Skydio 3D Scan is first-of-its-kind adaptive scanning software seamlessly incorporated into Skydio Autonomy. 3D Scan automates data capture of any scene with comprehensive coverage and ultra-high resolution so that crews can perform higher quality inspections in less time and with minimal pilot training. With an AI-driven workflow, Skydio 2 builds a live 3D model of the scene as it flies and plans a path to image all surfaces with overlap so you get the right data for inspections and photogrammetry. It operates with no reliance on prior maps, magnetometer readings, or internet connectivity. 

Getting Started

Equipment required for initiating a 3D Scan


    • Skydio 2
    • Skydio 2 Batteries
    • Skydio 2 Controller
    • iOS mobile device with 1 GB available storage
    • UHS Class 3 microSD 128 GB memory card (2)


    • Skydio Enterprise app (iOS)
    • Skydio Autonomy Enterprise Foundation™ (AEF) software add-on
    • Skydio 3D Scan™ software add-on

Enable 3D Scan Operating Mode

Step 1- Ensure that both Skydio 2 and the Skydio Controller are fully charged and paired

Step 2 - Install UHS Class 3 microSD memory cards 

    • Media
    • Flight logs

Step 3 - Launch the Skydio Enterprise app

Step 4 - Connect to your Skydio 2 

Step 5 - Check for available updates

Step 6 - Select the Settings icon

Step 7 - Select  Drone

Step 8 - Select Vehicle Mode

Step 9 - Select 3D Scan

    • you will be prompted to reboot your drone to enter the 3D Scan operating mode

Step 10 - Format the media and flight log memory cards

Step 11 - Select the Fly tab

    • note the drone position and orientation on launch 
    • you will need to use the exact launch orientation for multi-battery scans
    • launching from the Skydio case is highly recommended

Step 12 - Select Begin Flight

Step 13 - Select 2D Capture or 3D Capture as your scan mode and follow the on-screen workflow to complete your scan.

Multi-Battery Scans

Using the vision navigation system, Skydio 2 will resume scans across multiple battery changes without reliance on GPS. A battery level at 18-25% charge (3 minutes of flight time) remaining, will initiate a Low Battery procedure and the drone will return to the Launch Point. 

To change batteries mid-scan:

Step 1 - Land your drone and save the current scan

    • Allow for the completion of post-flight tasks
    • Do not remove the battery or power off while in progress

Step 2 - Power off your drone and replace the battery

Step 3 - Power on your drone and wait as Skydio 2 reconnects

Step 4 - Resume a scan after replacing the battery

    • launch from the exact same position and orientation as the initial launch. Launching from a different location or orientation will result in errors when attempting to resume your scan
warning_icon.png Do not remove or swap the media or logs memory cards between flights during the same scan. 

Post-Flight Tasks

Landing your Skydio 2 will prompt the user interface to display Processing Scan >Task Queue >Calibrating as the post-flight tasks are completed, ensuring that your media is grouped by scan and is available in the Skydio Edge Model Viewer. 

    • completing post-flight tasks should take about 30-90 seconds. 
    • Do not remove the battery or power off during post-flight tasks. Doing so will result in a loss of data.
    • return to the Ready to Fly screen before attempting to power off or disconnect from the drone.

Accessing Scan Data 

Step 1 - Retrieve the media memory card from the Skydio 2

Step 2 - Insert the media card into a microSD card reader on your computer or device

Step 3 - Locate the card reader in your file manager

Step 4 - Select the scans folder

Step 5 - Locate the scan you wish to reconstruct

    • JPEG image file format
    • folder titles include the scan name followed by a UTC timestamp. For example: scans/Scan_Name__2021-06-02T19-50-55..135854+00-00

Best Practices

    • maintain software and firmware updates
    • avoid flying in direct sunlight for extended periods of time 
    • use caution when flying in hot or cold temperatures 
    • GPS will be required for scans higher than 65 ft (20 m)
    • DroneDeploy customers must exit 3D Scan operating mode to regain access to flight skills
      • land the drone
      • navigate to the Device Settings menu
      • change the Vehicle Mode to Skills 

Explore More

Read the Skydio Safety and Operating Guide pre-flight—avoid thin branches, wires, and large glass, and reflective panes.

How to scan using multiple batteries

3D Scan Settings Overview

Visual Geofencing in 3D Scan

How to use the AR Coverage Mesh for 3D Captures

How to set the AR Observer in 3D Scan

Accessing 3D Scan Data

If you have questions or need additional support—feel free to reach out! Skydio Support

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