R1 is designed to be easy to use, and using a few common sense guidelines should help you to find an appropriate and safe place to launch and fly.
When choosing a time and a place to operate your R1, please follow these general guidelines and suggestions, and be sure to check out our related articles for even more detail.
Follow the law
In the US, it’s illegal to fly drones within 5 miles of an airport. Always follow FAA guidelines for drone piloting and check out helpful resources like knowbeforeyoufly.org or apps like UAV Forecast or Airmap for more info.
Be cautious around water
Don’t fly over bodies of water wider than 30 feet across. Unlike solid ground, visual navigation is less reliable over water because of its changing geometry and texture, and if visual navigation fails over water, your R1 will likely descend into the water and be destroyed.
Fly when your R1 can see clearly
Your R1 navigates visually using 13 cameras to build a 3D map of its surroundings that includes trees, people, buildings and more. Because it needs to see clearly to navigate past these obstacles effectively, your R1 can only fly in normal daylight conditions. Its advanced computer vision won’t work at night or in other low-light conditions. The Skydio app will warn you of low-light conditions and may suggest you land if there isn’t enough light to fly safely. Similarly, your R1 should not be flown in rain or fog.
Avoid thin structures
Also, be extra careful when flying in environments that contain thin branches, telephone lines, ropes, netting, wires, chainlink fencing, transparent surfaces like windows, or reflective surfaces like mirrors.
Make sure you have enough clear space to take off
When launching from the ground, the area 9ft above and 3ft around the R1 should be clear and free of obstacles.
When hand launching, the area 10 feet above you, 15 feet in front of you, and 3 feet on either side of you should be clear.
Note: While R1 has been tested indoors in large open warehouse environments, it's designed for use outdoors. Use the above clearance guidelines when flying R1.
See our related articles for more info and tutorials.
Watch out for high winds
Fly with caution on windy days. Your R1 performs best on days when wind speeds are under 12 mph. While in flight, the Skydio app will warn you if it's too windy, but in very windy conditions it's best not to fly at all. Before you fly, if in doubt, you can use your favorite weather or drone app to check the wind speed in your location beforehand.
Be especially cautious when hand launching in the wind. It’s best to have the wind at your back when hand launching, and if it’s particularly windy, or if the wind is changing direction rapidly, don’t attempt to launch by hand (or at all).
Check out our related articles for more information.