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Options strangely omitted from Skydio 2

Airwolf

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So I have been thinking how strange it is that Skydio has never bothered to implement certain features etc. What I find most strange however is how so many YouTubers simply never mention these in their reviews and continue to praise it:

Here are the options I would like to see in order of importance with explanation:

1. Waypoints. Not Keyframe. Not Cable Cam. Waypoints. They have already showed that the S2 can use a point tapped on a map to fly to so why not expand that? And each waypoint can allow for full customization, from speed, angle, camera tilt, camera settings and even camera mode, still versus video and their respective resolutions etc.

2. The ability for complete manual control. All for complete manual control disabling obstacle avoidance so one could fly into fog or into intense light like the setting sun and even at night. Too many times this winter I have had issues returning my S2 "manually" and with RTH because the S2 thinks the sun is an obstacles and refuses to move. There could be a warning that this will void warranty but then the warranty can easily be reinstated after a landing and reset of the OA.

3. The ability to use the Beacon as a tracker and at the same time, use a separate phone and the Controller as a monitor and emergency controller in case it loses track and gets stuck or if the person is not family with using the Beacon or is otherwise incapable of using the Beacon. This would give a long range feature of essentially monitoring a third party subject. I have often wanted to track a boat but am unable to board the boat, then with a simple command take control and fly away with a panning shot back to shore. This is not possible currently.

4. The ability to adjust the camera angle and tilt while still following a subject. This would give more of a true "follow me" feature than a "watch me" feature. This would allow for less of those confined view moments often encountered while subject tracking and during those moments you could tilt up or down and even pan around to give large sweeping views of the epic terrain or backdrop all while continuing to track and avoid obstacles.

5. The ability to change the orientation of the S2 while in RTH. Currently there are only two directions, backward or forward and not both. I know I have missed some epic scenes while on RTH simply because I cannot orient the camera or even tilt the camera. This seems like a huge oversight.

6. A gimbal guard that also wraps up and covers the lens. I hate companies that just give a guard that only blocks the gimbal from movement. Not to mention the fact that the current guard makes me cringe everytime I take it off and put it back on fearing I'm damaging the gimbal.

7. POI. Add Point Of Interest. Yes I know POI is in the program, but I want a POI where I can set a point for the S2 to perform some maneuvers around while avoiding obstacles. A tree, a structure, anything other than just me.

8. Smart battery charger. Develope a charger that can charge and discharge and put batteries into storage mode. I realize these are "smart" batteries and they discharge to 60% after about 2 weeks but even the manual clearly states that we should be fully charging and fully discharging the batteries 2 times per month if not used. I'm sorry, but that's not always possible. I usually charge for about 20 minutes after each flight whether I'm going to fly or not again anytime soon. This gets the battery to where the 3rd light is just starting to flash.

What does everyone else do for best battery practices?

9. Provide on the Skydio website a 90 to 100w charger that is guaranteed to work. I say this because apparently not all chargers are created equal, duh, especially considering the Chinese ones. At the very least, recommend a brand. Heck, the manual even states to NEVER use a charger that is not Skydio branded! Um, ok. But it also says to use 90 and 100w chargers from laptop computers? Really? This is all a bit strange.

This is in no way complete. I'm sure I'll think of more. One thing I'm suspicious about is how the S2 actually uses its sensors and that may prevent some of these features from ever being implemented. We all know there is never ever any compass calibration of the compass with the S2. That is because the S2 visual cues for orientation and other issues that other drones use a compass for. So I'm not sure how this may interfere with some of these features I mentioned but I do find it very odd why we can't manipulate the camera during RTH and why we can't have a normal POI.

Anyway, I'm interested in everyone's thoughts.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of Skydio for one, it's really the only US based consumer drone company and it's tech is the best for tracking and obstacle avoidance. There are just some things I find odd and things I feel ought to be a no brainer.
 
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Sky Cyclist

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So I have been thinking how strange it is that Skydio has never bothered to implement. What I find most strange however is how so many YouTubers simply never mention these in their reviews and continue to praise it:

Here are the options I would like to see in order of importance with explanation:

3. The ability to use the Beacon as a tracker and at the same time, use a separate phone and the Controller as a monitor and emergency controller in case it loses track and gets stuck or if the person is not family with using the Beacon or is otherwise incapable of using the Beacon. This would give a long range feature of essentially monitoring a third party subject. I have often wanted to track a boat but am unable to board the boat, then with a simple command take control and fly away with a panning shot back to shore. This is not possible currently.

There are too many paid contents on youtube.

Also, they will pretend to be harmless, but what they really provide are one-sided information.

