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What do you think could be improved on S2/S2+?

rnelias

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New owner here (outside US/Canada).

I've recently got a Skydio2 to record my kitesurf sessions.

I have some drone piloting experience, including drone racing/freestyle and already had other DJI drones.

Here are some things that I wish Skydio folks consider on the next firmware/software updates,

1). Battery limit for self-RTH routine. I've already had a flight with my S2 over water and, although the beacon now has a RTH option, we must keep close attention to the battery level to explicit tell the drone when to come back. It could be defined in the "RTH behavior" option

2). RAW file video. The blueish/greenish aspect of the S2 files are not bad but I wish we had more freedom to color grade the final footage.

What are your thoughts?
 

rnelias

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still looking for tips and suggestions video for beacon rth....

Press [stop] in the beacon and [right arrow] until finding the RTH option. There are 3 options available: a). to the beacon, b). to the launching point, c). to home point. If you're flying over water, option "a" would be suicide, of course but I've already tried option "b" and it returned correctly but I've managed to come back on time and land it myself.
 

paularity

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New owner here (outside US/Canada).

I've recently got a Skydio2 to record my kitesurf sessions.

I have some drone piloting experience, including drone racing/freestyle and already had other DJI drones.

Here are some things that I wish Skydio folks consider on the next firmware/software updates,

1). Battery limit for self-RTH routine. I've already had a flight with my S2 over water and, although the beacon now has a RTH option, we must keep close attention to the battery level to explicit tell the drone when to come back. It could be defined in the "RTH behavior" option

2). RAW file video. The blueish/greenish aspect of the S2 files are not bad but I wish we had more freedom to color grade the final footage.

What are your thoughts?

I get a lot of question about this subject, so I think I'll chime in

1 - I don't see what the big fuss is about to be honest... planning and having exit strategies is critical and in my mind there are far too many variables to rely on a RTH at x%

You could be a lot further from the launch point than you think and then what, the drone just commits suicide?

Pretty easy to keep an eye on the battery percentage and manually hit RTH - ~140 hours and it's never been a problem even before they added it with w firmware update

2 - are you shooting with AWB? That can mess with the water colours

Manual all the way

4K60p - 1/120th shutter speed - 5000K white balance - ND16 is what I use most of the time and adjust in FCPX

I've actual filmed a full 20 minute raw run where I talk about some of my do's and dont's and I'll upload it soon

I saw your kite video and there was some cringe moments with the drone quite close to your lines!

I'd recommend to launch the drone after your kite is in the air and park it at the edge of the wind window (which on a foil obviously changes since your AoA is better than a twin tip) on position 2 (10m)

Avoid the dronie when kiting too since the Skydio might decide the best way to get back into tracking mode is to fly in front of you!

I've had to abort before and came scarily close to smashing into a foil kite!
 
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rnelias

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I get a lot of question about this subject, so I think I'll chime in

1 - I don't see what the big fuss is about to be honest... planning and having exit strategies is critical and in my mind there are far too many variables to rely on a RTH at x%

You could be a lot further from the launch point than you think and then what, the drone just commits suicide?

Pretty easy to keep an eye on the battery percentage and manually hit RTH - ~140 hours and it's never been a problem even before they added it with w firmware update

Using the video I've posted as reference, it was my first time flying this drone over water. The wind was too light and I had to pay close attention to the kite too (I don't consider myself an experienced foiler), thus, it was stressfull to keep an eye on the kite, the drone position and if the battery was enough to come back safely. I've guessed that I should be close to the launching point when the battery had 20% left and followed this plan and thought: "the drone could have this option already programmed and I wouldn't have to be concerned about the battery -- but, of couse, should program the percentage accordingly". Moreover, RTH, over water, using the beacon, is not straightforward (yet). As I've explained to @kenmavic2zoom, you have to find the (correct) option buried in the beacon's menu and tells the drone that it must come back (a long press in the stop button would be welcome in this case)

2 - are you shooting with AWB? That can mess with the water colours

to be honest, as I was used with DJI drones, with plenty of options, I've got a little disappointed with the S2 video settings and left everything on default. In my case, I'll usually fly this drone in sunny days with plenty of light and reflexion over water. I don't have ND filters (yet) and the raw file would certainly give us more freedom to match the footage with my "mood and taste" instead of accepting the blueish/greenish Skydio color map everytime. It would be just an option. I think it's good to have choices ;)

Manual all the way

4K60p - 1/120th shutter speed - 5000K white balance - ND16 is what I use most of the time and adjust in FCPX

I've actual filmed a full 20 minute raw run where I talk about some of my do's and dont's and I'll upload it soon

I saw your kite video and there was some cringe moments with the drone quite close to your lines!

