in front of it you'd expect a growing number of positive outcomes and fewer and fewer negative outcomes.

P.S. @Ridefreak
Is the "recent survey" you mention a publicized poll ... a survey put forth only to Skydio 2 owners.... something else all entirely?
 

Ridefreak

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I think it was sent out to owners who have already received their drone, it came from survey monkey for Skydio. It was mostly yes no type questions but there was one area you could make suggestions.
 

OldBlueHeron

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I think it was sent out to owners who have already received their drone, it came from survey monkey for Skydio. It was mostly yes no type questions but there was one area you could make suggestions.
Funny, haven’t received that.
 

skydioconvert

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I think it was sent out to owners who have already received their drone, it came from survey monkey for Skydio. It was mostly yes no type questions but there was one area you could make suggestions.
Hmm ... too bad. That type of survey INMHO sadly results in few if any worthwhile changes.
I've yet to receive any follow ups (computerized or human :)) to "many" similar type surveys I've completed in recent memory.
 

Ridefreak

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Releasing the survey to new owners might be timed since everyone didn't get their drones at the same time, that would make sense to me.
 

singular.droid

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#1 and #2 are being fully functioning in the enterprise version of the S2. If you are a business and you buy S2, you would get another software build on it, which does provide the ability to make the avoidance bubble smaller or even completely off. Even in b2c app, if you are an engineer, you can find some traces of modes which the drone could potentially support if appropriate skills are loaded onto it. these modes are called 'high-altitude flight', 'object avoidance off', 'nighttime flight'. So all these features are accessible for b2b buyers who also purchase AEF package on top of standard b2b firmware, it is only about $3.5K to $4.5K per drone per year in total to run such setup.
In most cases for residential/retail customers, all these things make no sense - the smaller the object avoidance bubble is, the smaller the max speed of the drone is set now in b2b (because it becomes super-easy to crash the drone in the normal surroundings of where S2 is flying - just let's agree you fly your S2 way more often close to trees and wires than any other drone). Nighttime flight - well, without really good navigation skills and knowledge of whereabouts it is very easy to lose it. The only feature which is 'ok' is the high-altitude flight - just to make some nice panorama shots.
 
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LeafPeeper

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#1 and #2 are being fully functioning in the enterprise version of the S2. If you are a business and you buy S2, you would get another software build on it, which does provide the ability to make the avoidance bubble smaller or even completely off. Even in b2c app, if you are an engineer, you can find some traces of modes which the drone could potentially support if appropriate skills are loaded onto it. these modes are called 'high-altitude flight', 'object avoidance off', 'nighttime flight'. So all these features are accessible for b2b buyers who also purchase AEF package on top of standard b2b firmware, it is only about $3.5K to $4.5K per drone per year in total to run such setup.
In most cases for residential/retail customers, all these things make no sense - the smaller the object avoidance bubble is, the smaller the max speed of the drone is set now in b2b (because it becomes super-easy to crash the drone in the normal surroundings of where S2 is flying - just let's agree you fly your S2 way more often close to trees and wires than any other drone). Nighttime flight - well, without really good navigation skills and knowledge of whereabouts it is very easy to lose it. The only feature which is 'ok' is the high-altitude flight - just to make some nice panorama shots.
Maybe so, but one that DOES make sense for recreational and small business flyers is exposing the RTH settings that are only available to enterprise customers. I've been whining to Skydio customer service about this one for months. For most of us, the S2 picks its own RTH altitude, regardless of how or why it is initiated. Given the poor S2 range, this is a recipe for disaster if you happen to be flying under a height restricted LAANC authorization when the drone disconnects. In my mind, this is a safety issue, and it's ridiculous that Skydio hasn't addressed it. To me, it wreaks of pure executive greed.
 

singular.droid

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Maybe so, but one that DOES make sense for recreational and small business flyers is exposing the RTH settings that are only available to enterprise customers. I've been whining to Skydio customer service about this one for months. For most of us, the S2 picks its own RTH altitude, regardless of how or why it is initiated. Given the poor S2 range, this is a recipe for disaster if you happen to be flying under a height restricted LAANC authorization when the drone disconnects. In my mind, this is a safety issue, and it's ridiculous that Skydio hasn't addressed it. To me, it wreaks of pure executive greed.
Fully agree, RTH functionality is so poor that it is only a question of time when Skydio would enrich it for all owners. It lacks so many safety features it is impossible to describe... really poor part of the product.
 

baksideDisasterFlicks

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We haven't had update forever. At this point I'd doubt there's going to be much new for this drone. They are either building a new drone and investing there or everything is enterprise. I'm hoping it's not the later and they leave the consumers behind like other promising US drone manufacturers have done before them.
 

LeafPeeper

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We haven't had update forever. At this point I'd doubt there's going to be much new for this drone. They are either building a new drone and investing there or everything is enterprise. I'm hoping it's not the later and they leave the consumers behind like other promising US drone manufacturers have done before them.
Unfortunately, this is why I am always somewhat cynical when it comes to buying American. Like it or not, we're greedy. I've seen consumer company after consumer company (including the big 'American' company I work for) exit the consumer market because they only want to focus on high margin opportunities. The consumer market is generally low margin. Inevitably that American business we wanted to support will decide they don't want us anymore because we don't make them enough money....so we have no choice but to buy DJI.

LP
 

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