Learning to fly with Skydio Beacon
If you have not done so, Skydio recommends performing your first Skydio 2/2+ flight without the Beacon to complete the Learn to Fly experience. See the Your First Flight section of the Skydio 2/2+ User Guide for more details.
Launching with Beacon
1. Before launch, your Beacon will perform pre-flight checks, such as looking for updates. The Beacon relies on a strong GPS signal to operate and is required for launch. The GPS strength indication can be found in the center icon of the header. If GPS is weak, you may be prompted to connect your phone to the Beacon’s WiFi to speed up the process.
2. Press and hold the blue Skydio button to launch.
Hand Launch vs. Ground Launch
When launching from the ground using a Beacon, Skydio will hover in place. The person holding the Beacon should stand in front of the camera and tap the Skydio button to begin subject tracking. This significantly improves Beacon tracking performance starting from a ground launch and allows for a strong visual tracking lock. If the subject being tracked is not standing in front of Skydio 2/2+, it will use the GPS signal of the Beacon to locate the subject.
When performing a hand launch with the Beacon, Skydio 2/2+ will fly forward while rising, then automatically turn around and lock on the pilot.
When tracking a subject, Skydio 2/2+ relies on visual recognition of a subject to follow. However, there may be cases, such as going through dense trees, where the subject is not completely visible. In cases such as these, Skydio will rely on GPS tracking to maintain subject lock. These fluctuations in subject tracking are indicated by the icon in the top right corner.
Lock Beacon Controls
Prevent button interactions on your Beacon by enabling Lock Beacon Controls. This ensures that unwanted actions, such as an accidental command to stop tracking, are avoided during flight. Useful when storing the Beacon in a pocket, backpack, or when attaching to a subject other than yourself.
- Enable this in the Beacon menu tab located under Device settings
If it looks like the drone has locked onto the wrong subject when using the Beacon, check to see if the Ambiguous Visual Tracking icon is present (see below). You may either go into Steering Mode to move the drone directly in front of you, move away from others so that the drone can better distinguish you, or select yourself from your phone.
Implicit Visual Tracking
Skydio is confident it has automatically identified the subject.
Ambiguous Visual Tracking
Skydio picks a subject from a group but isn’t 100% confident it’s the right person.
Explicit Visual Tracking
A subject is explicitly selected on the phone.
Skydio uses the Beacon’s GPS to track a subject.
Skydio is not tracking a subject.
GPS strength can be determined via the center header icon. If the three satellite rings are present, then GPS is good. If GPS drops below an optimal connection, the beacon will prompt you to check the phone.
Pressing the + and - buttons will increase or decrease the range from which your drone will track you.
There are four options you may choose from for tracking range:
- 5 m (16 ft)
- 10 m (32 ft)
- 20 m (65 ft)
- 40 m (130 ft)
A strong GPS signal is required to track from 40 m. Poor GPS performance may impact tracking quality. If GPS quality is insufficient, the maximum tracking range on the Beacon will be capped at 20 m to maintain a visual lock.
Landing with Beacon
When you are ready to end your flight and land Skydio 2/2+ using the Beacon, use the Wand and Decrease Range controls to bring Skydio close to you. Ensure the drone is situated over a safe landing spot that is flat, clear of debris, and not overhead of any people or animals.
Once you’re ready to land, press and hold the Stop button on the Beacon for three seconds. You will see a countdown timer before landing begins.
When a landing is initiated, Skydio 2/2+ will descend with full obstacle avoidance until it is 3m (10 ft) above the ground. Once Skydio is less than 3m from the ground, its LEDs will turn yellow, and all obstacle avoidance will be disabled for the remainder of the landing.
[warning] Do not attempt to hand catch Skydio 2/2+ before the lights turn yellow. Attempting to hand catch your drone while obstacle avoidance is active will cause it to attempt to avoid your hand. It may result in Skydio 2/2+ impacting yourself or another nearby object. Please see our related article, Hand Launching and Hand Landing your Skydio 2/2+ for more information. [/warning]
You may cancel a landing by tapping the Stop button on the Beacon, which will return Skydio to hovering in place.
How to charge and update Skydio Beacon
Access Skydio 2/2+ Manuals and Guides
Skydio 2/2+ Flight Screen and Device Settings
Skydio, Inc. A0192
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