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Technical discussion about the new KeyFrame skill

Sky Cyclist

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While waiting for the new update push, I feel so excited with my Skydio 2.

Does anyone know the details of the new KeyFrame skill?

(1) When planning the Keyframe, do I need to turn on the aircraft and connect it with the App? Or, can it just be done offline?

(2) Can the planned flight (KeyFrame) be shared? Or, import?

(3) What happens if the signal is lost during flight plan (KeyFrame) execution? Will it continue the flight plan or just be forced to return?

Sorry for so many questions....
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Trailryder42

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From what I'm seeing in the videos demonstrations, it's works like Cable mode, you're just able to insert more points than A and B.

In Cable mode, you have to manually fly the route first, select the points you want as A and B, start and end. Then when finished picking the points to your route, you have the drone "Fly" the route autonomously. Looks like Keyframe works like that. It's just that you can just select more points along the route for the drone to navigate between start and end point.
 

Saladshooter

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Got to test the new KeyFrame function today using my S2 and iPhone. It was both awesome and scary with some good points and room for improvement.

Using the Keyframe function was easy. Just hit move the Skydio where you want it. Point the camera where you want it to look and hit the ADD button. Repeat as many times as you like until you have a complete route. Once you are done then hit an onscreen REWIND button and the Skydio flys your route in reverse filming all the way. Once the Skydio reaches the start point, hit the PLAY button onscreen and it flys your route in a forward direction.

Filming is smooth and looks good.... however I encountered a couple of quirks. The Skydio returned to the first KeyFrame but decided it was about 15 feet away from where I initially recorded it. This took the Skydio through a tree with small branches that wasn't originally in the way..... it evaded without incident but if it had followed my actual flightpath, the tree wouldn't have been in the way.

I deleted the first KeyFrame so the Skydio wouldn't have to fly back through the tree but it backfired. As soon as the first Keyframe was deleted the Skydio immediately took off at a high rate of speed to the second Keyframe..... through a large stand of trees. Again it made it through like a champ but I doubt my luck would hold up if I made many more of these mistakes.

One disappointment is the speed of the KeyFrame mission. It is limited to about 5 MPH which make for some slow footage that will have to be sped up in post if you are flying for any distance. I flew about 1000ft in one direction and it felt and looked on video like an eternity.

So my takeaway from today's test is that I like the KeyFrame function but will have to be careful where it is used unless Skydio continues to tweak the software. It could use some additional precision and the ability to run the route at a faster speed.
 
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LivinLarge

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I am very happy that Skydio added the Keyframe feature and that it is backward compatible to the original S2. I was ready to sell my Skydio and this has changed my mind. I am a bit disappointed that we cannot preplan the mission without having to fly to each point. Also we cannot change speed between waypoints. I have enjoyed these features and more with my Parrot Anafi, which is an older and less expensive drone. One other thing the Anafi will do is complete the mission if signal is lost. I'm guessing the S2 would just return to home.
 

Trailryder42

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Filming is smooth and looks good.... however I encountered a couple of quirks. The Skydio returned to the first KeyFrame but decided it was about 15 feet away from where I initially recorded it. This took the Skydio through a tree with small branches that wasn't originally in the way..... it evaded without incident but if it had followed my actual flightpath, the tree wouldn't have been in the way.

I deleted the first KeyFrame so the Skydio wouldn't have to fly back through the tree but it backfired. As soon as the first Keyfrome was deleted the Skydio immediately took off at a high rate of speed to the second Keyframe..... through a large stand of trees. Again it made it through like a champ but I doubt my luck would hold up if I made many more of these mistakes.

That's good to know. So......make sure the Skydios current position is NOT the Keyframe you're wanting to delete, but if it is, fly to an adjacent Keyframe first or just know/understand it's going to suddenly take off to the next Keyframe. Or make a new Keyframe at the actual position the drone DID return to, then delete the one that it missed.

I don't doubt there are going to be more little quirks like this popping up as folks use it more.
 

RiverEagle

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@Saladshooter Very interesting and kinda funny I confess, glad the Skydio is a champ at obstacle avoidance. Your story reminds me of the time I was trying out a Mavic Mini and I hit the RTH button while it was under a tree and it shot up and broke up on a big branch above. Oops.

With regards to the speed, I saw on a Youtube video someone adjusting the Keyframe speed to 11mph max. I checked Skydio's documentation which was just updated and it confirms that's the max. I'd prefer faster but it's better than 5 I'd say. They claim it is limited to 11mph to keep it on track as it flies.

Thanks for sharing!
Ray
 

Saladshooter

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With regards to the speed, I saw on a Youtube video someone adjusting the Keyframe speed to 11mph max. I checked Skydio's documentation which was just updated and it confirms that's the max. I'd prefer faster but it's better than 5 I'd say. They claim it is limited to 11mph to keep it on track as it flies.
I only put one battery through it today but unless my eyes were deceiving me I was moving at 4.4mph with only a little more adjustment available. I would love to be wrong and will probably be back out with the Skydio tomorrow. Temperatures are hovering around freezing so my flight time is limited.

One note is that all the current reviews online were done with prerelease/beta software. I did not see all of the options in the current software that were available in DC Rainmaker's test of the KeyFrame skill. It is possible that additional settings are there but I will have to report after another flight.
 
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kenmavic2zoom

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this is good information to know. thanks for sharing. i love the cable cam mode and i always dreamed what it would be like if you could enter four points and have it complete a square as in go around the perimeter and return home. keyframes turned out to be infinitely better than that!
 
