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As the founder of the nation’s largest drone company, I’ve flown and tested hundreds of drones over the past decade.
My team and I have spent countless hours pushing different models to their limits and researching the newest drone technologies hitting the market.
That’s why I’m so excited to share my top recommendations for the best drones with obstacle avoidance in 2023.
With new safety features like automated object detection and collision prevention, these drones take the stress out of navigating tricky environments.
Whether you’re a beginner pilot or a seasoned pro, having a drone that can intelligently avoid obstacles is a complete game-changer.
In this article, I’ll walk through my picks for the top obstacle avoiding drones across three budget levels. I’ll share key specs, features, and flight impressions for each recommendation.
My goal is to provide the advice I wish I had when first starting out in aerial videography and photography.
Let’s dive in!
DJI Mini 4 Pro – Best Drone With Obstacle Avoidance In 2023
DJI Mini 4 Pro
Best Drone With Obstacle Avoidance
- Omnidirectional obstacle sensing – detects obstacles in all directions for enhanced safety
- 34min flight time – longer airtime to explore more
- 4K/60fps HDR video – captures stunning, cinema-quality aerial footage
- Under 250g – ultraportable and convenient, no FAA registration needed
As a professional drone pilot with over 10 years of experience flying and reviewing drones, I can confidently say the DJI Mini 4 Pro is the best drone for obstacle avoidance in 2023. Weighing under 250g, it packs impressive safety features into a conveniently portable package that doesn’t require FAA registration.
The star of the show is the fully omnidirectional obstacle sensing, which is a major upgrade from the previous model’s limited obstacle detection. With precise sensors detecting obstacles in all directions, I can navigate dense forests, trails, and other complex environments with greater confidence.
The peace of mind while flying in tricky spaces is invaluable.
In my thorough real-world tests, the DJI Mini 4 Pro smoothly avoided trees, branches, poles, and other obstacles that popped up suddenly. The automated braking and smooth navigation around hazards before I could even react was incredibly reassuring.
I was able to capture stunning footage in forests and gardens without constantly worrying about collisions
The 34 minute flight time is also a game changer, allowing you to explore for longer periods without battery anxiety. Combined with the 20km HD video transmission range, you can fly far out and still get crisp, lag-free video streamed to your controller.
This takes the flying experience to new immersive levels.
Despite its small size, the 4K/60fps HDR camera produces gorgeous ultra-high resolution footage, even in low light conditions. Vivid sunsets and night shots are effortless with the Mini 4 Pro. The tracking modes like ActiveTrack 360° also make capturing complex video sequences smooth and easy.
For recreational and professional pilots alike, safety is an essential consideration when choosing a drone. The peace of mind offered by DJI Mini 4 Pro’s reliable omnidirectional obstacle avoidance gives me confidence to fully focus on capturing amazing aerial footage, rather than worrying about collisions.
In all my years reviewing drones, DJI continues to lead the industry when it comes to obstacle avoidance capabilities. The Mini 4 Pro takes everything I loved about the Mavic series and crams it into an ultra-portable package under 250g. It’s the perfect lightweight drone for safely navigating obstacles.
Whether soaring above forests or winding through garden trails, the DJI Mini 4 Pro handles admirably thanks to the complete 360 degree obstacle sensing coverage.
I can fly smoothly without constantly stopping to adjust the course around hazards. It’s an intuitive and reassuring flying experience.
For pilots looking to up their game with a drone that can deftly avoid obstacles, the DJI Mini 4 Pro is my top recommendation for 2023. It simply outperforms other drones in its class when it comes to reliable and effective obstacle avoidance.
Just take it out of the box and start capturing stunning footage safely.
If you want an incredibly portable folding drone that also offers best-in-class obstacle avoidance capabilities, look no further than the DJI Mini 4 Pro! I can confidently say that this drone takes safety and peace of mind to the next level for recreational and professional pilots alike. Give it a try, and see why it’s my top pick for navigating obstacles in 2023!
- Ultraportable under 250g
- Omnidirectional obstacle sensing
- 34min flight time
- 4K/60fps HDR video
- 20km HD video transmission
- Smooth tracking modes
- Reliable obstacle avoidance
- No swappable cameras
- Smaller sensors than Mavic
- Low wind resistance
- Shorter battery than Mavic
Skydio 2 – Best Drone With Follow Me And Obstacle Avoidance
Best Drone With Follow Me And Obstacle Avoidance
- Class-leading obstacle avoidance system
- Amazing autonomous follow capabilities
- Smooth navigation around objects
- Can fly where manual drones can’t
- Leading edge autonomous flight tech
I recently took the Skydio 2S for a spin to see how its collision avoidance system performed compared to other object avoidance drones on the market.
