Self-Flying Drone Knows Where You Are … Where You’re Going

SAN JOSE – A four-year-old autonomous drone startup founded by MIT researchers and backed by Silicon Valley’s top investors is finally ready to show off what it’s been building over the past several years.

Today, Skydio is showcasing the R1, a drone that boasts what the startup calls “self-flying” capabilities. What this means is that the drone is capable of locking-on to an individual and following them while shooting video and avoiding obstacles.

This doesn’t just mean that it can avoid a tree or two while flying through an otherwise open field; the drone can track you while navigating itself through a dense forest or urban environments like a warehouse.

I had a chance to see these capabilities in action while running through Jefferson Square Park in San Francisco with the R1 hot on my tail. The drone is alarmingly impressive but there’s something a little unsettling about having an autonomous drone track you down on its own while it avoids tree branches to keep you in its gaze.

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