Today at CES 2022, Skydio, a California-based drone manufacturer, announced a new, enhanced version of its autonomous and obstacle-avoiding Skydio 2 model. Skydio 2+, released a little over 2 years after its predecessor, offers up improved flight range, longer flight time, a Skydio Care program, and a new Keyframe mode. The latter is aimed at cinematographers and creatives.
The Skydio 2+ is equipped with two pop-up antennas, found on the top-front arms of the aircraft, and a 5GHz Wi-Fi radio for connectivity at longer distances. Skydio claims you’ll now be able to fly up to 3 kilometers (1.86 miles) away with a new Skydio 2+ Beacon controller — twice as far as with the original Beacon — and get 6 kilometers of range with its optional twin-stick remote (3.72 miles), compared to 3.5 kilometers with the regular Skydio 2.
The Skydio 2+ has a new battery, but uses same design as the original model, making them interchangeable. The difference is a 20% increase in flight time — up to 27 minutes in ideal conditions. This is a 3-minute improvement from the 24 minutes the original model offers.
|Skydio’s Keyframe feature, coupled with its 360º obstacle avoidance, makes it easy for anyone to capture professional-grade footage.|
Skydio 2+ still features the same lightweight frame, omnidirectional obstacle avoidance capabilities and camera with a Sony IMX577 1/2.3”, 12.3MP CMOS sensor. The company has decided to improve its follow-me mode with the introduction of Keyframe, which allows you to set pre-determined flight paths using keyframes, with the ability to adjust speed, direction and more in-between those points.
Simply fly the drone to the desired location, rotate the drone and tilt the camera for the desired shot, tap the screen to designate the way point, and repeat these steps until the desired path is set. The drone can fly either forward or backward at a pre-selected speed. Keyframe is available on both the Skydio 2 and 2+ models.
Here is an example of Skydio’s Keyframe feature in action. This could make it easier for any drone pilot, even without any prior flight experience, to showcase a property for a realtor from an aerial perspective with minimal risk.
Similar to DJI’s Care Refresh program, there is Skydio Care that extends the drone’s limited 1-year warranty. It provides coverage for accidents, water damage and unrecoverable landings. Paying either $149 for an additional year or $249 for 2 more years allows users to get a replacement drone for as little as $150 with no questions asked.
The Skydio 2+ costs $1,099, $100 more than the Skydio 2. More information, including full specs, can be found on the company’s site.