I've also been sold (cheated), in the buying process, before actually becoming the owner.

Now that I actually got the Skydio 2 myself, I know very well which pieces of information are true and who are actually Lemon Youtubers.

As to option 3, it is very useful and will be a super niche.
 
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Saladshooter

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1. Waypoints. Not Keyframe. Not Cable Cam. Waypoints. They have already showed that the S2 can use a point tapped on a map to fly to so why not expand that? And each waypoint can allow for full customization, from speed, angle, camera tilt, camera settings and even camera mode, still versus video and their respective resolutions etc.
Waypoints are the stepchild of the major competitors to Skydio. They have had only limited function and support from DJI for the last couple of years in the Mavic 2 Pro. And Autel is only including Waypoints in their EVO 2 lineup. Skydio includes them in the Enterprise software.

2. The ability for complete manual control. All for complete manual control disabling obstacle avoidance so one could fly into fog or into intense light like the setting sun and even at night. Too many times this winter I have had issues returning my S2 "manually" and with RTH because the S2 thinks the sun is an obstacles and refuses to move. There could be a warning that this will void warranty but then the warranty can easily be reinstated after a landing and reset of the OA.
Yes please.... give me a true manual mode so I can get out of trouble. The Skydio Enterprise software has this built in but at $1500 a year for the license.

3. The ability to use the Beacon as a tracker and at the same time, use a separate phone and the Controller as a monitor and emergency controller in case it loses track and gets stuck or if the person is not family with using the Beacon or is otherwise incapable of using the Beacon. This would give a long range feature of essentially monitoring a third party subject. I have often wanted to track a boat but am unable to board the boat, then with a simple command take control and fly away with a panning shot back to shore. This is not possible currently.
Great Idea.

5. The ability to change the orientation of the S2 while in RTH. Currently there are only two directions, backward or forward and not both. I know I have missed some epic scenes while on RTH simply because I cannot orient the camera or even tilt the camera. This seems like a huge oversight.
RTH on just about every drone is really more for getting home than getting footage. However It would be great to have control of at least the camera angle. Allowing control of the orientation on RTH is a little risky because it would affect the wind resistance when battery was low.

What you are asking for would be more of an advanced cable cam option where the home point is always (A) and from any spot in the sky the user could set (B) and head toward home while maintaining full control of orientation and camera. Keyframes gets halfway there and includes a Free Look option where you could set two points and control the camera the whole way between the two.

7. POI. Add Point Of Interest. Yes I know POI is in the program, but I want a POI where I can set a point for the S2 to perform some maneuvers around while avoiding obstacles. A tree, a structure, anything other than just me.
I have been begging Skydio for this..... DJI software does this fantastically and it makes getting orbits and other shots of structures simple. It is available in the Skydio Enterprise software.

Screen Shot 2022-01-25 at 11.38.30 PM.png

Skydio 2/2+ Enterprise Manual
 
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paularity

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3. The ability to use the Beacon as a tracker and at the same time, use a separate phone and the Controller as a monitor and emergency controller in case it loses track and gets stuck or if the person is not family with using the Beacon or is otherwise incapable of using the Beacon. This would give a long range feature of essentially monitoring a third party subject. I have often wanted to track a boat but am unable to board the boat, then with a simple command take control and fly away with a panning shot back to shore. This is not possible currently.
This is possible and has been for some time

Prior to the Beacon having RTH (which it now does) in some instances when I am filming myself riding over water, if I had a spectator / assistant I would have the Controller set-up on the beach as a redundancy

Definitely can have both connected and commandeer from both too. I've run several range tests so I knew the limitations

One downside is if there is no visual tracking (i.e. it's not a person or a car) the GPS tracking of the Beacon is not at all as smooth as it would normally be
 

Airwolf

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Waypoints are the stepchild of the major competitors to Skydio. They have had only limited function and support from DJI for the last couple of years in the Mavic 2 Pro. And Autel is only including Waypoints in their EVO 2 lineup. Skydio includes them in the Enterprise software.


Yes please.... give me a true manual mode so I can get out of trouble. The Skydio Enterprise software has this built in but at $1500 a year for the license.


Great Idea.


RTH on just about every drone is really more for getting home than getting footage. However, it would be great to have control of at least the camera angle. Allowing control of the orientation on RTH is a little risky because it would affect the wind resistance when battery was low.

What you are asking for would be more of an advanced cable cam option where the home point is always (A) and from any spot in the sky the user could set (B) and head toward home while maintaining full control of orientation and camera. Keyframes gets halfway there and includes a Free Look option where you could set two points and control the camera the whole way between the two.


