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An AI-powered drone is reported to have self-flying capabilities. The drone is capable of surveilling an individual while shooting videos and avoiding obstacles simultaneously, without human guidance.

It is essentially an AI-powered quadcopter capable of shooting 4K videos and maneuvering complex environments, such as forests and urban environments, all on its own.

With this new drone, “Cinematography becomes a software-defined experience. That means we can regularly introduce fundamentally new capabilities over time for all existing and future users,” said CEO of the manufacturing company, Adam Bry, in a statement.

Less than two months after the introduction of this drone, new functionalities are already being added to the device.

In addition to the new “car” mode, “lead” mode is able to plot the user’s path before shooting any footage. This feature will bring “more intelligent behavior” when it comes to navigating obstacles.

This kind of drone has several flying modes that frame what sector of footage it’s able to capture. For example, there exists the following modes – the side, orbit, and lead. The drone also has some interesting modes like “stadium” which is designed specifically for capturing field sports.

The technical capabilities of smart drones like R1 include control perception and planning intelligence. They also can be used for inspection and exploration, the primary task for monitoring surveillance, 3D mapping or detection of an object, according to evolving-science.com.

The abundance of unique features characterizing R1 are enabled by utilizing many of the same technologies that autonomous car companies have been implementing. The R1’s brain is a 256-core Nvidia TX1 processor, a several-hundred-dollar component already being used in a number of self-driving vehicles.

R1 can travel at a maximum speed of 40 kilometers per hour while maintaining its autonomous bearings, and the battery life is 16 minutes on a charge. The drone has 64GB of onboard memory.

The drone can also be flown manually using the phone app for iOS or Android and it is very easy to use, making R1 ideal for drone novices.

The R1 drone is a product of four years of research. It was founded by MIT researchers and backed by Silicon Valley’s top investors, by an autonomous-drone startup called Skydio.