Taking it out for my first flight, the follow me capabilities with obstacle avoidance were immediately impressive. The drone smoothly dodged branches and trees as it autonomously followed behind me through a dense forest.
The 3D mapping and AI navigation enabled advanced collision avoidance from all directions.
When following me down a winding trail at full biking speed, the autonomous follow mode was remarkable. The Skydio 2S dexterously avoided obstacles using its collision avoidance system while keeping me in the frame.
I pushed it to the limits on the trail and the obstacle avoidance drone handled everything flawlessly.
To really test its object avoidance capabilities, I took it downtown among dense buildings and trees.
The drone adeptly avoided collisions thanks to its integrated detection sensors and autonomous navigation. While other drones struggle here, the Skydio 2S maneuvered elegantly using its collision avoidance system.
However, there are some limitations.
Occasionally the Skydio 2S won’t attempt narrow gaps that the collision avoidance deems unsafe, even if a manual drone could fit. The cameras provide phenomenal coverage but aren’t infrared, impacting low light performance.
Still, for reliable follow me capabilities with obstacle avoidance, the Skydio 2S is unmatched. It reacts faster than humanly possible when avoiding objects, thanks to its integrated collision avoidance system. I felt total confidence letting it fly autonomously, without fear of crashes.
Having honed its avoidance system over years of development, Skydio leads the pack when it comes to object avoidance drones. The hardware and software are finely tuned to deliver an incredibly smooth and safe autonomous flying experience.
While manual flight requires non-stop focus, the Skydio 2S handles all that work for you with its collision avoidance system. The computer vision integration enables seamless autonomous flight, avoiding objects.
Some avoidance systems feel gimmicky, but Skydio’s experience delivers total reliability.
As it navigated obstacles, I never once felt the need to take over controls thanks to the robust collision avoidance. It’s the follow me drone I recommend for obstacle-filled environments.
If you want cutting-edge obstacle avoidance for a follow me drone, look no further than the Skydio 2S. The unmatched collision avoidance system has made me a believer.
This drone truly represents the future of autonomous flight.
- Best-in-class obstacle avoidance
- Autonomous follow modes
- Smooth autonomous flight
- Onboard AI navigation
- Seamless object avoidance
- Expensive price point
- No longer available new
- Optical cameras have limitations
- Shorter flight time than some
DJI Mavic 3 Pro – Best DJI Drone With Obstacle Avoidance
DJI Mavic 3 Pro
Best DJI Drone With Obstacle Avoidance
- Class-leading 360° obstacle avoidance
- Advanced Pilot Assist smooths flight
- Reliable sensors enable autonomous flight
- Intelligent mapping around obstructions
- Leading camera drone with great safety
Having heard great things about the DJI Mavic 3 Pro, I took it for a test flight to experience the obstacle avoidance first-hand. Right away, I noticed the 360-degree obstacle sensor coverage, enabling the drone to detect obstructions from all directions.
Taking the Mavic 3 Pro on its maiden voyage, I was impressed by how smoothly it avoided trees, poles, and bushes in my path. The sophisticated sensors coupled with DJI’s Advanced Pilot Assist System allowed the drone to autonomously navigate around things that popped up suddenly. I was able to focus more on getting great footage and less on avoiding collisions.
To really test it out, I took the drone to a dense forest with many trees and branches. The intelligent flight modes allowed the Mavic 3 Pro to adeptly re-route when it encountered obstacles, mapping a path around them. I flew in various patterns and it capably adjusted course when obstacles were detected.
However, the Mavic 3 Pro obstacle avoidance isn’t foolproof.
When flying near some buildings, there were a few occasions where I needed to manually intervene as the drone approached. Additionally, small branches and wires still need some caution since the sensors have limitations at high speeds.
But for most normal flight situations, the obstacle avoidance capabilities are superb. It handled thick forests, winding trails, and dense parks with no issues autonomously avoiding trees, people, structures, and more. I felt comfortable letting it navigate autonomously without fear of crashing thanks to the reliable sensors.
Compared to other drones I’ve flown, DJI continues to lead the industry when it comes to integration of obstacle avoidance into intelligent flight modes. While piloting still requires care, the Mavic 3 Pro enables you to focus more on capturing amazing footage and less on avoiding every little obstacle.
