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Skydio 2 tracking speed in windy conditions?

Blokart1

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Skydio claims that the Skydio 2 will track you at a maximum speed of 36 mph. What if I'm traveling 36 mph on my quad into a 36 mph headwind, will the S2 be able to keep up? And what about traveling with a 36 mph wind, is the S2 limited to 36mph?
Is there a wind speed limit when flying the S2. And how does the S2 handle flying in windy conditions?
I'm looking for a drone to capture video of us landsailing. We landsail on very large, smooth wide open playas in the deserts of Nevada & Arizona. Sometimes there are 30 or more of us racing around at a time at speeds from 20-50 mph, depending if were sailing against the wind or with the wind. Just wondering if the S2 would be able to keep up going 50 mph with the wind?
This is my 1st thread and my 1st day on your forum. I hope someone can answer my question.
Thanks
 

Blokart1

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Thanks River-Eagle! That video answered all of my questions but one. Is the S2 limited to 36 mph when it's traveling with the wind. Maybe Skydio limits the S2 speed to 36 mph in all wind conditions due to OA? If that's true, is there a way to disarm the OA to increase its speed? Where we landsail, there isn't a tree, bush, rock, power line for 5 miles in all directions. I need to know these capabilities before I pull the trigger.

This video shows what I want to video with the S2.
Thanks for the speedy reply River-Eagle!
 
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RiverEagle

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As far as I know the max speed for the Skydio regardless is 36mph. Obviously the wind can help that along in the right direction.
 

ETdronehome

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Skydio claims that the Skydio 2 will track you at a maximum speed of 36 mph. What if I'm traveling 36 mph on my quad into a 36 mph headwind, will the S2 be able to keep up? And what about traveling with a 36 mph wind, is the S2 limited to 36mph?
Is there a wind speed limit when flying the S2. And how does the S2 handle flying in windy conditions?
I'm looking for a drone to capture video of us landsailing. We landsail on very large, smooth wide open playas in the deserts of Nevada & Arizona. Sometimes there are 30 or more of us racing around at a time at speeds from 20-50 mph, depending if were sailing against the wind or with the wind. Just wondering if the S2 would be able to keep up going 50 mph with the wind?
This is my 1st thread and my 1st day on your forum. I hope someone can answer my question.
Thanks
My understanding is the Skydio 2 flys with OA on all the time. The OA - AI engine creates a sphere (bubble) with the drone in the centre. It will adapt its flight behaviour based on what it sees and computes as an “obstacle” it “might” need to avoid. Might is based on direction of travel, if the tracked object turns the “ view” changes. One of the variables the drone changes is it’s speed - easily observed by trying to fly into a brick wall at top speed, the drone slows down as it approaches, it might go left, right, up or some combo or perhaps even stop and hover.

As you say in your case there is very little for the drone to avoid other than the ground or ANY object standing still (people, cars,land yachts) If any of those non-tracked objects are moving the drone MIGHT NOT and LIKELY WILL NOT AVOID THEM!!. This is one of the reasons Skydio put in the height floor limiter.

The max sustained speed is what they state but it might exceed that in short bursts when it repositions itself, it feels like it’s going about 100mph when it flys around you.:) You might see some changes in drone speed as a result of wind speed and/or direction but as a sailor you already know that right:cool:

The drone also behaves slightly differently in its two modes - autonomous flight ON or manual flight with a controller device. Drone makes ALL decisions or the pilot makes some.

So for your sport if you are going to track any one competitor at the very least I would be sure that the top of the mast of any competitors yacht does not exceed the height floor ceiling of the drone. I think that’s 8ft but not positive on that.

If you are recording a bunch of competitors learn how to position the drone well above the activity for safety AND provide a wider field of view for when the yachts are going faster than the drone can fly. A pilot using a controller would likely yield the best results.

If you are just sailing by yourself in tracking mode you could disable height floor and bring it in close. There is an increased risk of high speed low altitude tracking ESPECIALLY in featureless surroundings. All the drone manufactures warn about depending on OA over things like calm water, sheer ice, snow covered areas and of course exactly the type of ideal terrain for your sport.
 
