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Follow Beacon, not me

JoeCube

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Hello, I just discovered the existence of Skydio 2 after getting ready to make some video tutorials. The Beacon follow me function looks awesome and I’m hoping it might work for an unusual application.

What issue do you foresee with mounting the Beacon to a model R/C glider to get some cool shots? It’s a DLG glider that doesn’t fly very fast and my flying site is a large open field where most electric RC flying is permitted, but is usually pretty quiet.

Thanks for your input,
Joseph
 

deedeebulldog

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It should work. I have seen someone attach it to a Mavic and it followed it very well. It's the only way I have seen to actually get the range Skydio claims it can do.
 

dmac1

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I see an issue....when flying with beacon, the phone/app is connected to beacon and beacon to drone. Thus, beacon is controlling the drone.

Could launch drone, tell drone where you want it to be when following the aircraft and then attach beacon to aircraft and launch aircraft. However, the only way to control the drone from that point forward will be via app, which can work, but can you fly 2 aircraft at the same time? Landing the aircraft will be interesting....should work with the drone height floor enabled...should. If you have a helper it would be more feasible cuz s/he could fly drone as needed.

If I did this, I'd be sure to have Home set on the drone and it in a wide open landing spot for it to automatically return to if loses connection or battery gets low and have the return and landing parameters per your liking.
 
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dmac1

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Remember, if you try what you are proposing, you have ~20 min per drone battery.
 
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Ridefreak

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I don't think it'd be an issue ether, even during landing, the drone isn't going to land with the glider it's going to drop to it's height floor, low or hi and track the glider till it stops then just hoover there.

2 scenarios that I could see that might cause problems, 1. the glider could possibly out run it on a dive and loose connection depending on how long and fast the dive was. 2. There's a good chance you might get out of wifi range from the phone and in that event you'd loose backup control.
 

dmac1

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Here is the video I was talking about. He is using the controller for the Mavic.
I strapped the Skydio beacon to my mavic, Will the Skydio 2 track it?
Real early in the vid you can see that she had the controller for the S2. I never thought of trying to have beacon and controller hooked up to S2....will that even work?? If not, why did she have the controller??

I'm not sure what all she did, other than land S2, but it was weird when he was descending the Mavic, how high above it the S2 was, and then it wasn't when it came under the wires. S2 wouldn't know to duck under em....unless he waited with Mavic long enough for S2 to get to how he'd set it to follow beacon (i.e. like 10' above and behind it appears). But makes me think she was piloting S2 some.

One thing different with a fixed wing craft vs Mavic....could just let Mavic hover and control S2 if needed....can't just ignore a fixed wing craft. Hence, as I'd suggested, a helper would be nice, especially at first.

BUT, I just googled DLG Glider....see its launch sequence! If skydio is in the air 'tracking' before you launch DLG, which it hasta be, hows THAT gonna go? Seems to me its gonna never get locked on it optically for sure.....GPS, maybe.

 
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dmac1

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I don't think it'd be an issue ether, even during landing, the drone isn't going to land with the glider it's going to drop to it's height floor, low or hi and track the glider till it stops then just hoover there.
I agree, it SHOULD work on landing. Why'd I say should?

Cuz I have never flown without height floor enabled and when my drone got stuck behind some trees and was trying to get though it was trying different ways and it went down to just about 2 1/2 - 3' off the forest floor!

This was the incident when I thought I'd lost the drone but managed to get it over a road in its dying seconds and it landed nice n smooth. Only via its recorded footage do I know where it went...and how low it was.

Thus, I am not sure how reliable that height floor is.
 
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dmac1

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This confirms it! Can use BOTH controller AND beacon.

From the guy who made the vid below:

Skydio2 can be flown with the beacon and the controller at the same time. I place the beacon on the airplane and hand the controller to my co-pilot. The drone follows the beacon until my co-pilot chooses to take over with the controller. Watching the drone autonomously following that airplane is absolutely wild / terrifying.

 

JoeCube

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Thanks guys, super helpful! Looks like it has been done before and successfully. The one thing that bothers me is that it seems to wait until the beacon leaves the frame before it bothers to correct! I don’t know if they will address this in a future FW update. I’m still on the fence and their Black Friday sale ends tomorrow!
 

Trailryder42

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I wonder is part
The one thing that bothers me is that it seems to wait until the beacon leaves the frame before it bothers to correct!
I guess part of that problem is the speed settings for roll, pitch and yaw, as well as gimble speed that are a set value in Motion Track. The gimble speed looked too slow in the video above.
 

dmac1

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I wonder is part

I guess part of that problem is the speed settings for roll, pitch and yaw, as well as gimble speed that are a set value in Motion Track. The gimble speed looked too slow in the video above.
Yeah, gimbal speed might be too slow in that Mamba vid, but my take was that most of the problems were due to the person flying S2...in other words, I think the guy flying S2 didn't fly with the Mamba very well and the gimbal limits were hit when the Mamba went out of frame.

What do I think that? Cuz it seems like S2 woulda done better by itself....quicker reactions and more consistent positioning in relation to the Mamba (beacon). I think they shoulda just let S2 do its thing and saved controller for takeoff, landing, and any emergency needs.

On my Mavic, I did pretty much exact same thing as I think that guy did with Mamba, but with a friend riding a dirt bike. I flew Mav, Mav's job was simply to keep looking at my friend. Its optically locked. It worked really well! If you suck as a drone pilot, then it won't work.

Heres a Mav vid I made a couple years ago showing what I'm talking about (earlier in the vid, when imagery has orange bike, Mav was optically followin me, if green bike, I was piloting Mav and it was tracking my friend):
 

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