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Proposed new flight modes

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by xplorer, Apr 4, 2014.

  1. xplorer

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    Greetings from Cape Town, south Africa.
    I own a Phantom 1 and Phantom 2.

    I have a proposal for a new flight mode that would be quick and easy to implement, and would
    deliver a much more useful product and will cost DJI virtually nothing (other than writing some
    code to modify the firmware).

    I submitted the following to DJI and receive a canned response, "Dear, thanks for sharing your ideas with us..."

    I would like to hear your support for this proposal. Maybe if enough Phantom owners ask for this, they may take the proposal more seriously.

    The problem:

    When flying at a distance, it is often difficult to keep track of the orientation of the
    drone, or to aim it accurately for a photo or video. Obviously FOV solves this problem, but not
    everyone wants to go that extra expense and complexity.

    The Symmetry of the Phantom makes it difficult to discern the front from the back in flight.
    The decals on the front arms are not easily seen from the ground, and the LED's under the arms
    are not easily seen in broad daylight beyond a few dozen meters.

    IOC solves the problem of manoeuvring the drone, but not of aiming the drone for video or
    photo.

    So here is a simple solution, which I call Intelligent Navigation and Orientation (INO).

    On the right shoulder-switch, when you flick it to GO TO HOME, it merely switches off the
    transmitter circuit, as if you have switched off your entire RC controller or the batteries
    fell out. So that switch position is redundant, as you could simply power down your transmitter
    on the main power switch to accomplish the same, and power up again to regain control.

    The proposal is to offer an alternate mode INO for that switch position, which the pilot may
    select in the PC Assistant, where he normally sets the Failsafe option.

    Once INO is enabled in flight, the following happens, depending on the position of the IOC
    selector:

    Now the Left Stick controls the DIRECTION THE DRONE IS FACING!
    The right stick controls the direction it moves, exactly as before.

    There are three variations, selected by the IOC switch on the Left shoulder:

    1) IOC set to Course Lock (CL):
    The Left stick no longer controls throttle/altitude.
    Instead, the Phantom will maintain current altitude until the switch is changed to another
    position (ATTI or GPS ATTI).
    Left Stick controls the direction the drone faces, according to the same CL rules as the right
    stick controls motion. Face Forward, Face to the Left, face Backwards, etc.

    2) IOC on Home Lock (HL):
    The Left stick no longer controls throttle/altitude.
    Instead, the Phantom will maintain current altitude until the switch is changed to another
    position (ATTI or GPS ATTI).
    Left Stick controls the direction the drone faces, according to the
    same HL rules as the right stick controls motion. Pushing the left stick forward, turns the
    drone to face directly away from the pilot, regardless of which radial it finds itself on.

    Think about that... now you can easily fly along any line you want, and at the same time,
    control which direction the drone faces and photographs or films, using IOC for both
    Navigation, as well as Orientation (hence INO or Intelligent Navigation and Orientation).

    3) What about when the IOC is in the OFF position?
    This gives us the opportunity to keep the camera facing directly towards a Point Of Interest
    (POI) as follows:

    With IOC on OFF, when INO is initially enabled, it takes a GPS fix and then from that
    moment onwards (until INO is disabled), the camera will always face that point, regardless of
    how/where the drone manoeuvres to. This is great for filming a Point of Interest (POI) from all
    angles, and to keep the camera locked onto one geographic point while manoeuvring. In this mode
    (INO On, IOC Off), the Left Stick controls only the throttle and has
    no YAW control, which is ignored.

    A much more usable aerial filming platform!

    I welcome your comment on this idea.
     
    TheWire likes this.
  2. xplorer

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    Bump. No comment yet?
     
  3. npalen

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    Location:
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    I'll jump in here and ask about POI as mentioned in your last full paragraph. I'm not understanding exactly how the control would establish the POI. I realize that the control would know the exact orientation and location (the fix) of the craft but how does it know the distance to the POI? Seems that it would have to know that distance in order to circumnavigate. Can you help me on this?
     
  4. FatKevinSmith

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    The only new flight mode that interests me is POI, and that would be most excellent. You should be able to set NAZA M to whatever distance, i.e. 3 meters, and when you flip the switch to IOC/POI mode, the orientation would be calculated based on the heading of the Phantom to 3 meters straight out. If you are a sucky judge of distance, you can use 1 meter, and just get closer to the object you want to track, flip the switch, then pull away to the desired distance you want to be from it.

    The trick will be calibrating your gimbal so that it tracks with the POI altitude position, if gimbal pitch is to be a consideration.

    I take that back, I would also like waypoint flying, and I don't want to have to buy a BT module to do it. I'd just like to plug the coordinates in via the USB port.
     
  5. davemcm

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    I couldn't even read it all due to the way it is written, however it looks like you want to go the audrocopter, or maybe one of the pixhawk controllers, which have a multitude of extra features, and is community based open source, so good suggestions etc. could be easily added.
     
  6. OI Photography

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    Location:
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    +1

    Although features like that would be great, if you're really needing them I'd suggest getting an arducopter controller rather than holding your breath for DJI to implement them in the NAZA. Some of what it sounds like you're looking for is already available on those platforms, and from what I could discern from the OP you might be able to achieve the rest with careful programming of an aftermarket radio controller (e.g. Futaba or anything with OpenTx firmware).
     
  7. xplorer

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    To set the POI, all you need to do is hover directly over the point then flick the switch.
    The lower you are, the more accurate it will be.

    Auto gimbal pitch would be great (based on takeoff elevation) but it is not essential.

    As soon as you move away from hovering overhead, the Phantom should than auto-Yaw to face that POI.

    Its a simple concept and should be very easy to implement.
     
  8. xplorer

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    Wow! I really thought this idea would spark some serious interest and discussion.
    I guess no-one is interested?
    Though I already have FPV installed, I can see the desire for these features for those without.
    Even with FPV, it would be useful.