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Ridefreak

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Skydio claims that the Skydio 2 will track you at a maximum speed of 36 mph. What if I'm traveling 36 mph on my quad into a 36 mph headwind, will the S2 be able to keep up? And what about traveling with a 36 mph wind, is the S2 limited to 36mph?
Is there a wind speed limit when flying the S2. And how does the S2 handle flying in windy conditions?
I'm looking for a drone to capture video of us landsailing. We landsail on very large, smooth wide open playas in the deserts of Nevada & Arizona. Sometimes there are 30 or more of us racing around at a time at speeds from 20-50 mph, depending if were sailing against the wind or with the wind. Just wondering if the S2 would be able to keep up going 50 mph with the wind?
This is my 1st thread and my 1st day on your forum. I hope someone can answer my question.
Thanks
Welcome to the forum. If you're trying to fly in 36mph wind it will give you a high wind warning almost immediately, as soon as it tries to hover and maintain a stopped position which it does immediately after taking off. We often get strong winds and I've seen this many times. 20mph winds will cause issues, as you probably know the listed wind speed you see on the weather is an estimate at ground level, as soon as you go up so does the wind. The drone isn't going to follow you at 36mph with any reliability unless you're going straight and the wind isn't a factor. Higher up it will do better provided the wind isn't excessive but the subject is pretty small at that point. It cuts the corners so that helps it keep up but it's not going to do well in an environment where the wind is strong enough to propel you at 36mph. It might work downwind if you can get it past the initial hoovering stage w/o it telling you to land. Another thing is it's easily confused by multiple vehicles, it's likely that it will eventually lock onto another vehicle/person and take off down the salt flat chasing them, I've experienced that behavior more then once. That's going to be really hard to deal with if you're in another wind powered vehicle. The other thing is it doesn't see other moving vehicles which isn't an issue if it's high enough but it'll fly right into another sail of one gets in its path. I wouldn't count on flying downwind to give you much of a speed boost, I'm pretty sure the drone's top speed is more a matter of how fast it can process OA information rather then physical/electrical limitations.

Edit: Looks like DC Rainmaker confirmed that last statement.
 
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Blokart1

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Welcome to the forum. If you're trying to fly in 36mph wind it will give you a high wind warning almost immediately, as soon as it tries to hover and maintain a stopped position which it does immediately after taking off. We often get strong winds and I've seen this many times. 20mph winds will cause issues, as you probably know the listed wind speed you see on the weather is an estimate at ground level, as soon as you go up so does the wind. The drone isn't going to follow you at 36mph with any reliability unless you're going straight and the wind isn't a factor. Higher up it will do better provided the wind isn't excessive but the subject is pretty small at that point. It cuts the corners so that helps it keep up but it's not going to do well in an environment where the wind is strong enough to propel you at 36mph. It might work downwind if you can get it past the initial hoovering stage w/o it telling you to land. Another thing is it's easily confused by multiple vehicles, it's likely that it will eventually lock onto another vehicle/person and take off down the salt flat chasing them, I've experienced that behavior more then once. That's going to be really hard to deal with if you're in another wind powered vehicle. The other thing is it doesn't see other moving vehicles which isn't an issue if it's high enough but it'll fly right into another sail of one gets in its path. I wouldn't count on flying downwind to give you much of a speed boost, I'm pretty sure the drone's top speed is more a matter of how fast it can process OA information rather then physical/electrical limitations.

Edit: Looks like DC Rainmaker confirmed that last statement.
Thanks RideFreak for passing along to me some important information on the SD2! 1st off, we never sail in winds even close to 36 mph. We usually sail in winds between 8 & 16 mph, gusting to 20-25 (max) Our ground speed usually ranges between 15-40 mph. The only time we go 50 is (briefly) when we travel with the wind in a gust. We normally can travel around 2X the speed of the wind. I believe that the SD2+ is exactly what's needed to add another "dimension" to my land sailing videos, especially a high aerial shot of the fleet racing for the lead! As far as the SD2 glomming onto another sailing craft when sailing around the course, that might not be a bad thing. It will just give the video another perspective. After all, we are all traveling around the same race course and each race only last a total of 12 minutes.
I will post videos ASAP!
Thanks everyone for your help!
 

