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Need Waypoints? How about "Tap and Fly"?
1447 35 2018-2-20
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KurtVD
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I've been using my Spark for a few months now, but I'm still learning. Today I've used the "Tap & Fly" feature for the first time, and in a way, this function is almost as good as setting waypoints. As far as I know, even with 3rd party apps like Litchi, the Spark can't follow a route on its own if it's beyond the range of the remote control, it will return to home if it loses connection, right? In this case, with Tap&Fly, in Coordinate Mode, you can set one waypoint at a time simply by tapping on a spot on your screen and select the speed on a slider, and it will fly there on its own, letting you focus on the filming and taking pictures. Unfortunately though, I think it's impossible to make it fly sideways or backwards (the Parrot app for the Bebop 2 allows for that), you can only fly straight.
2018-2-20
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Greg Glasson
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Autopilot allows you to create waypoints, then add a focus point.... so you can fly backwards and sidewards while maintaining the camera angle in another direction
2018-2-20
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Montfrooij
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Here in NL you must have control over the craft yourself. So using those features is not allowed.
I don't know if they will enforce that rule, but it is not allowed.
2018-2-20
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Greg Glasson
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Montfrooij Posted at 2018-2-20 23:21
Here in NL you must have control over the craft yourself. So using those features is not allowed.
I don't know if they will enforce that rule, but it is not allowed.

I think that is a really stupid rule lol... I find that by giving Autopilot control over which way the camera is pointing and where it is flying to, I actually pay more attention to my drone in the sky instead of watching the screen to see what the image looks like... and I am quickly able to switch to Sports Mode when I need to regain manual control of my craft - that is I keep the drone in VLOS more than when I am flying using DJI Go 4 app. Do the Dutch allow any kind of autonomous vehicles?
Are commercial airline pilots allowed to use their Autopilot controls in Dutch airspace?
2018-2-20
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MikB
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I believe Autopilot is ios only. There are ways to use waypoints with Spark but you have to do some digging on the forums.
2018-2-20
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Montfrooij
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Greg Glasson Posted at 2018-2-20 23:32
I think that is a really stupid rule lol... I find that by giving Autopilot control over which way the camera is pointing and where it is flying to, I actually pay more attention to my drone in the sky instead of watching the screen to see what the image looks like... and I am quickly able to switch to Sports Mode when I need to regain manual control of my craft - that is I keep the drone in VLOS more than when I am flying using DJI Go 4 app. Do the Dutch allow any kind of autonomous vehicles?
Are commercial airline pilots allowed to use their Autopilot controls in Dutch airspace?

I agree on your vision, but I don't make the rules...
It counts for all model RC planes. Drones included.
They are working on exceptions for professional ones that are used by farmers etc. if I'm correct.
2018-2-20
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Greg Glasson
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Montfrooij Posted at 2018-2-20 23:44
I agree on your vision, but I don't make the rules...
It counts for all model RC planes. Drones included.
They are working on exceptions for professional ones that are used by farmers etc. if I'm correct.

I'm sorry too if I caused you offence Montfrooij, and I didn't want to cast Dutch government in a bad light, I just find it really bizarre the rules around using remotely piloted craft in different countries, and that in many respects they have not been able to keep up with the advances in technology.... I believe that giving control of our machinery to computers will result in less accidents as it removes the human error that results in many deaths.... the amazing drone display from the Winter Olympics with 1200 drones coordinated to produce amazing images in the sky would not have been possible with 1200 human pilots.
2018-2-20
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Montfrooij
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Greg Glasson Posted at 2018-2-20 23:52
I'm sorry too if I caused you offence Montfrooij, and I didn't want to cast Dutch government in a bad light, I just find it really bizarre the rules around using remotely piloted craft in different countries, and that in many respects they have not been able to keep up with the advances in technology.... I believe that giving control of our machinery to computers will result in less accidents as it removes the human error that results in many deaths.... the amazing drone display from the Winter Olympics with 1200 drones coordinated to produce amazing images in the sky would not have been possible with 1200 human pilots.

No problem, I don't feel offended
Just explaining how it works here.
And indeed, I would do it differently if I made them...
The major thing is liability. Who is responsible if something goes wrong and the drone was not piloted by you.
They have to find a way to deal with that.
2018-2-20
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MikB
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"I believe that giving control of our machinery to computers will result in less accidents"
You should add to that statement "when used in the hands of an experienced operator" and thereby lie the problem.


2018-2-20
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Greg Glasson
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MikB Posted at 2018-2-20 23:58
"I believe that giving control of our machinery to computers will result in less accidents"
You should add to that statement "when used in the hands of an experienced operator" and thereby lie the problem.

I agree with you also MikB (and apologies to the OP as we have gone way off topic!).... I only felt confident to use Autopilot when I understood what the software was doing, understood my own limitations as a drone operator, and wanted to get better, smoother video footage than I could achieve with manual control
2018-2-21
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A CW
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Tap Fly is an excellent flight mode for maintaining a specific line and speed so you can focus on the camera. Just keep you finger near the pause button too.  
2018-2-21
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Farnk666
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Greg Glasson Posted at 2018-2-21 00:13
I agree with you also MikB (and apologies to the OP as we have gone way off topic!).... I only felt confident to use Autopilot when I understood what the software was doing, understood my own limitations as a drone operator, and wanted to get better, smoother video footage than I could achieve with manual control

Autonomous flight isn't legal without CASA approval in Australia.

