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Taking of from a moving vehicle question
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4899 40 2016-11-28
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MacPap
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Hi
while waiting for my Mavic (as so many), I am making scenarios of what to do when it arrives. Doing that and reading and viewing all about intelligent modes I wondered about something. Maybe it seems stupid to the experienced users but I am a complete newbie in this. So here it goes.

Is the Mavic or the DJI Go app for that matter able to fly to the controller instead of going home? And Ill explain.

Imagine I start the drone from a moving boat and do all the flying around I want. At some point suppose I want to use the return to home function. The Mavic would fly to the take off coordinates and try to land. However with the boat moving around there would be no solid ground under it hence no place to land.

Same problem applies if for some reason id like to use the home lock feature.

So is there a way to make the drone fly toward the Remote controller? Or maybe set as new home the position of the remote while the drone is in flight?

Thx in advance

MacPap
2016-11-28
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ctopysf
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You can update the home location to be whatever the current location of the controller is, provided that your mobile device has GPS. This isn't automatic though, you'll need to update it manually any time you want the home location to chance afaik.

I have no idea about taking off from a moving vehicle, sounds risky. I'd stop the boat first.
2016-11-28
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Chaser720
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Flight distance : 400190 ft
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Taking off and landing from a "stopped" boat is tough enough. You're constantly drifting so you're landing zone is constantly moving.

And if you do mess it up then you're Mavic is wet and or gone.
2016-11-28
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jvanderhoff
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Chaser720 Posted at 2016-11-29 08:13
Taking off and landing from a "stopped" boat is tough enough. You're constantly drifting so you're l ...

Probably easier to do a manual landing at that point right?
2016-11-28
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Chaser720
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jvanderhoff Posted at 2016-11-28 19:30
Probably easier to do a manual landing at that point right?

Yeah. Using RTH is a bad idea but a manual landing still isn't easy. You don't realize how much you're moving in a boat so it just appears the drone is drifting away.

My friend had a Solo 3DR a year ago and tried to land on the floor of my boat. The drone touched down but with the boat drifting, the GPS thought it was being blown by wind (I guess). The thing tried to correct and ended up tipping over and shattered its props everywhere. Very sketchy experience. ha
2016-11-28
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MacPap
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thank you all for your input.

However I guess it would suffice to have it hovering at visible distance and than manually land it. I guess where a normal size helli can land is big enough space for the Mavic.

And there is always ATTI.

MacPap
2016-11-28
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Jake Phantom 3
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If I understand you correctly, you want to fly from the boat and then have it land on the beach. If this is correct, you can take off on the beach making that the home point. Then have it in the follow me mode, following you in the boat, fly around out over the water where you want and then hit return to home and it will/should go to the home point on the beach. I think if you make the beach the home point, and shut it off and go out in the boat and restart it, it'll make the boat the home point. If I'm wrong, I'm sure someone will let us know.

Also, being a newbie, you may want to wait until you get some experience before you try something like this
2016-11-28
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MacPap
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I do agree on the experience part. lol.

But what i want to do is start from a boat and then land on the same boat. And in general if it is possible to make the drone come to the controller if it has changed place after take off. And it seems possible.
2016-11-28
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dotfiles
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Yes unless the boat you're talking about is yacht sized, you would definitely want to manually land it. There is not way for the GPS to be accurate enough for it to land on a newly set home point, especially on the deck of a small boat that is constantly drifting.
2016-11-28
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MacPap
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Agreed. As I said once it comes close enough to be visible one can manually land it.
2016-11-28
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Chaser720
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MacPap Posted at 2016-11-28 20:38
Agreed. As I said once it comes close enough to be visible one can manually land it.

I've had mixed luck with the "Precision Landing" feature. Once you get some experience you can cut off the downward vision sensors and hand catch. Tried it this last weekend and it was pretty easy.
2016-11-28
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cluc
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you should post a picture of your boat and dimensions
2016-11-28
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MacPap
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cluc Posted at 2016-11-29 06:29
you should post a picture of your boat and dimensions

I am afraid I won't do that. ;-)

An it is besides the point since this should be a solution to everyone.