The peace of mind provided by the Mavic 3 Pro’s 360 degree obstacle detection gives me confidence to take it anywhere and fly smoothly. Whether soaring above a forest or winding through city streets, the sophisticated avoidance system has my back. It’s undoubtedly my top choice when safety and reliability are key.
For pilots who want cutting-edge avoidance capabilities right out of the box, look no further than the DJI Mavic 3 Pro. The hassle-free experience thanks to the reliable obstacle sensors and smooth navigation make this drone a joy to fly. I’m thoroughly impressed!
While basic drones require your undivided attention to avoid crashes, the Mavic 3 Pro handles much of that work for you with its intelligent flight modes and onboard processing power. It’s a sophisticated autonomous flying machine.
If you’re looking for amazing footage capabilities paired with industry-leading obstacle avoidance, the DJI Mavic 3 Pro checks all the boxes. The peace of mind that the reliable sensors provide is invaluable.
- 360° obstacle sensing coverage
- Advanced Pilot Assist feature
- Smooth autonomous navigation
- Automatic rerouting capabilities
- Robust obstacle avoidance
- Great safety features
- Top-notch camera performance
- Very expensive drone
- Larger size less portable
- Limited payload capacity
- Can struggle with small obstructions
RiskOrb Drone – Cheapest Drone With Obstacle Avoidance
Budget Drone With Collision Avoidance
- Cheapest drone with obstacle avoidance
- Forward and side sensors detect some objects
- Can automatically avoid some obstacles
- Good starter drone for hobbyists
- Provides basic collision avoidance functionality
As a drone pilot, I’m always looking for affordable drones with sensors for obstacle avoidance. The RiskOrb drone caught my eye advertising itself as a budget drone with obstacle avoidance capabilities. I took it for a test flight to assess how this low-cost collision avoidance drone performed compared to the best obstacle avoidance drones.
Given the affordable price point, I went into the test with tempered expectations. However, I was pleasantly surprised during initial flights. The forward and side sensors on the RiskOrb did a satisfactory job detecting objects in the drone’s path, prompting it to stop or adjust course to avoid collisions.
For a one of the cheapest drones with obstacle avoidance, this basic level of object avoidance system worked fairly well.
That said, the system has clear limitations. Due to limited sensor coverage, I had to remain vigilant about obstacles in blind spots undetectable by this drone with avoidance capabilities. Also, there were instances where the RiskOrb failed to detect obstructions right in front of it, requiring quick manual maneuvering.
In reviews, other users reported inconsistent performance from the RiskOrb’s obstacle avoidance system. Given the low price point, it seems like a classic case of ‘you get what you pay for’ when it comes to cheap drones with obstacle avoidance.
The onboard sensors and programming lag behind top obstacle avoidance drones.
The quality of avoidance systems depends heavily on hardware and software capabilities. RiskOrb clearly cut corners to offer this feature at such an affordable price.
For pilots prioritizing reliable, robust obstacle avoidance, the RiskOrb leaves much to be desired. While technically offering the capability at a low price point, the limited coverage and inconsistent performance mean its object avoidance drone system can’t be fully trusted.
The RiskOrb performs basic collision avoidance to a degree, but doesn’t deliver the same peace of mind and experience as premium drones with mature obstacle avoidance tech that works consistently.
In summary – the RiskOrb does technically offer obstacle avoidance at an unbeatable budget price. However, the system itself provides inconsistent, unreliable performance that can’t prevent crashes. You get what you pay for with this drone’s sensors.
For strict budget hobbyists, it may offer some protection. But for serious pilots wanting confidence flying in complex spaces, I’d recommend saving up for a top obstacle avoidance drone with better tech.
While good on paper, the RiskOrb’s real world obstacle avoidance performance leaves much to be desired. For reliable systems, look at premium drones implementing robust, cutting-edge avoidance capabilities. But if budget is critical, RiskOrb is the cheapest option.
- Budget price with obstacle avoidance
- Forward and side sensors
- Can detect some obstacles
- Provides basic collision avoidance
- Good for beginner hobbyists
- Very limited sensor coverage
- Unreliable performance
- Inconsistent obstacle detection
- Can’t be fully trusted to avoid crashes
- Lagging behind premium drones’ tech
- Frequent need for manual intervention
- Blind spots around drone
- Not good for professional use
Autel EVO Nano+ – Best Non-DJI Drone With Obstacle Avoidance
Autel EVO Nano+
Best Non-DJI Drone With Obstacle Avoidance
- Front, rear, bottom sensors detect obstacles
- Stops automatically when obstacles detected
- Audible collision alerts add peace of mind
- Top obstacle avoidance for non-DJI drones
- Effective safety net for hobbyist pilots
The Autel EVO Nano+ caught my eye as a top contender among the best drones with obstacle avoidance in the non-DJI category. I took it for a test flight to evaluate the collision avoidance capabilities.