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Saladshooter

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skydio just posted a keyframes video and speed is highlighted in a big way. i really hope it's really there
It probably means it's there and I wasn't paying attention to the full capability or that is coming soon. The slider for speed was there in my IOS App but I don't remember it having 11mph available. I will definitely confirm tomorrow.

Has anyone been able to get the Android version yet?.....
 

Sky Cyclist

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From what I'm seeing in the videos demonstrations, it's works like Cable mode, you're just able to insert more points than A and B.

In Cable mode, you have to manually fly the route first, select the points you want as A and B, start and end. Then when finished picking the points to your route, you have the drone "Fly" the route autonomously. Looks like Keyframe works like that. It's just that you can just select more points along the route for the drone to navigate between start and end point.

Yes, it seems so to me, too.

Now, the KeyFrame supports up to 100 points and more complex flight path, I think that the OFFLINE editing would be a must.

Even the basic cinematography, it always need to take time to plan the flight path and repeat and repeat.

My ideal use scenario would be

(1) Fly the drone manually (just fly, not fly and set "A", "B", and "C"... points)
(2) Review the flight path and flight log (offline or online)
(3) Edit the path and make an autonomous flight.
(4) Repeat the procedure until I archieve the result I expect.

I don't know if Skydio inc. will watch the forum but I hope so.

The ability to edit the flight path offline will be needed as an important update for the next version.
 

Trailryder42

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Yes, it seems so to me, too.

Now, the KeyFrame supports up to 100 points and more complex flight path, I think that the OFFLINE editing would be a must.

Even the basic cinematography, it always need to take time to plan the flight path and repeat and repeat.

My ideal use scenario would be

(1) Fly the drone manually (just fly, not fly and set "A", "B", and "C"... points)
(2) Review the flight path and flight log (offline or online)
(3) Edit the path and make an autonomous flight.
(4) Repeat the procedure until I archieve the result I expect.

I don't know if Skydio inc. will watch the forum but I hope so.

The ability to edit the flight path offline will be needed as an important update for the next version.

Gosh, trying to pre-fly a route to set up even a fraction of those allotted 100 points could take long enough to use up the first battery before finishing.

I'm guessing, then when you go to swap in a fresh battery, everything thing about that route you were working on would be lost before you had a chance to "Fly" it.
 
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Sky Cyclist

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Gosh, trying to pre-fly a route to set up even a fraction of those allotted 100 points could take long enough to use up the first battery before finishing.

I'm guessing, then when you go to swap in a fresh battery, everything thing about that route you were working on would be lost before you had a chance to "Fly" it.

It seems that if we want to take full advantage of the potential of KeyFrame, we need to prepare a backpack for Skydio and install some power banks in it for Skydio to fly.

I hope someone of Skydio inc. can read this and consider to enhance the offline editing feature for KeyFrame.
 

Saladshooter

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Gosh, trying to pre-fly a route to set up even a fraction of those allotted 100 points could take long enough to use up the first battery before finishing.

I'm guessing, then when you go to swap in a fresh battery, everything thing about that route you were working on would be lost before you had a chance to "Fly" it.
Supposedly you can return to the keyframe mission after a battery swap...... but you have to start EXACTLY where the first keyframe was logged. That's per the DC Rainmaker test on Youtube. He said its unreliable.
 
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Sky Cyclist

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Supposedly you can return to the keyframe mission after a battery swap...... but you have to start EXACTLY where the first keyframe was logged. That's per the DC Rainmaker test on Youtube. He said its unreliable.

Thank you for this information.

I attach the screens here for quick reference and technical disucssion.

 

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Sky Cyclist

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While waiting for the release of the KeyFrame's Android update, it became clearer how to use KeyFrame in the future.
  • It would be more appropriate to think of it as an enhanced version of Cable Cam. It is just not a flight path planning feature.
  • The creation of the KeyFrame is not like a planning or editing but recording. Just like Cable Cam.
  • The last recorded key frames can be reload after the battery swap.
  • The first time to record the key frames, it is required to take some time to fly through every single frames one by one manually
  • Although it can set up to 100 frames, in actual operation, the optimization is to use fewer frames instead of setting too many. (Maybe 3 or 5 will be the best number of using KeyFrame)
The whole process of using KeyFrame could be operated like this

1. Bring at least 2 batteries for the flight
2. Use the 1st battery to record the key frames (or half of the first battery's capacity)
3. Then, use the KeyFrames
4. Check the result quickly and adjust it if necessary

Well, it will work quite well for me.

Now, just waiting for the update and do the tests myself.
 

Saladshooter

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Tested the new Keyframe skill again today. This time I found the speed slider and was able to fly at 11.5mph. This is a big improvement over the first flight which was way too slow due to my lack of familiarity with the Keyframe controls.

The disappointing part so far is that the waypoints/keyframes seem to drift. I flew a path down the middle of a river to test the skill and should have been way out of harm's way. Instead the Skydio's route shifted to follow the riverbank and flew through more than a few trees. The initial Keyframe shifted by at least 75ft and placed the Skydio just under a stand of trees that was nowhere near my launch point.

The footage the Keyframe skill produces is excellent and its a worthy feature but I feel there are some bugs that need to be worked out before my luck with branches runs out.
 

kgilbertsen

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Instead the Skydio's route shifted to follow the riverbank and flew through more than a few trees. The initial Keyframe shifted by at least 75ft and placed the Skydio just under a stand of trees that was nowhere near my launch point.

That's a huge bug! Hopefully they get that one resolved soon.
 

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