MacPap
2016-11-29
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MacPap
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Chaser720 Posted at 2016-11-29 05:23
I've had mixed luck with the "Precision Landing" feature. Once you get some experience you can cut ...

Can those sensors be shut off mid-flight? Even if in ATTI mode?
2016-11-29
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4wesomeAdam
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MacPap Posted at 2016-11-28 20:02
I do agree on the experience part. lol.

But what i want to do is start from a boat and then land on ...

MacPap,

This is very risky. These commercial drones are just in their infancy in terms of capabilities. Think about this. Approximately around 1912 people (think navy) have been attempting to launch and or land aircraft off ships and today it is STILL dangerous.

You would need ideal sea and air conditions and IMHO a large flat area free from obstruction to pull this off successfully.





2016-11-29
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Homerlovesbeer
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Why on earth is she trying to land on the bow where you have the most pitching moment? Landing on the stern is a MUCH better place to try and land it. Old mate would probably be able to stand up without falling over at the stern!
2016-11-29
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MacPap
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Hi 4wesomeAdam

thx for the input. Love the 1912 with the navy thing. Only objection I have is I won't be flying with 200 knots while attempting to land on a helipad that moves at 50 knots.. lol

Now that being said I do not understand why this lady was moving the quad all around instead of making it hover steady. The boat obviously is not moving. Unless it was in complete manual and sports mode. I hope t was not another unfortunate example of "Yes, it's a woman!" (just joking)

MacPap
2016-11-29
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MacPap
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This for example is a great way to show what can be done.

2016-11-29
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MacPap
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Here is another one I found... This guy seems to make it look harder. Actually this might be a more realistic aproach.
I still think it is a matter of making the drone fly into the boat from the stern and parallel to it (like aircraft do on a carrier). How ever ill try it with a moving target like a car over land first. (once I ave my Mavic lol)


2016-11-29
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tdcsf
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I've launched and landed from a stationary powerboat.  It's doable but not super easy, as you don't have a lot of room to walk about for the hand catch, and even in a still lake, the boat will drift and you need to compensate for that.  For launching from a moving boat, it's going to be hard for two reasons - 1: the IMU wants to be stable when you power on, it won't happily pick up a gps lock, and 2: as soon as it is up in the air, any movement the boat was giving the drone while it was not flying will stop because the drone will hover or raise in place.  So if there are railings, people, etc, the drone can easily hit them as the boat moves into the drone.
2016-11-29
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MacPap
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Hi tdcsf

1) what do you mean by "the IMU wants to be stable when you power on"?
2) Can't one launch up and away from the boat? I mean one could be launching like the guy no?
3) Flying it aside the boat and bringing it slowly closer from stern I think is the easiest way. Besides back there even on a sail boat there is only the backstay.

MacPap
2016-11-29
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Drjhnsn
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MacPap Posted at 2016-11-29 11:56
Hi tdcsf

1) what do you mean by "the IMU wants to be stable when you power on"?

I currently have a Phantom 4 and have successfully taken off and landed back on my 42 foot sailboat many times.  My first attempt I tried taking off from the deck, which didn't go well.  The boat was stopped but still rocking back and forth.  As soon as I started the props, a slight breeze and pitch of the boat tipped the drone over and it almost bounced off the deck into the water.  Since then, I only had launch and grab it out of the sky for retrieval.  Due to the obstacle avoidance, I just back it into the boat and grab it out of the sky. It's a bit tricky with the sailboat rigging but still not much of a problem.  I have only done it while the boat was stopped.  I did retrieve it while moving on my brothers power boat and it made it a bit tricky to match the speed of the boat, but still easily doable.  I just received my new Mavic yesterday and hope to still be able to hand launch and hand grab it just like the Phantom 4. Won't be as easy to grab, but I have seen other videos of others doing it so not too worried.   
2016-11-29
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Drjhnsn
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I currently have a Phantom 4 and have successfully taken off and landed back on my 42 foot sailboat many times.  My first attempt I tried taking off from the deck, which didn't go well.  The boat was stopped but still rocking back and forth.  As soon as I started the props, a slight breeze and pitch of the boat tipped the drone over and it almost bounced off the deck into the water.  Since then, I only had launch and grab it out of the sky for retrieval.  Due to the obstacle avoidance, I just back it into the boat and grab it out of the sky. It's a bit tricky with the sailboat rigging but still not much of a problem.  I have only done it while the boat was stopped.  I did retrieve it while moving on my brothers power boat and it made it a bit tricky to match the speed of the boat, but still easily doable.  I just received my new Mavic yesterday and hope to still be able to hand launch and hand grab it just like the Phantom 4. Won't be as easy to grab, but I have seen other videos of others doing it so not too worried.   
2016-11-29
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MacPap
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Thank you for your experience Drjhnsn. When you try it with the Mavic please let us know...
2016-11-29
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ctopysf
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MacPap Posted at 2016-11-29 01:38
Can those sensors be shut off mid-flight? Even if in ATTI mode?

