Getting started with your Skydio R1
We’re excited for you to get started with R1. Before you fly, please check out all of the guidance and suggestions at skydio.com/safety, as well as the Safety and Operating Guide in your R1 box (the card labeled “READ BEFORE FLIGHT”), where you’ll find best practices, links to additional content, and regulatory information to enhance safety as well as your overall experience with R1.
What’s in the box?
Here’s what’s included in the box alongside your R1:
- R1 Safety and Operating Guide (titled “READ BEFORE FLIGHT”).
- One battery.
- The battery charger + power adapter.
- Two data cables (USB-A to C and USB-C to C) for downloading video from R1 to your computer.
The first step before flying is to fully charge your battery, which will take about an hour. Just plug the included power adapter into the wall and attach the battery charger, then place the battery in. Note that R1 batteries are held in place magnetically (both to the back of R1 and the battery charger), so just pull to remove.
The LED ring on the back of the battery is a button indicating the current state of charge. You can press it once quickly and release to see the battery charge level. The LED ring will pulse while on the battery charger to indicate that the battery is still charging.
Note: Until you begin charging, the battery LEDs may display a single yellow segment when you first remove them from the box. The single yellow LED indicates that the batteries are in their factory state.
The battery is fully charged and ready to go when the LED ring on the battery is completely dark and is no longer pulsing or lit. Check out our related articles to learn more about battery life.
Get the app.
While your battery is charging, download and install the Skydio app on your phone. The Skydio app is available at the Apple App Store® or Google Play™.
Note: You'll want the Skydio app, not the Skydio 2 app (which is exclusively for use with our new drone, Skydio 2).
Power up and connect.
If you’re still waiting for your batteries to charge, you can follow the first steps in the app before your R1 is powered up. You’ll be asked to enable a few services on your phone which allow R1 to function normally, and to register your R1 with your email address. To learn more about the Skydio app, check out our related articles.
When ready, place a fully charged battery into your R1, then power it up by pressing and holding the button on the back of the battery for about five seconds. You’ll know your R1 is powered up when the four corner LED lights on the wings have lit up.
Your R1 connects to your phone via WiFi and has a unique network name and password. These network details are included on a temporary sticker located on the bottom of your R1, and also permanently etched inside the battery compartment along the top of the fuselage.
Note: Remove the temporary WiFi sticker on the bottom of your R1 before flying. You can keep it somewhere safe if you'd like.
Use your phone to connect to your R1’s network - the app will guide you through the steps.
Update R1 vehicle software.
Once connected, the Skydio app will alert you if there is an update available for your R1. You’ll want to update it before your first flight. Just follow the onscreen prompts to complete the update process. If you don't see a notice to update your R1, you're good to go.
Before you fly.
Before you begin your first flight with your R1, please read and follow all of the safety tips and guidelines at skydio.com/safety. In summary, here are a few general guidelines to follow before each flight:
- Keep your fingers away from the propellers anytime they’re spinning - during takeoff, flight, and landing.
- Use caution around thin branches, telephone lines, ropes, wires, etc.
- R1 tracks only one person at a time. Other people, especially if they are in motion, may not be seen quickly enough for R1 to avoid them safely. The safest way to avoid other people is to fly above them.
- R1 is not weatherproof and requires good visibility, so don’t fly in rain, fog, or snow.
- R1 should not be flown when winds or gusts are above 12 mph.
- R1 is not waterproof. Use caution when flying over bodies of water more than 30 ft. (9.1 m) across. If you don't see the green GPS icon in the Skydio app, don't fly over water.
- Fly during the day in a well-lit area with good visibility.
- Find a clear spot to take off. Use caution when taking off over water, snow, or sand (hand launching is a good option if you can't find a solid, clear spot).
- Clean all 13 of the cameras for the best performance using the included cleaning cloth, or any soft microfiber cloth.
- Check the propeller nuts and tighten if needed. Two of the four propeller nuts tighten in a counterclockwise direction, and the other two are in a clockwise direction. There are marks on each prop lug indicating which direction to properly tighten them.
- The gimbal retaining clip must be removed from the front camera before any flight. Keep it around to hold the front camera secure during storage or transport.
- Follow FAA guidelines and local laws when using your R1. Make sure you aren’t in a no-fly zone (Apps like b4ufly or UAV Forecast can help).
- Note: If you require your serial number, it can be found on your R1 box, or within the Skydio app.
Flying R1 for the first time.
For your first flight with R1, we recommend finding a clear, open space away from others, on level ground to fly with at least 20 feet of clearance in every direction (including up). Make sure nothing is obstructing the propellers at your takeoff location. Although flying R1 is super easy and intuitive, it's a good idea to give yourself (and others) a little space when flying for the first time.
- Power your R1 up and set it down on clear, flat ground at least 10 ft. (3 m) away from you, with the front camera facing towards you.
- On your phone, connect to your R1 via WiFi. Your unique R1 network name and password are printed on a temporary sticker found on the bottom of your R1 (the same details are also etched inside the battery compartment). Please remove this sticker before flying.
- Open the Skydio app, and follow the onscreen prompts. Launching R1 is as simple as swiping up! Once R1 is in the air and sees you, you can tap the follow icon (“+” symbol) to let it know that you want it to follow you.
To learn more about using the Skydio app, watch the flight tutorials within the app, or check out our related articles.
Using cinematic skills.
Like your own personal camera crew, your Skydio R1 knows what to film and intelligently flies itself during your activity to get the best shot, but you can use the Skydio app to change the type of shot that R1 is capturing. We call these different camera moves “skills.”
Anytime you want to get creative while flying R1, just tap to select a different skill in the app. With most skills, you can even adjust the relative height and direction of your R1, as well as zoom in or out to get the right shot - just look for the onscreen controls in the Skydio app.
To learn more about the ever-expanding library of skills, or to learn more about using the Skydio app, check out our related articles.
Watching and downloading your flights.
After your flight, you can use the Skydio app to create HD clips and quickly share them right from your phone. And when you get home you can attach R1 to your computer to offload your full-resolution video and audio files for further editing.
Check out these articles for all the details:
We hope you are as excited as we are about the creative possibilities of R1, and you’re enjoying the ability to capture your world from an incredible new perspective. Please check out our related support articles and videos to learn even more about your R1.
If you have any questions or need any additional help getting started, don’t hesitate to contact us.
Was this article helpful?