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Auto Return-to-home at user defined battery level?

Foilguy

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So I’ve read several of the RTH threads and SD2 support info and I’m not coming up with an answer. Most of my SD2 flying will be beach launching and flying over water while I’m kite-foiling or wing-foiling. In the middle of rough water conditions even operating the beacon through a waterproof pouch could be difficult. The same could be said for activities like surfing or whitewater kayaking. With my Staaker follow drone (no OI at all), the drone automatically initiates RTH to the original launch site at 40% (or if the drone-beacon connection is lost) in it‘s “water flight” mode. It works surprisingly well. Heck, I could have a big wipeout that would require 5-10 minutes to recover from while the drone is waiting for me with the battery draining away. So is there any user definable auto-RTH function that you can set at the start of the flight available right now? Hopefully this is not too dumb a question🤪
 

Foilguy

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Here's a screen shot of the Low Battery procedure from the manual (v3). AFAIK there's no way to set the RTH battery %. Also, I would make sure you set a Home point before takeoff as you don't want it landing in the water!
Link to Manual: https://support.skydio.com/hc/artic...40034/Skydio2_UserGuide_CU1_compressed_v3.pdf
View attachment 218
Ok, got it. Thanks! I’ll have to see if I can lobby the Skydio team to add a user definable RTH based on remaining battery life. When you’re out on the water with your hands full while foiling, you’re never going to even see or hear a message, and even if you did you’d have limited ability to operate the beacon while getting tossed around in the water. You don’t just stop mid-foil and pull out your beacon, any more than you would while getting pounded in the impact zone while surfing.

I also wonder if the current SD2 RTH criteria of alerting the pilot when there is minimal battery left to make it to the “take-off” home point (most often the waterfront spot you launched from) accounts for wind speed and direction ?? Any experienced drone pilot knows that can be a huge issue for RTH succeeding or not,....aside from OA issues. When using my Staaker follow drone I usually adjust my riding session to make sure I don’t end up significantly down wind of the home point, but that’s why having control over remaining battery % for RTH initiation, allows you to have some control over your RTH safety factor.

Over water self filming in some of these water sports is often more about RTH issues than optical avoidance issues!
 
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Bobjazz

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Ok, got it. Thanks! I’ll have to see if I can lobby the Skydio team to add a user definable RTH based on remaining battery life. When you’re out on the water with your hands full while foiling, you’re never going to even see or hear a message, and even if you did you’d have limited ability to operate the beacon while getting tossed around in the water. You don’t just stop mid-foil and pull out your beacon, any more than you would while getting pounded in the impact zone while surfing.

I also wonder if the current SD2 RTH criteria of alerting the pilot when there is minimal battery left to make it to the “take-off” home point (most often the waterfront spot you launched from) accounts for wind speed and direction ?? Any experienced drone pilot knows that can be a huge issue for RTH succeeding or not,....aside from IO issues. When using my Staaker follow drone I usually adjust my riding session to make sure I don’t end up significantly down wind of the home point, but that’s why having control over remaining battery % for RTH initiation, allows you to have some control over your RTH safety factor.

Over water self filming in some of these water sports is often more about RTH issues than IO issues!
Yeah, it doesn't sound like they had your specific use case in mind when designing this thing. Also, as to the taking into account wind speed and direction for the RTH %, no drones do that as far as I'm aware. Hopefully, they'll update the software to allow for changing the RTH % and automatically doing the RTH once it hits that %.
 

baksideDisasterFlicks

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I have similar scenario with backcountry snowboarding. I had sent a request to Skydio and they said the workaround is to manually set a homepoint. So when you first launch once you get GPS lock, tap on the map and bring it full screen. Then press and hold on the location where you want the homepoint to be. I believe it does have the smarts to know how much battery it needs to get back to the home point. I haven't been able to test it out unfortunately because I generally don't have cell signal when filming in the backcountry thus I can't really tell from the map where I'm setting my homepoint. I'm definitely going to try it out the next chance I get so I'll report back.
 
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Lifeisfun

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I have similar scenario with backcountry snowboarding. I had sent a request to Skydio and they said the workaround is to manually set a homepoint. So when you first launch once you get GPS lock, tap on the map and bring it full screen. Then press and hold on the location where you want the homepoint to be. I believe it does have the smarts to know how much battery it needs to get back to the home point. I haven't been able to test it out unfortunately because I generally don't have cell signal when filming in the backcountry thus I can't really tell from the map where I'm setting my homepoint. I'm definitely going to try it out the next chance I get so I'll report back.
Lucky you that you get Data coverage when you backcountry snowboarding.
 

Ridefreak

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I can tell you what it does when the user ignores the low battery warning, I sure wouldn't want it to happen over water. Mine hoovered at about 6" off the ground drifting around for a good 20 seconds before landing. It was probably waiting for me to run up and grab it unfortunately I was about a 1/4 mile away by that time.
 
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Foilguy

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I have similar scenario with backcountry snowboarding. I had sent a request to Skydio and they said the workaround is to manually set a homepoint. So when you first launch once you get GPS lock, tap on the map and bring it full screen. Then press and hold on the location where you want the homepoint to be. I believe it does have the smarts to know how much battery it needs to get back to the home point. I haven't been able to test it out unfortunately because I generally don't have cell signal when filming in the backcountry thus I can't really tell from the map where I'm setting my homepoint. I'm definitely going to try it out the next chance I get so I'll report back.
Did you ever get a chance to test this?

