In addition to being a fully autonomous flying camera with predictive subject tracking, R1 can also be flown manually while retaining full obstacle avoidance. There are two methods within the Skydio app to use for manual flight.

One-Handed Steering

During flight, when not following a subject (or when using a specific Skill), the Skydio app can be used to fly R1 manually using your phone:

If following a subject in any mode, tap STOP to end following (note that the Stop button will change to a Land button after R1 stops following).


Press and hold the stick, dragging it in any direction to move and turn R1. As you move the stick further in any direction, R1 responds with greater speed in that direction.

When flying manually with the stick, you can use the Height slider to elevate or lower R1, and use the left and right Arrows on the sides of the screen to move R1 in the corresponding direction.


Joysticks Mode

Select Joysticks mode from the Skills selector at the bottom of the flight screen for full manual control of R1 using the onscreen X/Y joysticks. You can use Joysticks to execute more complex camera moves, particularly for landscape shots. Note that you cannot track a subject while in Joysticks mode. Joysticks mode can be used in either portrait (vertical) or landscape (horizontal) orientations on your phone:

PORTRAIT (Click to enlarge) LANDSCAPE (Click to enlarge)
Portrait.png Landscape.png

Manual Flight Tips

While manually flying, try double-tapping anywhere within R1’s view on the Flight screen to quickly move R1 directly to that spot.


Obstacle avoidance is still active when flying R1 manually (or when using the double-tap feature above). R1 will smoothly route itself around obstacles, ignoring any commands that could potentially cause a collision.


Cable Cam

For custom, smooth cinematic shots we recommend using the Cable Cam skill, which allows you to use the manual flight controls described above to set A and B points to transition between. R1 flies autonomously between the two points, using parameters that you customize in the Skydio app. Get the full details on Cable Cam here: Using Cable Cam.

If you have any questions or need any additional help, don’t hesitate to contact us.

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