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Turn on Obstacle Avoidance during Return To Home
2533 29 2016-7-28
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voripteth
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The obstacle avoidance feature for the Phantom 4 is an amazing thing.  It is the main reason I got the Phantom 4 over the 3.  Recently I read a story about a Phantom pilot who was flying his drone in Sport mode and lost signal because it flew behind a hill.  The wonderful Return to Home system kicked in but the UAV was behind a hill that was higher than the RTH height.  Because it was in Sport mode, the Phantom flew into the hill on its way back.  Details about the story are here:
http://www.phantompilots.com/threads/1500-just-flew-away-and-kept-going.84785/

I'd like to see an improvement to the Phantom software to avoid this situation.  When RTH kicks in, please turn on obstacle avoidance to improve the chances of getting the Phantom back safely.

2016-7-28
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Thomas.
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I support this idea very strongly!
2016-7-28
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Moshe.mmm
First Officer
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Yes please!
This is a well known old request which is very crucial.
Most of us use sport mode with long distance flights where the chances to lose signal are the highest and then you are in a real problem..

So please take it under serious consideration..!
2016-7-28
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hallmark007
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You know it makes sense!!!!
2016-7-28
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DJI-Ken
DJI team
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The RTH should be set prior to every flight for the environment you are flying in.
That should be one of the first items on your preflight checklist. If you do not have a checklist then you really need to remember. These are amazing pieces of technology BUT they still need your attention to make sure everything is properly setup.
BUT, I did make a suggestion to R&D.
2016-7-28
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MarcoX5
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DJI-Ken Posted at 2016-7-28 17:44
The RTH should be set prior to every flight for the environment you are flying in.
That should be on ...

Ken, Are you suggesting that not only the home point but the RTH height should be altered for each flight?

The RTH height is a setting that can be easily misjudged but obstacle avoidance (during RTH) could prevent serious damage to the aircraft regardless.

When RTH is requested by the pilot the notion of control is passed on to the aircraft system by definition.
2016-7-28
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labroides
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RTH settings and a pilot's situational awareness are the most effective obstacle avoidance.
Don't fly behind an obstacle without planning for it.
2016-7-28
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DJI-Ken
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MarcoX5 Posted at 2016-7-29 06:00
Ken, Are you suggesting that not only the home point but the RTH height should be altered for each ...

Your home point is set each time the motors are armed. And if you fly in different area where the obstacles are different heights then you need to adjust the RTH altitude each time you fly at a different environment like that.
If you are flying in a large open area with no tall structures around (above default RTH) then no need to adjust it.
2016-7-28
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Moshe.mmm
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DJI-Ken Posted at 2016-7-29 05:52
Your home point is set each time the motors are armed. And if you fly in different area where the  ...

This is all true friend, but the request is the most logical request I have seen in this forum until now.
You all are correct that the pilot should be prepared in each flight, but as every experienced pilot know,there are things that occur without planning...
So, making the air craft turning it's obstacles avoidance system by itself if it looses contact with the pilot is the smartest thing could be done in order to raise it's chances of returning to sender in one piece...
2016-7-28
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nahaont
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Yes, I give a 5 stars vote for this idea.

I also agree with Ken that home point and RTH height should be changed depends on surrounding area condition.

But since the Phantom 4 has such a great safety feature, why we don't turn it on in the most dangerous situation (RTH).

From a software engineer perspective, I think this is an easy task for development team.

Regards.
2016-7-29
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DJI-Ken
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Moshe.mmm Posted at 2016-7-29 15:40
This is all true friend, but the request is the most logical request I have seen in this forum unt ...

We'll see what happens witht he request.
2016-7-29
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Moshe.mmm
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DJI-Ken Posted at 2016-7-29 18:07
We'll see what happens witht he request.

Thank you!
2016-7-29
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DJI-Ken
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No problem, I know a lot of people are in a rush to get in the air and many have had crashes that could have been easily avoidable by slowing down and also using a checklist.
But I understand the need for another safety feature to assist them.
2016-7-29
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Kneepuck
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Everyone wants the world to change to meet their expectations.  Even though it is easy enough to read the manual,  which clearly states that obstacle avoidance is not on in sport mode.   I really don't understand what is so difficult.  Not to be a smartass,  it's just that so many people complain about so many things that are fully documented, it makes me why the buy something that is not what they want,  then complain about it.  It's like buying a house in a place where everyone lets their dogs roam freely,  then complaining about all the dogs roaming around.
Sorry,  I'm cranky this morning.
2016-7-29
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DJI-Ken
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Kneepuck Posted at 2016-7-29 23:45
Everyone wants the world to change to meet their expectations.  Even though it is easy enough to rea ...