You can disable visual positioning, but the Mavic doesn't have a selectable ATTI mode. It will go into ATTI mode (automatically) when GPS isn't available but we aren't able to control that.
2016-11-29
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4wesomeAdam
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The landing gear for the P3 & p4 are much more easy to catch with your hand. Good luck and don't fall in the water with the drone.
2016-11-29
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CaptainET
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i take off and land on my boat most of time, no problem.. and yes at any point , you can go into settings and change the home point to the location of the rc
2016-11-29
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QuanthonyTrang
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Get a balanced ball (semi circle gym ball you stand on).
Get a blower vac and a mate.
See if you can hand launch and hand catch.

Now try this on the back of a slow moving pickup truck on terrain.

Any ways..
Always anchor when launching and catching.
Watch the wind.
Let everyone on deck know what you are doing.
Get the orienteering correct for take off and landing. Have it so you are looking at the rear mono-light of the mavic.
Understand how to catch with VPS on (the mavic will scream like a drone of bees).
If this all fails... get a bigger boat.
2016-11-29
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MacPap
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@ QuanthonyTrang

that idea with the bigger boat is not bad at all. However ill try to get a landing net first. On the other hand if others can do it why can't I?
2016-11-29
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tdcsf
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MacPap Posted at 2016-11-29 09:56
Hi tdcsf

1) what do you mean by "the IMU wants to be stable when you power on"?

I haven't done exhaustive tests, but I remember with my P4 that when powering on with the boat drifting in the current, the Mavic failed IMU initialization with a warning that I needed to keep it stable during initialization.  I imagine it is trying to get GPS and various instrument locks and can't when it is moving.
2016-11-29
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MacPap
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tdcsf Posted at 2016-11-30 05:34
... with a warning that I needed to keep it stable during initialization.  I imagine it is trying to get GPS and various instrument locks and can't when it is moving...

It sounds somehow logical if the down looking sensors show it is not moving while the GPS tells it it is drifting. Poor guy gets confused. He gets basically sea sick. lol
Maybe an idea would be to turn off the down looking "eyes" and start it.
I guess if a car GPS can take a lock while moving so can a drone. In this case the Mavic.

MacPap
2016-11-30
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MacPap
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Can the Mavic be flown entirely on manual? Without ANY intelligent aid?
2016-12-1
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boostedford
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Doesnt the mavic have dynamic homepoint that changes as ypu move? Or is this not included with the mavic?
2016-12-11
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MacPap
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I think that is a matter of software used not the Drone itself.
2016-12-12
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Mizamook
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I ran into this thread searching for IMU Initialization on the P4P.  I hand launch when in snow or dust ... and today it was deep snow.  But ... I did not notice that I was moving it around when the App said "IMU Initializating" until it was too late .. when I started the motors, the thing went crazy and wanted to kill me .. was even hard to shut down with CSC.

So I got to wondering if this will be a problem as I too like to hand launch and retrieve from sailboat.  I've done it many many times successfully with Inspire 1 and Typhoon H.  Now I have P4P and Mavic.   Are they more sensitive to movement while starting up?  I notice "IMU Initializing" only happens once in a while.  You "landlubbers" (cheerfully joshing) might not know, but a boat in calm water at anchor is still always in motion.