Right away, the sensitive front, rear, and bottom sensors provided clear feedback whenever they detected obstructions in the flight path of this object avoidance drone.
While some find them overly cautious, I appreciated the loud alerts to avoid collisions.
In testing, the EVO Nano+ reliably stopped short whenever its binocular vision sensors detected I was approaching trees, buildings, or other obstacles head-on. This emergency brake reaction offered reassuring peace of mind when flying in crowded areas.
However, it’s worth noting this GPS drone with obstacle avoidance doesn’t autonomously adjust its flight path to avoid obstructions like some models, such as the DJI Mini 3 Pro. The Autel required manual path redirection around detected objects.
Despite this limitation, the Autel EVO Nano+ sensors provide a key advantage over non-DJI drones lacking any obstacle avoidance capabilities. It delivers an effective safety net, especially for novice pilots.
Through my evaluations, the sensors helped build confidence by reducing some navigation stress in crowded skies or dense forests. While not perfect, they provide added peace of mind.
It’s important to remember the sensors serve more as an emergency fallback rather than something to actively rely on. Professional pilots will still want to remain attentive, especially with it disabled in Sport mode.
But for hobbyists wanting solid awareness beyond DJI, the EVO Nano+ is compelling. The binocular vision sensors deliver straightforward and dependable safety benefits.
The EVO may not have the most advanced autonomous avoidance, but it provides key detection and stopping before collisions. That’s hugely valuable for a non-DJI drone.
Reliable sensors give any non-DJI drone a big advantage. While not perfect, the EVO Nano+ avoidance setup adds major peace of mind. It’s arguably the best current non-DJI option for enhanced safety.
- Front, rear and bottom sensors
- Effective at stopping for obstacles
- Provides collision avoidance
- Gives clear audible alerts
- Adds peace of mind for hobbyists
- Good safety net for new pilots
- Top non-DJI option for sensors
- Doesn’t autonomously avoid obstacles
- Requires manual flight path adjustments
- Overly sensitive alarms can be annoying
- Sensors disabled in Sport mode
- Not as advanced as DJI drones
- Can’t rely on it fully for safety
- Limited side and upward detection
Buying Guide: Choosing Drones with the Best Obstacle Avoidance in 2023
Obstacle avoidance capabilities allow drones to detect and maneuver around objects autonomously. When selecting a drone with this feature, consider:
Look for drones with omnidirectional sensing providing collision protection from all angles, not just forward.
Prioritize drones with advanced software that quickly process sensor data to avoid obstacles smoothly.
The best drones have finely tuned sensors and algorithms that consistently avoid collisions in diverse conditions.
Advanced drones can reroute their flight path in real-time to autonomously bypass obstacles using onboard intelligence.
Speed & Agility
Faster, more agile drones with good stopping power can better avoid obstacles at higher speeds.
Seamless integration with intelligent flight modes enhances the obstacle avoidance experience.
Choosing a drone with responsive, reliable, and comprehensive obstacle avoidance technology will allow pilots to capture footage safely in complex environments.
Ready to Buy an Awesome Drone With Obstacle Avoidance?
This guide covers everything you need to know about getting started with drones featuring obstacle avoidance technology. From key factors, top models, safety tips, accessories, and more.
Advanced obstacle avoidance drones can get pricey, but it’s possible to find great entry-level options at various budget levels. The top picks highlighted here provide confidence while navigating complex environments.
Do your research to find the perfect beginner obstacle avoidance drone for your needs. Look for models with comprehensive sensor coverage and reliable, responsive software. Opt for smart features that enhance safety.
Be sure to practice flying slowly indoors at first, even with obstacle avoidance. Master basic takeoff, hovering, steering and landing. Then progress to faster speeds outside.
With practice, an affordable obstacle avoidance drone can deliver hours of smooth, stress-free flight. Experience the freedom to capture footage safely around trees, buildings and other obstacles! Just be sure to learn local laws and fly responsibly.
The top recommendations here make it easy for beginners to learn obstacle avoidance capabilities. Pick the perfect model, strap on the goggles, and prepare for incredible aerial views without worrying about crashes! Obstacle avoidance takes drone flight to the next level.