Ridefreak

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Thanks RideFreak for passing along to me some important information on the SD2! 1st off, we never sail in winds even close to 36 mph. We usually sail in winds between 8 & 16 mph, gusting to 20-25 (max) Our ground speed usually ranges between 15-40 mph. The only time we go 50 is (briefly) when we travel with the wind in a gust. We normally can travel around 2X the speed of the wind. I believe that the SD2+ is exactly what's needed to add another "dimension" to my land sailing videos, especially a high aerial shot of the fleet racing for the lead! As far as the SD2 glomming onto another sailing craft when sailing around the course, that might not be a bad thing. It will just give the video another perspective. After all, we are all traveling around the same race course and each race only last a total of 12 minutes.
I will post videos ASAP!
Thanks everyone for your help!
I though I saw 36 mph into 30+ mph wind, sorry, those numbers are a bit more manageable. I've seen them chase snowmobiles pretty fast. You have brakes on those right, if it's up and you're loosing it you can always slow down a little, you can speed it back up during editing if you want. Around 20mph is about the best I was able to get it to going into the wind at about 20, it tends to dip allot as the gusts hit it. This section of video is shot @ about 20~25mpg flying into pretty strong headwind of 20 mpg or so, I sped it up in editing to make it more watchable but at the time I had to lower the drone, it wouldn't keep up at higher alt due to the winds. It would even come to a stop occasionally for 10 seconds or so when it got hit by a strong gust, then it try to catch up, you have to slow up at that point.
 

Blokart1

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My understanding is the Skydio 2 flys with OA on all the time. The OA - AI engine creates a sphere (bubble) with the drone in the centre. It will adapt its flight behaviour based on what it sees and computes as an “obstacle” it “might” need to avoid. Might is based on direction of travel, if the tracked object turns the “ view” changes. One of the variables the drone changes is it’s speed - easily observed by trying to fly into a brick wall at top speed, the drone slows down as it approaches, it might go left, right, up or some combo or perhaps even stop and hover.

As you say in your case there is very little for the drone to avoid other than the ground or ANY object standing still (people, cars,land yachts) If any of those non-tracked objects are moving the drone MIGHT NOT and LIKELY WILL NOT AVOID THEM!!. This is one of the reasons Skydio put in the height floor limiter.

The max sustained speed is what they state but it might exceed that in short bursts when it repositions itself, it feels like it’s going about 100mph when it flys around you.:) You might see some changes in drone speed as a result of wind speed and/or direction but as a sailor you already know that right:cool:

The drone also behaves slightly differently in its two modes - autonomous flight ON or manual flight with a controller device. Drone makes ALL decisions or the pilot makes some.

So for your sport if you are going to track any one competitor at the very least I would be sure that the top of the mast of any competitors yacht does not exceed the height floor ceiling of the drone. I think that’s 8ft but not positive on that.

If you are recording a bunch of competitors learn how to position the drone well above the activity for safety AND provide a wider field of view for when the yachts are going faster than the drone can fly. A pilot using a controller would likely yield the best results.

If you are just sailing by yourself in tracking mode you could disable height floor and bring it in close. There is an increased risk of high speed low altitude tracking ESPECIALLY in featureless surroundings. All the drone manufactures warn about depending on OA over things like calm water, sheer ice, snow covered areas and of course exactly the type of ideal terrain for your sport.
ETdronehome, thanks for all the good advice! What I'm wanting is some overhead aerial footage of the fleet that will complement the wheel to wheel action taken down at ground level from my GoPro that's attached to my boat. I realize that there will be quite a bit of "trial & error" involved here...hopefully, not too much error!
Some areas in question...will my SD2+ follow me, (with my phone and beacon on my boat) with 10 or 20 other boats spread out around me? Or will my SD2+ glomm on to another craft and follow it around the course? Will my SD2+ be able to keep up with me when I'm going 35-40mph (or very briefly 50 with a strong tail wind) or will my SD2+ decide to stop when it can't keep up and use GPS to try to find me? This project should be both challenging and a lot of fun! If somehow this project fails, I can still use my SD2+ to video our group riding our quads and dirt bikes on the amazing desert & mountain trails we have here in NW Arizona! And many other adventures!
I will keep you posted on this project.
Thanks for the help!
 
