How to hand launch your R1

Launching R1 from your hand is a quick and convenient way to get it in the air (particularly if you can’t find a clear flat spot to take off) - but it should be done with caution for your safety.

Be sure to always follow all of our best practices and guidelines on, and check out our article Where can I fly my R1? for more suggestions and usage guidelines.

Follow these steps to hand launch safely:

Find a clear spot to launch your R1. 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.


Use caution on windy days. If there is any wind, for your safety please back sure that it is blowing at your back, and never towards you. If the wind is gusty or coming from different directions, consider launching from the ground, or flying at another time.

Note: 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.


Grip your R1 by the battery, with your palm up and flat like a platform, and your thumb on top of the battery. It’s critical that you keep your fingers tightly together and away from the propellers at all times.


Point the front camera away from you and hold your R1 away from your body, level and still.


Select hand launch mode in the Skydio app.


After selecting hand launch mode in the Skydio app, just swipe up when you’re ready to launch.


Release your R1 carefully as the propellers begin to spin up by slowly removing just your thumb from the top of the battery. Keep your hand still - your R1 will simply slide off your palm and take flight on its own. No need to push it up in the air, or any similar moves - just release your thumb and think of your flattened hand as a takeoff platform.


Your R1 will turn around in the air and face you.


It will see you and automatically enter Follow mode (look for the LED lights on each corner of R1 to light up solid blue). You’re good to go.