Skydio R1 has built-in GPS, which enhances the autonomous flight experience with features that enable it to return to your phone’s last-known location if needed. Here are some details around R1’s GPS capabilities:
GPS Lock icon & Return to Phone
If you see the green GPS icon near the top of the app screen, it indicates that your phone and R1 both have a good GPS signal. Note that if you don't see the green GPS icon in the Skydio app, it’s not currently safe to fly over water.
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.
Not only is this a handy way to quickly return R1 to your location, but it can be helpful if you’ve lost line of sight with R1, or if it has lost you while tracking.
The GPS accuracy of many phones can vary from model to model, so R1 may return to a location slightly offset from your own.
If you tap Return to Phone and keep moving, R1 continues to update the GPS location until it reaches your general location.
When R1 can’t see the tracked subject, the R1 will switch over to using GPS to attempt to find you and keep following.
GPS signal is independent of cellular data plans. Although the Skydio app does require location services to be ON while flying, you can still fly R1 if you have no cellular data active on your device. Basically, you can fly R1 using the Skydio app on a mobile device that is in "airplane mode", provided that you have location services/permissions ON.
If you have any questions or need any additional help, please feel free to contact us.