It's been a long time since we can recall a company not called DJI making a game-changing innovation in the consumer camera drone world. The Chinese giant has been two steps ahead of everyone, pretty much since the first all-in-one Phantom drones started shipping way back in the prehistoric days of 2013. But the new Skydio 2 looks like it might just take things to another level. It's a drone with such capable built-in sensors and nVidia Tegra X2-based AI processing that it's designed primarily to fly itself while keeping a moving subject in view. With complete omnidirectional awareness of its surroundings, it can pilot itself in any direction and maintain the capability to cleverly avoid obstacles, predicting its future path and letting you fearlessly shoot through small gaps or skim past surfaces for dramatic footage.
In terms of practicalities, it's about the size of a DJI Mavic, but not foldable. It weighs 1.7 lb (775 g) with a battery in, and it'll fly for around 23 minutes, reaching top speeds up to 36 mph (58 km/h) in both autonomous and stick-controlled flight. Range is around 650 ft (200 m) if you're flying with phone only. Add in the beacon, and you can get 0.9 mi (1.5 kms), and if you use the controller, you can get up to 2.2 mi (3.5 km). Its camera appears to be a serious effort as well, offering 4K shooting at up to 60 fps, slow-mo 1080p at up to 120 fps, and 12-megapixel stills in JPG and RAW formats.