The Skydio R1 might be the smartest consumer drone in the sky

Autonomous features in commercially available drones are nothing new. Heck, I'm old enough to remember when DJI Phantoms didn't even offer follow-along technology. Shorter version: Most every drone worth its rotors possesses some level of autonomy. But then there's Skydio's R1, which ratchets things up a notch. Or two.

The R1 isn't so much a drone as it is a flying, self-positioning action camera. It's sole purpose is to record the person it's following. Built by a team of former-MIT engineers, the R1 relies on the 13 cameras studded throughout its exterior to see the world around it and the same NVIDIA Jetson chip used in self-driving vehicles as a processing hub to navigate.And good lordy, can it navigate. ...