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paularity

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Skydio claims that the Skydio 2 will track you at a maximum speed of 36 mph. What if I'm traveling 36 mph on my quad into a 36 mph headwind, will the S2 be able to keep up? And what about traveling with a 36 mph wind, is the S2 limited to 36mph?
Is there a wind speed limit when flying the S2. And how does the S2 handle flying in windy conditions?
I'm looking for a drone to capture video of us landsailing. We landsail on very large, smooth wide open playas in the deserts of Nevada & Arizona. Sometimes there are 30 or more of us racing around at a time at speeds from 20-50 mph, depending if were sailing against the wind or with the wind. Just wondering if the S2 would be able to keep up going 50 mph with the wind?
This is my 1st thread and my 1st day on your forum. I hope someone can answer my question.
Thanks
So I have done a LOT of flying with this drone kiteboarding and eFoiling, over water in winds higher than the drone is rated for...

I'm in Aus so we are metric and I kite with windspeed referred to in knots plus when flying the drone it is telling me speed in metres per second, which makes it a lot more confusing to figure out!

Just checked the specs here:

MAX FLIGHT SPEED (SEA LEVEL, NO WIND)
36 mph (fully autonomous) = 58kph
MAX WIND SPEED RESISTANCE
25 mph = 40kph

Basically it's rated for 22kn windspeed and I have definitely had it in conditions that would be closer to 25kn gusting 30kn and even though the drone is beeping it's head off, it still flies - somewhat

I've also run some test flights in those 'max' 22kn wind conditions previously, so I knew how the drone was going to react!

When punching directly upwind the S2 will have it's speed reduced to about 4m/s, and then when you turn around and fly directly downwind it will be flying about 14m/s

So that means if you (the subject the drone is tracking) is moving any faster than about 15kph directly upwind the drone will struggle to keep up with you

Obviously AoA and different crosswind directions etc. are going to affect things landsailing and I found that kiting downwind yielded the best tracking results as the drone isn't struggling to maintain position

That being said I fly with fixed angle tracking on the edge of the wind window as the drone can't 'see' the kite lines, and contact would be catastrophic to the kiter and the drone haha!

You obviously won't have this issue so motion tracking could work better in the circumstances you're after

Hope that helps
 
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Blokart1

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So I have done a LOT of flying with this drone kiteboarding and eFoiling, over water in winds higher than the drone is rated for...

I'm in Aus so we are metric and I kite with windspeed referred to in knots plus when flying the drone it is telling me speed in metres per second, which makes it a lot more confusing to figure out!

Just checked the specs here:

MAX FLIGHT SPEED (SEA LEVEL, NO WIND)
36 mph (fully autonomous) = 58kph
MAX WIND SPEED RESISTANCE
25 mph = 40kph

Basically it's rated for 22kn windspeed and I have definitely had it in conditions that would be closer to 25kn gusting 30kn and even though the drone is beeping it's head off, it still flies - somewhat

I've also run some test flights in those 'max' 22kn wind conditions previously, so I knew how the drone was going to react!

When punching directly upwind the S2 will have it's speed reduced to about 4m/s, and then when you turn around and fly directly downwind it will be flying about 14m/s

So that means if you (the subject the drone is tracking) is moving any faster than about 15kph directly upwind the drone will struggle to keep up with you

Obviously AoA and different crosswind directions etc. are going to affect things landsailing and I found that kiting downwind yielded the best tracking results as the drone isn't struggling to maintain position

That being said I fly with fixed angle tracking on the edge of the wind window as the drone can't 'see' the kite lines, and contact would be catastrophic to the kiter and the drone haha!

You obviously won't have this issue so motion tracking could work better in the circumstances you're after

Hope that helps
Thanks Paularity for the info! I am purchasing the SD2+ Sport package this week. I realize there will be some limitations & bumps in the road when I'm trying to figure out the best way to capture good land sailing video. That learning process should teach me just what the SD2+ is capable of performing!
Can't wait to start my journey!
Thanks again Paularity for the information!
 

