June 25 2020

What's New with Skydio 2: Detailed Overview

Skydio

Skydio 2 Autonomous Drones case landing

Check here for all the details on what’s new with Skydio 2’s latest software update:

EXTENDED TRACKING DISTANCE

The maximum range when tracking a subject has been extended to 40m (130ft) with a Skydio Beacon and 20m (66ft) without. A strong GPS signal is required to track at long range and poor GPS performance may impact tracking quality. If GPS quality is insufficient, the maximum tracking range on the beacon will be capped at 20m in order to maintain a visual lock.

BEACON IMPROVEMENTS

Due to customer feedback we have improved the Beacon Launch/Subject selection process. When launching from the ground using a Beacon, Skydio 2 will now hover in place. The Beacon holder can now stand in front of the camera and tap the Skydio button to begin subject tracking. If the Beacon holder is not standing in front of Skydio 2 and they tap the Skydio button, Skydio 2 will use the GPS signal from the Beacon to locate the subject. This significantly improves Beacon tracking performance when starting from a ground launch and allows for a strong visual tracking lock. Please note this change only affects ground takeoffs. When performing a hand launch with the Beacon, Skydio 2 will still automatically turn around and lock on the pilot as normal.

Beacon Orbit: We have added the Orbit skill to the Beacon menu. When orbiting with the beacon, you can use the Drag and Drop controls to change the speed/direction of the Orbit. To Drag and Drop, point the Beacon at Skydio 2, hold the Skydio button, drag in the direction you want Skydio 2 to fly and release the Skydio button. You may also change the direction and speed of Skydio 2’s orbit path with the left and right arrow buttons or change the distance with the + and - buttons on the Beacon.

Beacon Hover: We’ve also added the Hover skill to the Beacon menu as well. While Skydio 2 is in Hover, if you go out of view, it will continue to track you using GPS and will reacquire visual lock once it sees you again. While in Hover, you may use Drag and Drop to change Skydio 2’s hover position and use the + and — buttons to move it closer or further away.

Safe Landing

Obstacle Avoidance and Nudging During Landing: When a landing is initiated, Skydio 2 will descend with full obstacle avoidance until it is 3m (10 ft) above the ground. Once Skydio 2 is less than 3m from the ground the LEDs on Skydio 2 will turn yellow and all obstacle avoidance will be disabled for the remainder of the landing. Users will be notified of this change on screen if flying with the Skydio 2 app. While Skydio 2 is landing you may nudge the drone forwards, backwards, left or right using the Controller or digital thumbsticks in the app.

NOTE: Do not attempt to hand catch Skydio 2 before the LEDs turn yellow. Attempting to hand catch Skydio 2 while obstacle avoidance is active will cause it to attempt to avoid your hand and may result in Skydio 2 impacting yourself or another nearby object.

You may cancel a landing by:

  • Pressing the STOP button on either the app or the Beacon.
  • Commanding Skydio 2 ascend in the app.
  • Commanding throttle up via the Controller at full stick. Throttling up at less than full stick will slow down landing speed, allowing you more time to maneuver.

Case Landing: To initiate a case landing, the Skydio case must be in view of Skydio 2’s camera while it is landing. A yellow ring will appear around the case in the live video feed to indicate that Skydio 2 has seen the case and will land on it. If you do not see the yellow ring, Skydio 2 will not land on the case and will continue to descend straight down. Piloting or nudging the vehicle during a case landing will cancel the case landing and continue with a normal landing.

NOTE: If a flight is initiated by taking off from a case (or a case is placed at Skydio 2’s exact take off point), GPS positional accuracy cannot be relied upon to guarantee a case landing when using the Return to Home function (or in the case of an RTH triggered by lost communication).

HOW TO UPDATE THE DUAL CHARGER

The Dual Charger has received a software update that allows it to pass power through to the 2nd USB-C port, allowing you to plug in and charge small accessories like the Beacon, Controller, or your Phone. If you connect 1 or 2 batteries to the charger and then plug in a USB accessory, you can charge the accessory off the batteries.

  • Some devices (like usb-c phones) will usually automatically turn the charger on and begin drawing power. For devices that don’t (like the beacon and controller), you’ll need to hold the battery button for a few seconds to turn the charger on.
  • You can plug different accessories into each port to charge both at the same time
  • If you have two batteries installed, it will draw power from the battery with the least charge first, then seamlessly switch to the 2nd battery

To update the Dual Charger to the latest software:

  1. Download the latest updates to the Skydio 2 app.
  2. Update your Skydio 2 drone to the latest firmware.
  3. Place a battery in Skydio 2 and power it on.
  4. Place a 2nd battery in the Dual Charger*.
  5. Plug the Dual Charger into the Skydio 2 using a USB-C to USB-C cable.
  6. The LEDs on the battery attached to the Dual Charger will turn green to indicate the update is in progress.
  7. When the LEDs on the battery turn solid green, the update has finished. This typically takes 3–5 minutes.

NOTE: If you do not have a 2nd battery to place in the Dual Charger the update will still occur, but there will be no visual indication. Simply wait 5 minutes for the update to complete before unplugging the Dual Charger.

OTHER UPDATES AND IMPROVEMENTS

  • Improved messaging on the phone when Skydio 2 can’t ascend above 30’ due to poor GPS signal. This can be fixed by moving the vehicle laterally until GPS heading lock is achieved.
  • Added a setting to allow Mode 1 and Mode 3 control options to the Skydio Controller.
  • Some camera settings (such as video resolution and framerate) are now locked while autonomously tracking a subject. Skydio 2 must be under manual control to change these settings.
  • Fixed a bug that was causing flight logs to be stored longer then they should on mobile devices, leading to the app taking up large amounts of space. Mobile devices will now only store flight logs for the last 5 most recent flights.
  • Fixed a bug that was preventing users from downloading media and clips while connected through the Controller
  • The fastest interval photo setting when capturing in raw DNG has been increased to two seconds. Users may still capture a photo every one second when capturing in JPG mode.
  • Updated Skydio 2’s landing shadow to only display when the vehicle is within 30’ of the ground.

-Team Skydio