I broke off a tiny piece of the world with a self-flying drone

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With photogrammetry, hundreds of still photos can be transformed into an incredibly realistic 3D model of a real place on Earth — assuming you capture them all.

This Memorial Day weekend, a self-flying robot cameraman did that entire job for me. I simply designated where to fly and where not to fly, kicked back in a chair, and a Skydio 2 drone nabbed those photos all by itself.

Today, Skydio is launching Skydio 3D Scan, an optional software suite for its self-flying drones that lets them build incredibly detailed models for far more important tasks than my holiday backyard BBQ. We’re talking about scanning bridges that might be in need of structural repair, accident reporting at crash sites, and allowing clients to...

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