ETdronehome

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ETdronehome, thanks for all the good advice! What I'm wanting is some overhead aerial footage of the fleet that will complement the wheel to wheel action taken down at ground level from my GoPro that's attached to my boat. I realize that there will be quite a bit of "trial & error" involved here...hopefully, not too much error!
Some areas in question...will my SD2+ follow me, (with my phone and beacon on my boat) with 10 or 20 other boats spread out around me? Or will my SD2+ glomm on to another craft and follow it around the course? Will my SD2+ be able to keep up with me when I'm going 35-40mph (or very briefly 50 with a strong tail wind) or will my SD2+ decide to stop when it can't keep up and use GPS to try to find me? This project should be both challenging and a lot of fun! If somehow this project fails, I can still use my SD2+ to video our group riding our quads and dirt bikes on the amazing desert & mountain trails we have here in NW Arizona! And many other adventures!
I will keep you posted on this project.
Thanks for the help!
I have posted this but it seems to have gotten stuck somehow. Apologies if it double posts.

Lot of stuff to unpack here and I really didn’t experiment with max speed stuff so I would rely more on what @Ridefreak and @paularity have to say about that than me. However I will give it go.

It is my understanding that the beacon is the control device that will be connected to the aircraft, the phone will be connected to the beacon and then to the drone and will provide control over camera functions etc but doesn’t really do anything to help the drone track you.

The drone tracks you visually but the beacon by it’s GPS.

If you flew with just the phone the drone would track you visually but if it lost you it wouldn’t know where to “look” to find you. With the beacon the drone can lose you visually but then keep tracking you via GPS. I think(not positive) that if the drone then sees you again it will go back to visual tracking. There is a little eyeball icon on the beacon that displays what tracking “mode” it’s in.

The ability for the drone to keep a visual lock on you when it also sees a bunch of other things that from “its perspective”look like you will be experimental. I sort of think about it like a parent trying to keep track of their kid in a crowd of other kids. If your kid has a bright orange coat on and the other kids are wearing more neutral color then it’s pretty easy. (ask me how I know that 😎). Making your craft more visually distinctive will help. Keep in mind that the farther the drone is away from the tracked object the wider the field of vision it has so even if you are all by yourself it will have a harder time tracking you “visually”. The GPS tracking also isn’t down to the cm and the speed of the “beacon” will add to the complexity. NOTE I am not suggesting you go out on day one and set the drone 3 ft off the deck at its closest range and see what happens 😀.

I would suggest you just go for a walk and get familiar with using the beacon. It provides a lot of flight control. Wanding, switching visual angles, increments of distance from tracked object, direct non tracking flight - beware of this last one. I forgot that the drone disables OA below 10ft in landing mode. I had the drone at face level and pushed forward and almost gave myself a haircut!! 😎

The more you can do to aid the drone in being successful the better it will perform. As anything else you will discover the limits. Do I sheet in a little more now that the windward wheel is off the ground Hmmmm 🤪

The drone’s default modes when it’s not sure what to do is either go into a hover and wait for the pilot to intervene or RTH. There are some settings than provide some control but left to its own devices the aircraft will try to make it safely home. (Low battery etc.)

You are going to have a lot of fun I think!

Did you also order a controller? Very useful to fly drone precisely in non tracking mode.
 

ETdronehome

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ETdronehome, thanks for all the good advice! What I'm wanting is some overhead aerial footage of the fleet that will complement the wheel to wheel action taken down at ground level from my GoPro that's attached to my boat. I realize that there will be quite a bit of "trial & error" involved here...hopefully, not too much error!
Some areas in question...will my SD2+ follow me, (with my phone and beacon on my boat) with 10 or 20 other boats spread out around me? Or will my SD2+ glomm on to another craft and follow it around the course? Will my SD2+ be able to keep up with me when I'm going 35-40mph (or very briefly 50 with a strong tail wind) or will my SD2+ decide to stop when it can't keep up and use GPS to try to find me? This project should be both challenging and a lot of fun! If somehow this project fails, I can still use my SD2+ to video our group riding our quads and dirt bikes on the amazing desert & mountain trails we have here in NW Arizona! And many other adventures!
I will keep you posted on this project.
Thanks for the help!
I’m curious about how things are working for you?
 

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