"Autonomous aircraft systems

2.1.9 While there are various degrees of automation in UAS, an autonomous operation is one
in which there is no ability for the pilot to intervene in the conduct of the flight. This does
not include lost link situations. However, CASA’s current focus is on RPA operations,
which are, by definition, operations that are not autonomous operations.

2.1.10 Autonomous operations may be approved, but will be considered on a case-by-case
basis and require the submission of an acceptable safety case to CASA. If operators
are considering autonomous operations, they should contact CASA, at
rpas@casa.gov.au, as early as possible in the planning stages."
2018-2-21
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Greg Glasson
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Farnk666 Posted at 2018-2-21 21:31
Autonomous flight isn't legal without CASA approval in Australia.

"Autonomous aircraft systems

Farnk666, the autonomous flight modes I was referring to (on Autopilot) allow for the pilot to immediately take over control of the drone. Hence my comment "and I am quickly able to switch to Sports Mode when I need to regain manual control of my craft" (from post #4 on this thread).

So obviously CASA's definition of autonomous flight "in which there is no ability to intervene in the conduct of the flight" does not apply to what I am doing....
2018-2-21
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KurtVD
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A CW Posted at 2018-2-21 12:22
Tap Fly is an excellent flight mode for maintaining a specific line and speed so you can focus on the camera. Just keep you finger near the pause button too.

I think it also stops if you're moving either one of the two sticks on the remote control. In fact, I've interrupted Tap&Fly inadvertently a couple of times by hardly touching one of the sticks with my sleeve....
2018-2-23
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A CW
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It does too.   
2018-2-23
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David Calero
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Check out the RED WAYPOINT APP, is a mission planner for DJI drones including SPARK! (and Mavic Air of course!)

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=red.waypoint.RedWaypoint
2018-5-14
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Terp1234
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Montfrooij Posted at 2018-2-20 23:21
Here in NL you must have control over the craft yourself. So using those features is not allowed.
I don't know if they will enforce that rule, but it is not allowed.

I haven't seen this rule in any summary of drone rules in NL, also not the ones provided by the government. Only if you go into the rules of RC flying, in article 2 b. is mentioned controlled flight is not allowed. I was totally unaware of of this although I thought I put quite some efford in finding out what is allowed or not to fly. So none of the quick shot modes can be used over here?
2018-5-14
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Montfrooij
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Terp1234 Posted at 2018-5-14 12:08
I haven't seen this rule in any summary of drone rules in NL, also not the ones provided by the government. Only if you go into the rules of RC flying, in article 2 b. is mentioned controlled flight is not allowed. I was totally unaware of of this although I thought I put quite some efford in finding out what is allowed or not to fly. So none of the quick shot modes can be used over here?

The RC legislation is clear.
You are not allowed to fly waypoints etc. (pilot must have control at all times during the flight).

Although I'm not sure if 'they' will fine you for that.
If you remain line of sight, away from people, roads etc. etc.  and follow all the other rules with your flight path.
But I must say, the line of sight rule will limit the usage of waypoints for me.

2018-5-14
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A CW
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Montfrooij Posted at 2018-5-14 22:30
The RC legislation is clear.
You are not allowed to fly waypoints etc. (pilot must have control at all times during the flight).

Not worth the risk, fine or not. Good shout mate
2018-5-15
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Jos A
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In Litchi when flying on waypoints you can have still control: use setting (user controlled) and also speed can be controlled with joystick or set switch on/off in sportmodes cancel the whole waypoint mission. Also RTH still works. So long you have you AC visual you can/allow to use automatic waypoints. For example farmers are allowed to set a auton. waypoint mission to inspect there farmland
2018-5-15
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Olgmo
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David Calero Posted at 2018-5-14 08:27
Check out the RED WAYPOINT APP, is a mission planner for DJI drones including SPARK! (and Mavic Air of course!)

https://play.google.com/store/ap ... scanlan.RedWaypoint

Your own app?
Could you do a youtube tutorial?
2018-5-16
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Jakab Gipsz
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Greg Glasson Posted at 2018-2-20 22:30
Autopilot allows you to create waypoints, then add a focus point.... so you can fly backwards and sidewards while maintaining the camera angle in another direction

Autopilot compatible with Spark?
2018-5-16
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Jakab Gipsz
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Jos A Posted at 2018-5-15 05:39
In Litchi when flying on waypoints you can have still control: use setting (user controlled) and also speed can be controlled with joystick or set switch on/off in sportmodes cancel the whole waypoint mission. Also RTH still works. So long you have you AC visual you can/allow to use automatic waypoints. For example farmers are allowed to set a auton. waypoint mission to inspect there farmland

The Lithci app. not yet compatible with the Spark.
This is also written when I want to use it. So what are you talking about, or am not a good forum theme?
2018-5-16
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Greg Glasson
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Jakab Gipsz Posted at 2018-5-16 12:32
Autopilot compatible with Spark?