Also ... you don't want ATTI mode when retrieving.  You want to to hover.  If the boat is in motion, best practice is to have a separate catcher person.  Hover, then let the boat come to the catcher.  If you miscalculate, the pilot maneuvers to try again.  Always leave enough battery to allow for several tries.  I had a battery go into warning state and try to RTH which was on the other side of the lake ... but fought it down and grabbed it (Inspire).  Lucky.  

If at anchor, same deal, but you just bring the bird in toward you, down, in, down in, let it hover withing EASY reach (no use you both going in if you over-extend and slip) then grab it by the lowest firm bits.  You have already practiced hand launch and retrieval on shore.  Right?

But still ... if the IMU issue is "a thing" I am not going to be happy, as launching from boat is important.  
2017-3-16
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MacPap
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I am doing my first test in the next days Ill let you people know what happened. If Im still here and not trying to get my drone back from the claws of Poseidon....
2017-3-21
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MacPap
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Ok the first attempt was a success... how ever I can't say that I can d it all by my self yet....Down sensors were turned off and someone else did catch the bird. Unfortunately no video this time. Forgot to turn it on. Happens often.... :-(
2017-3-23
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ChasinTail
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I was hoping to fly from my boat this summer.  Ive been trying to simulate what a drifting boat would be like for start up by setting Mavic on a piece of plywood on my ATV and moving very slowly (1-2mph) down the road.  I'm having trouble getting the IMU to initialize, as it says to stop moving the drone.  So I fear getting it to work on the boat, on anything but the most glass flat calm days, may be a challenge.

The plan was to use it offshore and get footage of fishing and pods of whales we often encounter.
2017-3-23
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BengalBoy
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I have extensive experience flying from and landing on a moving boat in the open ocean.  First of all, you must do this manually.  If you don't have the necessary skills yet, you shouldn't try. Here are the most relevant things you should do in order to have success.
BEFORE YOU FLY:
1.  Disable "Smart Return Home" or risk having your Mavic fly back to the original home point when the battery gets low enough to trigger the feature.  If it does, you must race back to the original launch point in order to control the drone on its descent.
2.  Enable "hover" on disconnect.  You don't want your drone to fly back to where it was launched, you want it to hover at the closest place near you.
3.  Make sure GPS & IMU calibration has been done before you fly if you have traveled to a new location.  (traveling by plane or a long drive to the coast.)
4.  Make sure you have already become comfortable with hand launch and landing before attempting.  You cannot land on an open water boat.  Too much wind and wave action makes it impossible to do safely without risk of a sudden pitch causing a lost drone over the side of the boat.
WHEN YOU FLY:
5.  Always launch and land from the stern and not the bow.  If your anchored, launching and catching from the bow is OK on calm seas and windless days.  However, it is always a risk to do so on the open ocean, so, get in the habit of doing it from the stern.
6.  Never fly too far away from your boat if your moving.  Windy environments on the ocean can make it difficult to return to your position and landing can take more time to do than when safely on land.
7.  Always be aware of your battery life.  Don't push it.  Bring it in with at least 40% battery life so you have plenty of battery left to land in case the wind and waves make it tricky.
8.  Disable your VPS and obstacle avoidance on launch and land.  
9.  Try to always have a friend available to assist in the launch and catch so you can focus on flying it.
10.  Never launch or land on a boat moving at more than 10 knots unless you've gotten proficient at controlling the flight of your drone.  (Doing so at faster speeds can cause wind sheer coming over the boat to snatch your drone out of the air and drive it into the ocean before it can overcome the draft.)

Good Luck!!  Nothing brings me as much joy flying my drones as using them on the open ocean.  The scenery and wildlife is magical when captured from above.

Satonda Island, a extinct volcano that collapsed into the Flores Sea.

Satonda Island, a extinct volcano that collapsed into the Flores Sea.
2017-3-23
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4wesomeAdam
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Here is an interesting video of someone who tries to land the Mavic in the back of a pickup truck.



The drone was not designed to land in a moving vehicle, be it a boat or otherwise.

I stand by my original comment.

2017-3-24
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