I understand 100%, but there are users out there that may not read the manual so we need to try and help them when we can.
You would be surprised how many calls the support center gets and sometimes people are yelling at the reps saying the aircraft is defective because it won't even startup and take off. Then when reminded that you must perform a CSC to arm the motors they say what is a CSC.
2016-7-29
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ed
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How fast does it go in RTH while in Sport?  The OA might not be functional.  But if the speed could be set as well, that could work.
2016-7-29
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Moshe.mmm
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Kneepuck Posted at 2016-7-29 18:45
Everyone wants the world to change to meet their expectations.  Even though it is easy enough to rea ...

Your response has nothing to do with this request.

If the ac loses connection with the controller, it doesn't matter if it was in sport mode. It is on it's own and should be as safe as it could be made.

Why  not..???
2016-7-30
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ShuanD
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So, when you fly behind a mountain and lose signal, The P4 will see the mountain and stop RTH.  THEN,it can hover until the battery dies, then crash and fall off the cliff.
UNLESS, you have planned your flight and set RTH height above the mountain height OR even fly in VLOS

2016-7-30
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Thomas.
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ShuanD Posted at 2016-7-31 01:25
So, when you fly behind a mountain and lose signal, The P4 will see the mountain and stop RTH.  THEN ...

What is VLOS?
2016-7-30
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Thomas.
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ShuanD Posted at 2016-7-31 01:25
So, when you fly behind a mountain and lose signal, The P4 will see the mountain and stop RTH.  THEN ...

What is VLOS?
2016-7-30
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uptowndisco
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Visual Line Of Sight :-)
2016-7-30
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raywongmusic
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one thing to consider:  would Visual Avoidance slow down my RTH speed?   what if I am low on battery and need to get home as quick as possible?
2016-7-30
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Moshe.mmm
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ShuanD Posted at 2016-7-31 02:25
So, when you fly behind a mountain and lose signal, The P4 will see the mountain and stop RTH.  THEN ...

That is not correct. It should bypass the obstacle.
2016-7-30
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Moshe.mmm
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ShuanD Posted at 2016-7-31 02:25
So, when you fly behind a mountain and lose signal, The P4 will see the mountain and stop RTH.  THEN ...

That is not correct. It should bypass the obstacle.
2016-7-30
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labroides
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raywongmusic Posted at 2016-7-31 14:13
one thing to consider:  would Visual Avoidance slow down my RTH speed?   what if I am low on battery ...

Yes, Object avoidance will reduce your speed.
"what if I am low on battery and need to get home as quick as possible?"
If you are in a low-battery situation and have flown behind an obstacle, leaving Failsafe RTH to save your Phantom, you have two lessons to learn before flying again.
2016-7-31
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voripteth
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The intent is to give the Phantom the best chances of returning to home.  Yes, we should set the RTH height high enough but frankly without a topographical map this can be difficult since the height is based on your home location.  Turning on obstacle avoidance automatically during RTH will help.  That may mean the Phantom will need to also automatically switch out of sport mode.  

What would really be awesome is if RTH is smart enough to continue to ascend above RTH height if necessary to clear obstacles.  (Will OA do this already?)
2016-7-31
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Dirty Bird
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raywongmusic Posted at 2016-7-31 12:13
one thing to consider:  would Visual Avoidance slow down my RTH speed?   what if I am low on battery ...

If OA (obstacle avoidance) is enabled it limits the P4's speed to 22 mph.  This is the normal RTH speed even when RTH is turned off, though you can override & go faster with right stick forward (with OA off).
2016-8-1
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Dirty Bird
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voripteth@gmail Posted at 2016-8-1 05:42
The intent is to give the Phantom the best chances of returning to home.  Yes, we should set the RTH ...

What I suggest you do when flying in unfamiliar territory or when unsure of potential obstacle heights is level the camera, climb straight up, & slowly pan the horizon towards which you intend to fly.  When everything you see is BELOW the observed horizon line, make note of the altitude, & set that as your RTH height.
2016-8-1
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Kneepuck
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raywongmusic Posted at 2016-7-30 21:13
one thing to consider:  would Visual Avoidance slow down my RTH speed?   what if I am low on battery ...

When you are low battery condition,  the worst thing you can do is full throttle.  The faster you go,  the faster you kill your battery.
2016-8-2
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MAD35
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Hi guys,  I almost had a disaster yesterday while flying my P4.  I flew it behind a mountain and lost signal.  The controller disconnected and it was coming home via a direct route and almost hit some trees.  I managed to gain control just before the collision .  Lesson I learned. Set the RTH altitude appropriately and make sure you are in P mode which I was luckily.

Here is the video


2016-8-4
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