Indoor Capture is designed for scanning interior spaces such as construction sites, factories, or warehouses. The autonomous flight path is tailored to indoor environments, and default settings are optimized for safely and accurately performing indoor mapping missions.

Indoor Capture allows you to work with two scan volumes: Inside Volume and Outside Volume.

Define the Floor, Ceiling and Wall Boundaries to create your Inside Scan Volume

By default, Indoor Capture extends the Inside Scan Volume by 16 ft (5 m) to incorporate spaces where the drone cannot physically fly, which creates the Outside Volume

Choose if you want to scan the Inside Volume only, Outside volume only, or both volumes.

Skydio will face outward to capture features located outside of the scan volume.

Use the map to set a custom scan location when flying in GPS-denied environments.

All Strict Geofence boundaries are ON by default, meaning Skydio will not physically leave the Inside Volume.

[note] For best results, only scan rooms with a minimum length and ceiling height of 13 ft (4 m). [/note]

Change operating modes

Before starting a scan, the drone must first reboot to enter the 3D Scan Mode. Skydio will remember your operating mode through power cycles, so you will only have to do this when switching between 3D Scan and other Flight Skills.

  • You must enter 3D Scan while on the ground and connected to the drone
Step 1 - Select Switch Mode CS_3DS_X2_media_UI_switch-mode1.png

Step 2 - Select 3D Scan and reboot

Skydio will automatically reboot. This should take about one minute.

After rebooting, Skydio will reconnect to your controller and mobile device.


Step 3 - Begin flight

After Skydio has finished entering 3D Scan, you are ready to fly!

  • Ensure your Logs Card has been formatted before starting a scan
  • If you have not yet done so, a notification will display in the app

[note] You must exit 3D Scan to regain access to Flight Skills. To exit, first land the drone. Navigate back to the FLY screen and select Use Skills. You also have the option to change Vehicle Modes in the Device Settings menu. [/note] 

Before you fly:

  • GPS is not required for Indoor Capture.
  • Be aware of thin obstacles such as wiring from ceiling lights.
  • Ensure the room is clear of small objects that could be affected by propeller downwash.
  • Do not scan in confined environments that are dimly lit.
  • Skydio does not avoid transparent or reflective surfaces, such as windows or mirrors greater than 60 in (152 cm). 
  • If needed, you can move backwards and redo any steps in the workflow. Doing so will reset the steps you have already completed and discard and media that has been captured. 
  • Indoor Capture is not recommended with Skydio X2 Color/Thermal due to a more narrow field of view and a minimum focus distance of 16 ft (5 m), which results in a shorter focal distance. 
    • If you choose to fly with Skydio X2 Color/Thermal, capturing thermal images is enabled by default. You have the ability to disable thermal image capture in the camera settings. 

Tips for setting up your scan

The placement of the drone determines the angles at which it will capture photos during the X and Y passes. Consider placing the drone parallel to a wall (45°) to introduce more parallax for reconstructions.
If your scan will require more than one battery, take note of the exact position and orientation of launch.
Set the Floor as low as possible. 
Set the Ceiling as high as possible, keeping it below any obstructions such as wires or lighting. 
If you wish to scan the entire room, set the Wall AR pillars as close to the walls or edges of the room as possible. 
Enable Scan Outside Pillars if you wish to capture surfaces located outside of your scan volume. 

Indoor Capture Workflow

Move through the scan workflow using the Skydio 2/2+ Controller or Skydio Enterprise Controller. The workflow pane will collapse when you are prompted to manually fly and the app will display available Controller shortcuts.


Step 1 - Select scan mode

Select Indoor Capture as the Scan Mode.

Tap Begin on the screen or use the right shoulder button on the Controller.


Step 2 - Name scan site (optional)

The default scan name is composed of the scan mode you select followed by a UTC timestamp

Renaming the scan will replace the scan mode.

  • Ex: Indoor_Capture__2021-05-20T19-50-55.135854+00-00

[info] Scan names must use American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) characters. Spaces, Unicode characters such as à, é, â, ü, ö, ä and the following symbols will be converted to underscores (_) in the scan directory name: < > : ; \ | / ? * & $ { } ` ‘ “ [/info] 

Step 3 - Set GPS Location

Use the satellite map to set the GPS location of your scan site. 

The location and heading you set will be used in the GPS metadata of your scan photos.

There are two ways to set your GPS location:

  • Edit Location allows you to manually mark the location of your scan site and drone position. Touch and drag the blue arrow to set the position of your drone, and use the Heading slider to adjust its orientation. 
  • Use Best Guess means Skydio will attempt to estimate your current location. Photo GPS locations will reflect the location of the drone at each capture point. If you are in a fully GPS-denied environment, all photos will have a 0,0 location. 



Step 4 - Launch

Select and hold the LAUNCH button to begin your flight. The drone will automatically climb to 6.5 ft (2 m) and hover.


