Skydio 2 vs. Mavic Air 2


Interesting review of the Skydio 2 & Mavic Air 2.  DJI has so many mavic's, the meaning of any of the product names has all become quite meaningless.  It might as well be the DJI X AE A-XII.

As before, the Sky Diddyo isn't intended to be flown in any manual way, but be a fully autonomous tracking cam.  They emphasized it doesn't come with a stick controller, but a lot of quad copters have relied on pure phone controllers before.  Casey Neistat was disappointed in the 1st Sky Diddy's lack of any artistic rules & composition, but he was also sponsored by DJI.  The new Sky Diddy continues to be brute force technology without artistic composition.  

The big change with the SkyDiddy is the introduction of a GPS beacon for the tracking instead of being purely machine vision.  They didn't say if the GPS beacon completely replaces machine vision for the tracking or just aids it.  It's kind of a throwback to 2010 when everyone used GPS.  Maybe there's a lesson for the rest of us tracking cam afficionados.

The tracking is still relatively far away, little improved from the very best of the GPS trackers 10 years ago.  It wouldn't be useful for portraits.  They were impressed by the evolution of the Diddy's obstacle avoidance & considered it uncrashable in any environment, but the way it avoided crashes was manely by just stopping when it couldn't find a route rather than being more creative than the Skydiddy 1.  An athlete running through a crowd or a forest has to keep track of the copter to avoid leaving it behind.

They found the DJI to have inferior obstacle avoidance & tracking.  They were impressed by the DJI's battery life.  DJI's evolution of propellers & ESC design now allows it to stay up for 30 minutes, as long as the original Corona 120.  Maybe longer, if the DJI doesn't destroy its battery in the process like the Corona did.  Helas, the internet has lost all memory of what a Corona 120 was.

Perhaps the increased range is from field oriented control, but the current generation of goo tubers is not the ones to ask.  The DJI store mentioned a 2017 era Mavic using field oriented control.

They found the DJI had virtually none of the tracking capability of the Skydio, but emphasized manually composed video.  DJI has obviously tried to buy out Skydio instead of improving their product on their own, but not offered enough money.  In the end, the DJI sounded like manely an improvement in the camera & battery life.

Because quad copters these days are legal virtually nowhere, the key points for the rest of us are the rapidly evolving object avoidance, the use of GPS to aid machine vision & the use of field oriented control to increase range.  Perhaps it's time to replace our 15 year old Atmega ESC's running simonk firmware.






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