I have been begging Skydio for this.... DJI software does this fantastically and it makes getting orbits and other shots of structures simple. It is available in the Skydio Enterprise software.

View attachment 659

Skydio 2/2+ Enterprise Manual
Yeah, I noticed the Waypoints are present in the Enterprise kit so apparently the S2 is capable of them. This means Skydio is milking money. As many others have stated, it doesn't take some high-end programming worthy of a $1500 a year license just to get what many other companies have for free. Parrot has waypoints built-in for all of their Bebop and Anafi drones. It seems like Keyframe is just there to satisfy some aspect of waypoints without giving us waypoints so they can still milk money.

Speaking of milking money, yeah, I also noticed that true manual mode is available in Enterprise as well. So, it's capable. I think a better way to handle this would be something like what I suggested where a warning would come up and then Obstacle Avoidance is off and only the controller can fly the S2 and then only after a new battery is inserted will the Obstacle Avoidance come back on and the warranty is reinstated.

Either that or they could just wait 2 years when it's not possible for anyone to have any warranty and just open the feature up! I mean they even state that after 1 year or 2 years if extended their warranty is no good and you can't purchase more!

As another reply suggested, apparently the Beacon can be used as a tracker while the drone follows and the Controller monitors with phone and is able to take controller if needed at any point. I will have to try this.

In regards to the RTH mode and having the ability to at the very least, tilt the camera, this seems so basic I'm baffled as to why it isn't there. I was blown away by how initially the S2 would just travel directly home backward. Not at least we can switch between forward or backward. They just need to add a camera tilt. Regarding the camera pan and yaw feature, this can most certainly be done without setting up some complex cable cam route. That would defeat my intent anyway. All of my other drones from Parrot to Yuneec and others (I don't have DJI) allow for changing, that is tilting, AND panning the camera as the drone flies back home. Even though the drone has to yaw in order to point the camera in the desired direction it is capable of doing it. So, I know it can be done. Perhaps if when an RTH is initiated the S2 can treat that RTH point as point B and point A is the beginning then the S2 can allow for the camera angle change. I don't know, just seems simple to me.

As for the POI, absolutely. This is another no Brainer to me. Why not?
 
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Airwolf

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Wow, those enterprise features seem quite impressive! (envy)
I actually thought we could look straight up with the Skydio 2 as is? Is that not the case? But yeah, and to think all those features can be had for the cool cool price of more than the cost of the drone per year! $1500!
 

Airwolf

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Waypoints are the stepchild of the major competitors to Skydio. They have had only limited function and support from DJI for the last couple of years in the Mavic 2 Pro. And Autel is only including Waypoints in their EVO 2 lineup. Skydio includes them in the Enterprise software.


Yes please.... give me a true manual mode so I can get out of trouble. The Skydio Enterprise software has this built in but at $1500 a year for the license.


Great Idea.


RTH on just about every drone is really more for getting home than getting footage. However It would be great to have control of at least the camera angle. Allowing control of the orientation on RTH is a little risky because it would affect the wind resistance when battery was low.

What you are asking for would be more of an advanced cable cam option where the home point is always (A) and from any spot in the sky the user could set (B) and head toward home while maintaining full control of orientation and camera. Keyframes gets halfway there and includes a Free Look option where you could set two points and control the camera the whole way between the two.


I have been begging Skydio for this..... DJI software does this fantastically and it makes getting orbits and other shots of structures simple. It is available in the Skydio Enterprise software.

View attachment 659

Skydio 2/2+ Enterprise Manual
What I don't understand about these Enterprise features is that a few of them were even touted with the original marketing? Like the Track-in-Place, Visual Return-to-home, and one of the most significant being indoors navigation! Heck, many users tested this out before the Skydio 2 was even released! So, while the Enterprise might make indoor navigation even easier, safer, and better, you can still fly the Skydio 2 indoors. Right? The Track-in-Place feature is there, and I can get pretty far away, however in the marketing I do see how the subject vehicle can actually disappear from view and pop out again and the Skydio 2 never loses track. So, I'll give that to Enterprise. I just feel some of these features ought to be easy enough to implement as default.

Considering Precision Mode, I wonder what they mean by that since I would think it would be fairly easy to make sure the drone doesn't fly through its ceiling limit! This happens all the time even when I'm flying horizontally. If I fly straight up to 400 ft, or say, 350 ft or whatever I set, the drone never stops at that limit. And then when flying straight or in any horizontal direction it inevitably climbs beyond the limit!
 