Step 5 - Set Rally Point

You will have the option to return to the Rally Point when the scan completes.

  • Skydio will also return to the Rally Point when the battery level is low or if it loses connection 

Select one of the following options to set the Rally Point:

  • Use Launch Point - Skydio will return to the launch location instead of a manually set Rally Point
  • Set Manually - allows you to pilot the drone to a new location

Tips for setting a Rally Point:

  • The Rally Point should be in your line of sight with a clear path to the Launch Point
  • Set your Rally Point close to the scan region so that the drone can safely and easily return to that point autonomously
  • Even if you change position during the scan, the drone will always have a point to return to safely without obstruction
  • Choose a location that is safe for landing

Step 6 - Set Scan Floor

The Floor defines the bottom of the 3D volume you wish to scan. It will also define the bottom of your scan in the Visual Geofence and the Edge Model Viewer. 

There are two ways to set the Floor:

  • Use Default Height - starts the Floor at 1.6 ft (0.5 m) above the launch height. 
  • Set Manually - starts the Floor at the current height of the drone. Fly to place the Floor at your desired location.

Once selected, adjust the Floor as desired: 

  • Pilot the drone and the Floor will automatically move with the drone as you fly
  • Drag the orange Floor AR to the desired height

The Floor is represented by an orange AR plane. The Launch Height is represented by a light gray AR plane. 



Use the Controller shortcuts to navigate the setup process:

  • Done – sets the Floor in your desired location and proceeds to the next step
  • Center Floor – Moves the location of the Floor to the current altitude of the drone
  • Level Gimbal – Moves the camera gimbal pitch to 0°

Step 7 - Set Scan Ceiling

The Ceiling defines the top of the 3D volume you wish to scan. It will also define the top of your scan in the Visual Geofence and the Edge Model Viewer.

The Ceiling is represented by a green AR plane. 

Adjust the Ceiling as desired:

  • Pilot the drone and the Ceiling will automatically move with the drone as you fly
  • Drag the green Ceiling AR to the desired height



Use the Controller shortcuts to navigate the setup process:

  • Done – Proceeds to the next step
  • Center Ceiling – Moves the location of the Ceiling to the current altitude of the drone
  • Level Gimbal – Moves the camera gimbal pitch to 0°

Step 8 - Set Boundaries 

Set Augmented Reality (AR) pillars to outline the interior that will be scanned.

These pillars define the lateral bounds for the Visual Geofence and the lateral area of your model in the Edge Model Viewer. 

  • A minimum of three pillars must be set

There are two options when setting pillars:

  • Fly to the desired location and use the right shoulder button to select Set Pillar. Continue placing pillars to encompass the area. The edges of the polygon defined by the pillars must not cross each other.
  • Drag Pillars by holding the base of the yellow AR pillar on-screen. This selects the active pillar and enables dragging. You may continue to set pillars by dragging or reconnecting the pillar to the drone by selecting "Attach." Only the current active pillar may be dragged. 



[note] The scan volume is automatically extended by 16 ft (5 m), meaning there is no need to drag your pillars behind a wall. [/note]

[tip] If you wish to scan the entire room, set the pillars as close to the edge of the room as possible. [/tip]

Step 9 - Modify Scan Volume

Modify Scan Volume expands the scan volume beyond the Floor, Ceiling or Walls. 

By default, your scan area is extended by 16 ft (5 m) along all bounds. 

  • Use the adjustable distance slider to set the distance at which Skydio will capture photos outside of the scan volume.

If a Strict Geofence is enabled, the drone will face outward and capture photos of surfaces located outside of the scan boundaries without physically flying there

There are two options when extending the capture area. 



Scan both Inside Volume and Outside Volume (default)

Scan Inside Pillars captures everything that is located within the scan volume. Disabling this setting will exclude any structures within the scan volume. 


Scan Inside Volume only

Scan Outside Pillars enables the drone to scan the area surrounding the initial scan volume, effectively performing an "inside out" scan. You may choose to extend beyond any of the three boundaries: Ceiling, Floor, or Walls. 


Scan Outside Volume only

Step 10 - Set a Strict Geofence

All three Strict Geofences are ON by default in Indoor Capture. 

Independently toggle the Ceiling, Floor, and Walls ON or OFF to set the geofence.

Enabling a Strict Geofence (ON) blocks flight outside of the scan volume along that bound.

  • Skydio will honor the Visual Geofence during the Explore phase and scanning process, as well as when transitioning between the two




You will also see a setting called Safe Distance, which allows you to set the distance from which Skydio will stay away from the structure while scanning. Read How to use Visual Geofencing in 3D Scan for more information. 

[note] Skydio will skip image capture locations that are located outside any of the toggled geofence boundaries. This may result in gaps in coverage. [/note] 

Step 11 - Set AR Observer 

The Augmented Reality (AR) Observer allows you to set the point of view from which you can observe an augmented-reality view of the scan progress.

