Using your R1 over water

Use caution and common sense guidelines when flying near the water. Check out our short video for tips when flying R1 near or over the water (or read on for more details):

Flying any drone over water presents some unique challenges. Unlike solid ground, visual navigation is less reliable over water because of its changing geometry and texture. Skydio R1 is not waterproof but has the ability to safely fly over larger bodies of water and adds additional safeguards to keep R1 securely tethered to your phone.

Pay attention to the GPS lock icon!

R1 needs its built-in GPS to be connected to fly over water safely. When using your R1 over water, the most important bit of visual feedback that the Skydio app presents you with is the GPS lock icon (found along the top edge of the screen when connected to your R1):

GPS_icon_Skydio_app.png

If you see this icon, it indicates that your phone and R1 both have a good GPS signal.

  • If you don't see the green GPS icon in the Skydio app, it’s not currently safe to fly over water.

Pay attention to your battery level!

When flying over water, keep an eye on your R1 battery level, as well as the GPS lock icon. The Skydio app will tell you that your R1 is getting low on battery and that it’s time to bring R1 back for landing, but it’s always best to be situationally aware.

If your R1 runs out of battery and has to make an emergency landing, you don’t want to touch down in the middle of a lake!

Pay attention to changing flight conditions!

Wind and moisture can, at a minimum, result in less than stable footage, and can often introduce dangerous flying conditions. Keep an eye out for any changes to the flight conditions which could damage your R1 - check out this article for more details and tips: Where can I fly my R1?

Make sure you're not in motion when launching or landing R1

Always launch and land when you and your boat are not in motion. Hand launching is probably best if space is somewhat tight, like on the deck of a boat. If there isn’t enough room to safely land R1 on the deck, hand landing is an option but requires extra caution and practice. Check out our related articles for more tips.

Use the Return to Phone feature as needed

At any time during flight (either following a subject or flying manually), tapping the Return to Phone icon within the Skydio app instantly directs R1 to return to your phone’s last-known GPS location. See this article for more: How does R1 use GPS?

Check out our related articles for more information.