Airwolf

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This is possible and has been for some time

Prior to the Beacon having RTH (which it now does) in some instances when I am filming myself riding over water, if I had a spectator / assistant I would have the Controller set-up on the beach as a redundancy

Definitely can have both connected and commandeer from both too. I've run several range tests so I knew the limitations

One downside is if there is no visual tracking (i.e. it's not a person or a car) the GPS tracking of the Beacon is not at all as smooth as it would normally be
I will have to set this up and try this. This sounds interesting. One thing I have seen is that there have been reports of crashes into the water when flying over larger bodies of water. I believe this could be solved if they implemented a flight floor that is gauged by a barometric reading rather than a stereoscopic reading from the 6 sensors. This could add an extra layer of safety while flying over large bodies of water.
 
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Saladshooter

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I was blown away by how initially the S2 would just travel directly home backward.
The antennas in the original Skydio 2 are badly positioned.... the default is to fly backwards so that is gets back in control range faster. If you fly out as far as the Skydio will go and turn around.... signal strength drops badly.

I actually thought we could look straight up with the Skydio 2 as is? Is that not the case?
Nope.... held back in software.

while the Enterprise might make indoor navigation even easier, safer, and better, you can still fly the Skydio 2 indoors. Right?
Because you can't turn off the OA in the consumer software.... flying indoors requires really good lighting or the Skydio 2 won't operate. The OA also puts a 6ft bubble around the drone that it won't enter so tight spaces are off limits.

Zoom is another nice enterprise only feature which should probably be included in the base software:

Screen Shot 2022-01-27 at 12.10.57 AM.png
 

paularity

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I will have to set this up and try this. This sounds interesting. One thing I have seen is that there have been reports of crashes into the water when flying over larger bodies of water. I believe this could be solved if they implemented a flight floor that is gauged by a barometric reading rather than a stereoscopic reading from the 6 sensors. This could add an extra layer of safety while flying over large bodies of water.
Seen where?

I know the Billy Kyle video on Youtube where the drone did something weird and crashed... and a guy on here had a similar issue and lost his drone

Glassy / mirror like and very clear water definitely confuses the sensors, but large bodies of water - not in my experience

There was/is a phrase about this in the safe operating procedures that often gets misquoted

I have logged in excess of 100 hours of flight time over water flying and even though it is outside of the safe operating procedures I do so with the height floor off, knowing full well how much of a hassle it is getting a replacement drone to Aus

Skydio has a significant amount of flight data from my logs and I was having a random issues with gimbal 'jerkiness' and the Beacon uses barometric pressure which was being affected by use in a waterproof sealed case

Login • Instagram - Position 1 - 5m fixed angle tracking and height floor off and I was about 1km out to see before I started my downwind run

 
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baksideDisasterFlicks

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This is possible and has been for some time

Prior to the Beacon having RTH (which it now does) in some instances when I am filming myself riding over water, if I had a spectator / assistant I would have the Controller set-up on the beach as a redundancy

Definitely can have both connected and commandeer from both too. I've run several range tests so I knew the limitations

One downside is if there is no visual tracking (i.e. it's not a person or a car) the GPS tracking of the Beacon is not at all as smooth as it would normally be
Yes, it can be done but Skydio doesn't support it. I filed some bugs on it when I had weird behavior and they basically told me not to do it and they wouldn't support me if anything goes wrong. I posted a thread some ages ago and got kinda shamed for even thinking about this. I'm under this scenario all the time, I give a buddy the beacon, have him put my connected phone in his pocket and ride. If things go wrong I have to run over to him, grab the phone back quick to recover. It's a huge pain, especially when I'm in the backcountry and my friend is in a hard to reach location, or the drone is stuck precariously in some trees where I can't easily get in range.
 

paularity

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Yes, it can be done but Skydio doesn't support it. I filed some bugs on it when I had weird behavior and they basically told me not to do it and they wouldn't support me if anything goes wrong. I posted a thread some ages ago and got kinda shamed for even thinking about this. I'm under this scenario all the time, I give a buddy the beacon, have him put my connected phone in his pocket and ride. If things go wrong I have to run over to him, grab the phone back quick to recover. It's a huge pain, especially when I'm in the backcountry and my friend is in a hard to reach location, or the drone is stuck precariously in some trees where I can't easily get in range.
Yeah I was told that quite a while ago too from support, but I feel like they might have changed their tune on it

I have an ongoing support case about the gimbal twitching as myself and them have been troubleshooting

Latest firmware seems to have ironed out most of the kinks
 

baksideDisasterFlicks

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Yeah I was told that quite a while ago too from support, but I feel like they might have changed their tune on it

I have an ongoing support case about the gimbal twitching as myself and them have been troubleshooting

Latest firmware seems to have ironed out most of the kinks
Good to know. I'll give beacon controller combo another try here soon.
 

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