Skydio’s self-flying drone can now be controlled using just an Apple Watch

Skydio’s self-flying drone to be controlled by Apple Watch

Skydio, the drone maker based out of California specializes in self-flying software. Its new update is out today owners of its R1 drone launch, control, and even manually fly the drone entirely from an Apple Watch. The self-flying drone uses artificial intelligence to provide advanced obstacle avoidance and automated piloting, as perfect for action sports enthusiasts. Now, with Apple Watch support, Skydio Self-Flying Drone hopes it will open up new possibilities for people to easily film themselves with the R1 while doing all types of outdoor activities.

In a park in San Francisco, earlier this month, Skydio co-founder and CEO Adam Bry tested the Apple Watch integration in real time. They used Series 4 model to show up the functioning. The new smartwatch feature set lets the user launch and lands the R1 by tapping and sliding up on the Apple Watch display from within the Skydio app. From there, it is possible to choose any one of Skydio’s new cinematic shooting modes. It includes a drone selfie mode and it’s cable cam mode. Notably, it enables the user to pin two points for the drone to travel between on its own.


With the Apple Watch app, you can also manually pilot the R1. It has a simplified set of the on-screen controls. The controls include a rotate option that uses the digital crown. The controls are similar to those you get with the full-fledged smartphone app. Because the R1 never stops avoiding obstacles, you never have to really worry about steering the drone into a tree or some other object.

Skydio Self-Flying Drone Features


The benefit to the R1 users is its ability to capture stabilized video footage using the drone itself. It is expected to improve the 1080p video clips in comparison to the smartphone app right after capturing. (The R1 itself stores the 4K footage and needs to be plugged into a computer to download it for editing.) Importantly, the Apple Watch version of the app lets the R1 go back to the last known location on its own. Especially, incase the drone loses track of the owner while moving through a dense area.

The latest launch is all packed up with new features in a Skydio mobile app update. The Apple Watch version comes synchronised with the new updates. You’ll be able to install it through the iOS Watch app and scroll down to the “Available Apps” section. However, the drone itself is priced at  $2,000 from either Skydio’s website or through Apple. The new partnership with the iPhone maker will put R1 drones in retail stores throughout the US and Canada.

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