Yes, but only ios
2018-5-16
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Jakab Gipsz
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Oh no! Android not playing?  Grrrrr!
2018-5-17
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S-e-ven
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Montfrooij Posted at 2018-5-14 22:30
The RC legislation is clear.
You are not allowed to fly waypoints etc. (pilot must have control at all times during the flight).

So the RTH then is a illegal function?
2018-5-17
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Montfrooij
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S-e-ven Posted at 2018-5-17 07:40
So the RTH then is a illegal function?

In theory: yes.
But as stated I doubt they will fine you for that.
Although I'm not sure what will happen if you get into a RTH situation and your drone decides to fly into something expensive....
2018-5-17
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Montfrooij
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Jos A Posted at 2018-5-15 05:39
In Litchi when flying on waypoints you can have still control: use setting (user controlled) and also speed can be controlled with joystick or set switch on/off in sportmodes cancel the whole waypoint mission. Also RTH still works. So long you have you AC visual you can/allow to use automatic waypoints. For example farmers are allowed to set a auton. waypoint mission to inspect there farmland

https://www.dronewatch.nl/2017/1 ... ij-autonome-drones/
(sorry, Dutch read)
Autonomous flying is NOT allowed, not even for farmers.
This was discussed the other day in the hearing that dronewatch attended also.

If you fly by the rules you are NOT allowed to use waypoints etc. or any form of autonomous flying.
No grey area here.
It is just not allowed.
2018-5-17
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S-e-ven
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Montfrooij Posted at 2018-5-17 13:40
In theory: yes.
But as stated I doubt they will fine you for that.
Although I'm not sure what will happen if you get into a RTH situation and your drone decides to fly into something expensive....

In a situation, RTH is a failsafe.
My ideea was more the button, many pilots use without a "situation" for the backflight.
2018-5-17
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Montfrooij
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S-e-ven Posted at 2018-5-17 22:36
In a situation, RTH is a failsafe.
My ideea was more the button, many pilots use without a "situation" for the backflight.

Yes, well in NL you must always remain line of sight. So you should not need RTH for getting it back
2018-5-17
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Greg Glasson
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Montfrooij Posted at 2018-5-17 22:53
Yes, well in NL you must always remain line of sight. So you should not need RTH for getting it back

Even in line of sight, you can lose connection with your drone. When this happens the drone automatically engages RTH. So does the Netherlands legislation effectively mean not flying your drone at all, considering a loss of connection can happen at any time? (And there is also no option for turning off automatic RTH)
2018-5-17
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S-e-ven
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Montfrooij Posted at 2018-5-17 22:53
Yes, well in NL you must always remain line of sight. So you should not need RTH for getting it back

It is not the need, only the usage of the RTH function.
A lot pilots are using it to get the bird home.
Looking at it, performing the RTH.
2018-5-17
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Montfrooij
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Greg Glasson Posted at 2018-5-17 23:22
Even in line of sight, you can lose connection with your drone. When this happens the drone automatically engages RTH. So does the Netherlands legislation effectively mean not flying your drone at all, considering a loss of connection can happen at any time? (And there is also no option for turning off automatic RTH)

Strictly speaking: yes you must have control over your drone at all times.
So losing connection is not allowed.
But I doubt anybody will get fined for that when they are flying somewhere they are allowed to fly.
There is still a lot to be discussed about drone legislation, since the rules come from a 'pre drone' era when you 'only' had some people flying RC planes on remote fields.
So it takes some iterations to catch up with the new reality.
2018-5-17
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Montfrooij
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S-e-ven Posted at 2018-5-17 23:26
It is not the need, only the usage of the RTH function.
A lot pilots are using it to get the bird home.
Looking at it, performing the RTH.

Strictly speaking that is not allowed.
But then again, I doubt you will get in trouble if you fly in places that are allowed to fly.
2018-5-17
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Greg Glasson
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Montfrooij Posted at 2018-5-17 23:30
Strictly speaking: yes you must have control over your drone at all times.
So losing connection is not allowed.
But I doubt anybody will get fined for that when they are flying somewhere they are allowed to fly.

I agree totally with you on this one, Montfrooj. Legislation takes time, while technology increases in leaps and bounds. I think many countries are going to have to grapple with these kinds of issues... another example of "rule" flouting is taking place here in Australia. Canberra is trialling drone delivered fast food - how can this be possible if all drone operators need to maintain line of sight?
2018-5-17
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Montfrooij
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Greg Glasson Posted at 2018-5-17 23:55
I agree totally with you on this one, Montfrooj. Legislation takes time, while technology increases in leaps and bounds. I think many countries are going to have to grapple with these kinds of issues... another example of "rule" flouting is taking place here in Australia. Canberra is trialling drone delivered fast food - how can this be possible if all drone operators need to maintain line of sight?

We recently had an official test with an autonomous flight in NL.
So they are making progress.
But this does take time....
2018-5-18
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