Please select Into the mobile phone version | Continue to access the computer ver.
A HAL 9000 moment with Spark's AI
493 3 2018-4-1
Uploading and Loding Picture ...(0/1)
o(^-^)o
Prairie Chicken
Captain
Flight distance : 106526 ft
Canada
Offline

The other day when I was flying the Spark, I tried one more shot after its battery got down into the red. It was only 20 yards away so there was no danger of losing it. The shot didn't work and I wanted to try it again, but good boy that I am, I instead started to land it by holding the left stick down. About five feet from the ground, it suddenly took off straight up. My first panicked thought was "oh no, flyaway!" but quickly realized that the auto RTH must have kicked in due to the low battery. I cancelled it on the RC and landed it fine.

It reminded me of HAL in 2001: A Space Odyssey. The Spark's AI seemed to decide that, even though the landing was going smoothly, it was "too important for me to allow you to jeopardize it." Instead of simply descending the last five feet to the ground, it would have gone through the whole RTH procedure for no reason. "AI" can still use some more "I".

This is not a criticism of Spark and its AI, just a little anecdote I thought I'd share.

2018-4-1
Use props
Vulcan-XH558
First Officer
Flight distance : 62054 ft
United Kingdom
Offline

Yep, been there, only my landing didn't quite go as I had planned.

It was a lovely, calm, snow-covered winters day (OK, a mere dusting of snow), so I decided to let my 5park stretch its wings for a bit.
It was fairly quiet when I started flying, , however as it became steadily busier,  I moved from from my original starting point to somewhere less likely to interrupt other people.  Unfortunately I neglected to update the home point when I reached my destination.

After whizzing about for a bit, the battery low warning appeared, so I decided to bring it in for some close-up work to sharpen my skills and to squeeze some more life out of the battery.  I missed the RTH warning, so panicked slightly when the drone started climbing into the branches (my new location was of course under a tree).

I watched the brave little fella' hit three branches before regaining its composure and landing with no other damage than to my dignity as I scrambled about like a demented juggler trying to catch the drone, whilst fumbling about with the controls.  Not my proudest moment.

2018-4-1
Use props
WebParrot
Captain
Flight distance : 23625 ft
  • >>>
United States
Offline

Makes me think about a wish-for-feature that I had a few months back after I had a similar experience.  When flying around home I don't use a monitor, just the remote.  My wish was for a [Cancel RTH] button, or a way to reprogram the [Pause] button.   (I believe the pause only works with the intelligent flight modes).  Anyhow it would be nice to be able to hit a [cancel] when that panic-of-rocketing-RTH occurs!
2018-4-1
Use props
Prairie Chicken
Captain
Flight distance : 106526 ft
Canada
Offline

@ Vulcan, whew, the video looks worse than the outcome. Good job landing it safely from the clutches of a tree. That was almost me. I had moved about thirty yards from the home point and was beside a grove of poplars. When it took off, it just missed a couple of branches. The gods were apparently on my side this time. Glad your experience turned out okay, other than for your pride.

@WebParrot, I'm pretty sure I cancelled RTH with the pause button on the RC, but now that you bring it up, I'm wondering. Looking at the RC in front of me, I think it's the only button I could have used.

RTH is a great safeguard and I'm glad the Spark has it, but it does have at least one blind spot.
2018-4-1
Use props
Advanced
You need to log in before you can reply Login | Register now

Credit Rules