I'd recommend to launch the drone after your kite is in the air and park it at the edge of the wind window (which on a foil obviously changes since your AoA is better than a twin tip) on position 2 (10m)

Avoid the dronie when kiting too since the Skydio might decide the best way to get back into tracking mode is to fly in front of you!

I've had to abort before and came scarily close to smashing into a foil kite!

It was my first flight over water. Very stressful. It was even more stressful if you consider that I live in Brazil and, any damage could not be readily repaired since Skydio only covers North America. I had a couple of close calls on this ride and I'm pretty sure there was a moment that the drone avoided colision with my lines. Something that I've found very confusing was the "angle" in the fixed tracking. It doen's make much sense for me and had to make some changes to see where the drone would go to follow me. The "back/front/sides" of the active tracking is easier to understand. Another issue that I've detected was the drone height x distance. Sometimes it was too close and almost over my head, limiting my kite movement. My reflect was to send the kite as far as possible to give me some room for water (re)start

I should have included a 3rd improvement for S2.

3). Water resistant beacon. Should be obvious these days that an action autonomous drone would be used over water and require a water resistant beacon.
 

paularity

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Using the video I've posted as reference, it was my first time flying this drone over water. The wind was too light and I had to pay close attention to the kite too (I don't consider myself an experienced foiler), thus, it was stressfull to keep an eye on the kite, the drone position and if the battery was enough to come back safely. I've guessed that I should be close to the launching point when the battery had 20% left and followed this plan and thought: "the drone could have this option already programmed and I wouldn't have to be concerned about the battery -- but, of couse, should program the percentage accordingly". Moreover, RTH, over water, using the beacon, is not straightforward (yet). As I've explained to @kenmavic2zoom, you have to find the (correct) option buried in the beacon's menu and tells the drone that it must come back (a long press in the stop button would be welcome in this case)
Agree to disagree, it's not that difficult, you just need more time flying

My unbreakable rule is to bring the drone back over land at 30% regardless

You've flown once, I've had ~400 flights and I've seen all sorts of erratic behaviours in different conditions

And if you are in marginal winds foiling, you're asking for trouble trying to multitask!
to be honest, as I was used with DJI drones, with plenty of options, I've got a little disappointed with the S2 video settings and left everything on default. In my case, I'll usually fly this drone in sunny days with plenty of light and reflexion over water. I don't have ND filters (yet) and the raw file would certainly give us more freedom to match the footage with my "mood and taste" instead of accepting the blueish/greenish Skydio color map everytime. It would be just an option. I think it's good to have choices ;)
I haven't used auto settings for quite some time, so don't have a problem with the settings that I recommended

It would be the AWB
It was my first flight over water. Very stressful. It was even more stressful if you consider that I live in Brazil and, any damage could not be readily repaired since Skydio only covers North America. I had a couple of close calls on this ride and I'm pretty sure there was a moment that the drone avoided colision with my lines. Something that I've found very confusing was the "angle" in the fixed tracking. It doen's make much sense for me and had to make some changes to see where the drone would go to follow me. The "back/front/sides" of the active tracking is easier to understand. Another issue that I've detected was the drone height x distance. Sometimes it was too close and almost over my head, limiting my kite movement. My reflect was to send the kite as far as possible to give me some room for water (re)start
I'm in Australia mate, and I'm on drone #5 so I know full well the dramas haha!

It wouldn't be able to see your lines

Trust me fixed angle is the best mode for kiting, or any water sports really - you just need to practice more

Preferably on land in a park or something so you can understand how it works

Each point is 40 degrees and like I said position the drone at the edge of the wind window and you can move laterally and tack both ways without risk of a collision

Motion tracking will end up taking something out

You can change the height by pausing the drone and using the +/- buttons, but you really should set that up before you start moving on the beach and get submerged in the water

Position 2 - 10m is my most used

I should have included a 3rd improvement for S2.

3). Water resistant beacon. Should be obvious these days that an action autonomous drone would be used over water and require a water resistant beacon.
It would be nice, but it's certainly not a deal breaker

You'd still need to mount it to your forearm too and hitting the big red pause button whenever you need to is critical

Good luck
 
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Foilguy

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I completely agree with rnelias on having an auto RTH function option that kicks in at a certain battery percentage as being highly beneficial for certain watersparts. I’ll agree to completely disagree with paularity.

