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How the autonomous Skydio R1 drone views the world as it is following you

This video was just uploaded to YouTube and it shows you how the Skydio R1 drone views the world as it is following you completely autonomously. This is called the “Voxel view” and it is the view that the R1 drone creates with help of the 12 obstacle avoidance cameras and the one main 4K camera primarily meant to track the subject.

The Voxel view is how the R1 views the world

By using the 6 pairs of camera’s (stereo view) that are positioned on all sides of the Skydio R1 drone, together with the other hardware and software, the R1 drones creates this “Voxel view”. It is basically a 3D version of the surroundings with all the obstacles mapped out. The R1 needs to have about 3 feet of space around itself to be able to fly itself without hitting any obstacles. In the video below you can see the drone slowing down as the “tree-tunnel” narrows towards the end, and there is also a pole positioned in the middle. Slowing down will allow the drone to map out its surroundings more carefully and also fly with greater precision.

In the comments, Ray from DC Rainmaker points out that the run was about 6 minutes in which the drone recorded about 17 GB of video footage. This is what he said:

“This view is called Voxel view, and is rendered after the fact by Skydio (it’s not yet an option for end users). I sent them not just the video from the flight, but the entire extended logs – an astonishing 17GB of files for this 6-minute flight. But that’s logical given it includes the views of 13 cameras (the obstacle avoidance ones are capturing different data than the 4K imagery one).”

We had only seen this particular view in videos from Skydio as well as in a presentation from them. It is very interesting to see how far ahead the drone can view its surroundings and how it all gets interpreted. We are currently working on our own review of the Skydio R1 so stay tuned for more.

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Avatar for Haye Kesteloo Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Main Writer at DroneDJ, where he covers all drone related news and writes product reviews. He also contributes to the other sites in the 9to5Mac group such as; 9to5Mac, 9to5Google, 9to5Toys and Electrek. Haye can be reached at or @hayekesteloo