I finally got my toy the other week so I’ll have see if I can make this work. Plus I’m a bit confused about what is being said here. If I’m using the app on my iPhone to set the Home Point, does the phone have to come with me on the water along with the beacon for this to work, or can I leave the phone on dry land and just have the beacon with me in a waterproof pouch? Oh well, lots of things to test out on dry land first!

i did do a really short over water flight yesterday with my paddle board that I launched from my dock in calm water. Had the beacon in a waterproof pouch with a lanyard around my neck. Just kept the session really short and hand landed back on dry land at about 55% battery. Of course paddle boarding at 4mph in calm water is an easy peasy drone test. Kitefoiling in 15-20 mph winds, doing rapid short radius turns and board speed ranging from 8 to 24 mph (with drone killing thin kite-lines all over the place), will be a bit more challenging. Need to have my ducks in a row first😉
 
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Pittaniga

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Hi guys, I’ve just bought sd2 and waiting to receive it.
I’m wondering if there have been any uodates on this topic.
flying skydio 2 on wAter ( kiting) flying wit beacon, once running out of battery would it return to home point if set before going in the water with only the beacon ?

thanks
 

jpowter

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Took mine out today and put the tracker on a friend, the mic is hot (apologies for the language)so you can hear my panic when the phone lost connection and it just started hovering over water about 400 yards away. They have to fix this issue and it seems like an easy fix to return to home when the battery reaches a certain percentage. You can't have your phone and beacon and be able to operate each one while doing a water sport. Please Skydio you have an amazing product and at least 1/2 a dozen people said they would buy one except for that one issue. Being able to fly the drone for 12 min is less important than dumping it into the water. For watersports, you need a pilot on land to hit the return to home button on the app when the battery reaches a certain percentage. At least put it as a combo button on the beacon.

Skydio loses connection with the phone video

 

D360

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Took mine out today and put the tracker on a friend, the mic is hot (apologies for the language)so you can hear my panic when the phone lost connection and it just started hovering over water about 400 yards away. They have to fix this issue and it seems like an easy fix to return to home when the battery reaches a certain percentage. You can't have your phone and beacon and be able to operate each one while doing a water sport. Please Skydio you have an amazing product and at least 1/2 a dozen people said they would buy one except for that one issue. Being able to fly the drone for 12 min is less important than dumping it into the water. For watersports, you need a pilot on land to hit the return to home button on the app when the battery reaches a certain percentage. At least put it as a combo button on the beacon.

Skydio loses connection with the phone video

When you say put tracker on friend did you select him in the app on the phone and the phone stayed with you?

What was wind speed? Looks about 15
 

SteveCJr

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When it comes to water sports I wouldn't expect much from Skydio. In the documentation it says to not fly over any body of water larger than 30' wide and to take extreme care when flying around reflective surfaces. If the SD2 OA freaks out over water they won't approve any warranty claims. But as for a variable RTH setting I think is inevitable to include someday. Probably a lot of other low hanging fruit to deal with first.
 

paularity

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Hey guys

I just joined the forum so I’m pretty much just copying this from another thread:

I was Day 1 pre-order based out of Perth, Western Australia so I’ve been flying it since January last year and I’ve now logged about ~60 hours over-water flight time, so I thought I’d show some of the capabilities for this use case

I’d dabbled a bit filming riding on a Fliteboard (eFoil) a few times early last year, but this was my first ‘real’ attempt using the drone to film myself kiteboarding on a trip to the Cocos Islands back in August. A bit of guesswork playing with wind and a lot of faith in the obstacle avoidance and fixed tracking abilities on display:

Here’s the subsequent Skydio 2 review based on the edit that I wrote up for Kiteworld magazine with more details on the how-to’s: https://magazine.kiteworldmag.com/issue-106/skydio2-drone-review

Shooting a foil surfer (with the beacon on a forearm sleeve) whilst connected on the beach with the controller. Not officially supported, but very doable. Exceeding the limits of wind speed as this day was a nuking 25+ knots seabreeze!

I have a pretty good level of communication with Skydio, (they often forward people onto me asking for tips etc.) and have sent them a LOT of flight logs which will hopefully improve their AI

And full disclosure I have actually crashed one due to flying in high wind conditions and I suspect sand getting lodged in a motor. The drone flipped at about 4m altitude and couldn’t self correct right in the shore dump. The frame was busted anyway, but it drowned too!

I now occasionally fly with the height floor turned off and regularly in wind conditions nudging the 22kn limit, plus I’ve had many, many close calls, but to say that you should not fly it over water is in my opinion not at all accurate

More than happy to discuss the technicalities. RTH issues, case landings in wind etc. et.c

There is a variety of short clips of different water sports: https://instagram.com/paularityfromabove
 

jpowter

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When you say put tracker on friend did you select him in the app on the phone and the phone stayed with you?

What was wind speed? Looks about 15
No just the beacon I kept the phone on land w me so I could hit return to home. It tracked him really well it's just the returning to home if it loses the signal or gets low on a battery charge like the DJI
 

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