We had that exact function on the Staaker tracking drone and it worked perfectly for me every time I used it Wingfoiling and kitefoiling. It was the ideal safety “valve” in case I did not get back to shore, lost track of time, had a gear breakdown, got caught in the impact zone, etc. The operator ideally should be able to set the battery% for RTH to kick in, based on the operators knowledge of wind direction and maximum potential distance from the launch point. Staaker only gave you a 40% level in waterstaaak mode. There were times I wanted the full 40% reserve and other times 20% would have been fine.

That unbreakable rule about bringing the drone back over land with 30% battery is interesting. Paularity, do you have some Skydio video of you watersport activities? Would love to see some. Thanks!
 
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paularity

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I completely agree with rnelias on having an auto RTH function option that kicks in at a certain battery percentage as being highly beneficial for certain watersparts. I’ll agree to completely disagree with paularity.

We had that exact function on the Staaker tracking drone and it worked perfectly for me every time I used it Wingfoiling and kitefoiling. It was the ideal safety “valve” in case I did not get back to shore, lost track of time, had a gear breakdown, got caught in the impact zone, etc. The operator ideally should be able to set the battery% for RTH to kick in, based on the operators knowledge of wind direction and maximum potential distance from the launch point. Staaker only gave you a 40% level in waterstaaak mode. There were times I wanted the full 40% reserve and other times 20% would have been fine.

That unbreakable rule about bringing the drone back over land with 30% battery is interesting. Paularity, do you have some Skydio video of you watersport activities? Would love to see some. Thanks!
40% is a big buffer

I still have no qualms with the lack of feature, it’s a non-issue for me

I just filmed this recently:


Landing page is paularity.com
 
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Jtoth

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New owner here (outside US/Canada).

I've recently got a Skydio2 to record my kitesurf sessions.

I have some drone piloting experience, including drone racing/freestyle and already had other DJI drones.

Here are some things that I wish Skydio folks consider on the next firmware/software updates,

1). Battery limit for self-RTH routine. I've already had a flight with my S2 over water and, although the beacon now has a RTH option, we must keep close attention to the battery level to explicit tell the drone when to come back. It could be defined in the "RTH behavior" option

2). RAW file video. The blueish/greenish aspect of the S2 files are not bad but I wish we had more freedom to color grade the final footage.

What are your thoughts?
100%!!! to have an option for RTH on a low battery, its pretty much useless for most water sports w/o this basic DJI feature.
 

NEDroner

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@paularity what is the augmented reality app you mentioned in your video for helping you assess lighting etc for your videos and photos?
 

BTCI

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Using the video I've posted as reference, it was my first time flying this drone over water. The wind was too light and I had to pay close attention to the kite too (I don't consider myself an experienced foiler), thus, it was stressfull to keep an eye on the kite, the drone position and if the battery was enough to come back safely. I've guessed that I should be close to the launching point when the battery had 20% left and followed this plan and thought: "the drone could have this option already programmed and I wouldn't have to be concerned about the battery -- but, of couse, should program the percentage accordingly". Moreover, RTH, over water, using the beacon, is not straightforward (yet). As I've explained to @kenmavic2zoom, you have to find the (correct) option buried in the beacon's menu and tells the drone that it must come back (a long press in the stop button would be welcome in this case)



to be honest, as I was used with DJI drones, with plenty of options, I've got a little disappointed with the S2 video settings and left everything on default. In my case, I'll usually fly this drone in sunny days with plenty of light and reflexion over water. I don't have ND filters (yet) and the raw file would certainly give us more freedom to match the footage with my "mood and taste" instead of accepting the blueish/greenish Skydio color map everytime. It would be just an option. I think it's good to have choices ;)



It was my first flight over water. Very stressful. It was even more stressful if you consider that I live in Brazil and, any damage could not be readily repaired since Skydio only covers North America. I had a couple of close calls on this ride and I'm pretty sure there was a moment that the drone avoided colision with my lines. Something that I've found very confusing was the "angle" in the fixed tracking. It doen's make much sense for me and had to make some changes to see where the drone would go to follow me. The "back/front/sides" of the active tracking is easier to understand. Another issue that I've detected was the drone height x distance. Sometimes it was too close and almost over my head, limiting my kite movement. My reflect was to send the kite as far as possible to give me some room for water (re)start

I should have included a 3rd improvement for S2.

3). Water resistant beacon. Should be obvious these days that an action autonomous drone would be used over water and require a water resistant beacon.
3) Ziploc bag
 

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