As you’d expect with a camera-drone designed to track and follow a subject, there are a few different flying modes available. The default “follow” mode will do exactly that, while “side,” “orbit,” and “lead” will take care of their respective eponymous assigned perspectives.
Reportedly, there’s a “stadium” mode offered here, as well, which is pretty exciting. As someone who’s been watching soccer games for close to 30 years, I’ve always wondered at what point sports events will be filmed and televised with a more visceral, engaged point of view. With the advent of affordable, capable drone technology, “stadium” mode may be a microcosm of things to come. While this option is designed to capture sports, it’s yet unclear what sort of algorithms or rules it follows to do so. Skydio’s Tennis promo doesn’t tell us much, except that we might someday see events like this captured in a more interesting manner.
Here comes the bad news: the R1 costs $2,499. Skydio’s CEO, Adam Bry, is aware that this isn’t an appealing price point for newcomers to the world of UAVs. “It’s clearly not a mainstream price point,” he told Tech Crunch. “We’re very much a technology company that has this core tech. But there’s a clear path for using the core tech in a number of ways,” he added. In that sense, it seems Skydio isn’t too focused on recreational consumers quite yet and is instead considering how to market this drone to professional, content-creating audio-visual clientele. In any case, this thing looks pretty damn cool, and would be at the top of my list were it not for such a steep price point.