  • When you set your AR Observer point, the drone will take a static image from that position

There are two ways to set the AR Observer:

  • Review Suggestion means Skydio will fly to the ceiling of the pillar closest to the launch position. The drone will then face the structure (the centroid of the AR polygon-prism).
  • Set Manually allows you to manually pilot the drone to your preferred vantage point, using the Skydio Controller or Enterprise Controller. If you choose to manually set the location of the AR Observer, ensure you are choosing a spot that provides you with the best situational awareness for monitoring the scan progress.




Tips for manually setting the AR Observer

  • Tightly frame the structure
  • Fill the frame vertically or horizontally
  • Select this option if you are scanning complex environments or around obstacles 

Change_View.png Toggle to switch between the static AR Observer image and the camera feed of the drone at any time during the scan.

  • The AR drone will follow the white lines, which denote the planned flight path and image capture locations.
  • The purple AR lines show the Wall Bounds.

Step 12 - Explore

The drone will briskly and autonomously fly around the scan volume to build an internal model of the structure being scanned. 

Select Edit Settings to adjust the speed at which your drone completes the Explore Phase.

  • Minimum speed: is 1.1 mph (0.5 m/s)
  • Maximum speed: 8 mph (3.5 m/s)



Skydio uses this internal model to intelligently predict overall scan time and number of capture points needed to complete the scan. The explore phase should be a small fraction of the total scan time, and a rough time estimate is given.

Status_Off.png Tap to toggle the AR Coverage Mesh.

Step 13 - Review or edit settings

View a summary of your scan settings:

  • Scan time estimate
  • Number of batteries required
  • Total number of photos
  • You must have at least five photos to begin a scan

Review your current settings and select Edit Settings to make any adjustments before the scan begins.

Editing scan settings will impact the total flight time, number of photos and the required number of batteries. 

Settings persist across scans of the same scan mode. Select the Reset button in the top right corner to restore settings to defaults.



Use the Maximum Speed Slider to set the maximum speed at which Skydio will travel while exploring, scanning and when returning to the Launch Point or Rally Point.

  • Set the speed between 1.1 mph (0.5 m/s) - 8 mph (3.5 m/s)
  • Default speed is 8 mph (3.5 m/s)

Step 14 - Scan

On the live camera feed you will see AR markers showing the scan capture points.

Your scan may require using several batteries to complete. For more information, read How to scan using multiple batteries. 

Status_Off.png Toggle on the AR Coverage Mesh during your scan to monitor the photo coverage progress of the scan. 

pause.png Pause at any point during your scan. Use the left shoulder button or tap this icon in the workflow pane to pause scanning. Skydio will display how many photos have been captured. While paused, you have the option to manually capture photos using the right shoulder button. 

play.png Press the play icon or use the left shoulder button to resume autonomous scanning. Use the right shoulder button during a scan to Skip the next capture point.


[caution] Skydio obstacle avoidance does not detect moving objects and is disabled during landing. Review the Skydio Safety and Operating Guide for more information. [/caution] 

Step 15 - Manually capture photos (optional) 

Once your scan completes, you will be given the option to manually capture more photos of the scene or details of specific areas of interest. 

  • The purple AR outline on-screen shows the Wall Bounds
  • Use the right shoulder button to take a photo
  • Manual photos will show up in the scan folder and in the Edge Model Viewer alongside the autonomously captured photos



[note] Manual photos may be captured at any time by pressing pause. You may also optionally enable interval mode to have the drone take photos at different time intervals (ex: capture a photo every 5 seconds). [/note] 

Obstacle Avoidance is set to Standard—and cannot be changed—when Skydio flies autonomously. If you are manually piloting the drone, you have the option to adjust your obstacle avoidance setting within the Device Settings menu. 

Step 16 - Scan complete

Once the scan completes, you will have the option to either start a new scan or Return to Launch or Return to Rally if a manual rally point was set.

  • Starting a new scan will prompt you with an option to save or discard the scan you just completed
  • If you Return to Launch or Return to Rally and the path is clear, Skydio will obey the geofence and fly in a straight path to the chosen point
  • If Skydio cannot find that path due to obstacles, you will be able to take control and manually pilot your drone

After landing, you will see a summary of the most recent scan and the option to save or discard the scan you completed.

  • Select Save and wait for the drone to process your scan. This is an important step to ensure your media is grouped by scan and can be viewed in the Edge Model Viewer.

Once processing is complete, select Finish to return to the FLY screen or Review Scan to enter the Edge Model Viewer.





[caution] Do not remove the battery or power off during post-flight tasks. Doing so will result in loss of data. Do not power off or disconnect from the drone until you return to the Begin Flight screen. [/caution] 

Explore More

Explore related articles for additional information

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


 Skydio, Inc. A0210


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