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Autopilot for Vision+ on iOS with Follow Me mode
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2015-3-26
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umpa
Second Officer

United Kingdom
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Since Ken started his Ultimate Flight app, everyone has jumped on the bandwagon.  No one bothered before.
2015-3-27
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buzzcbr
Second Officer
Flight distance : 316464 ft
United Kingdom
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Have to admit Im very wary about using anything other then the DJI app. It works well for me and to date (fingers crossed) Ive had no mishaps. Just dont know about other apps and how reliable they would be .
2015-3-27
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Northofthe49th
Captain

Canada
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It's a WOW though, if they have put as much time into the software as they have into the website for the app it could be a winner!
That said, I have seen what make-up can do so until someone on here has tried it and can really give some good feedback as to what is underneath I will wait to try it as I am in no rush to change from the Vision app just yet.
2015-3-27
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nrgwise
First Officer

United States
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I have no doubt the programmer spent a lot of time and put a lot of effort into the program.  But I find it hard to trust a program from someone who registered today, made one post, left a link, and that is it.

ETA: After reading the site almost completely - especially the flight mode descriptions that can be found in a couple of places on the site - I am bothered by a few things:
1.  It may be the author's writing style, but things that should be simple seem to be 'complicated'
2.  There are terms used for the Phantom  - NOT his app - that are just not correct
3.  Why does the camera always have to point to the device?  Why would I always want the camera pointing towards me?
4.  Some of the flight modes I see absolutely no purpose/use for other than the developer could program them so they are there.
JM2CW

I look at all these developer's apps and some I can see a use for some of the functions.  Some, like this one, I just don't see a use for.  I am not a fan of follow me or any of that stuff - gimmicks as far as I am concerned.  Not the real purpose I bought the Phantom for and in my mind, if I wanted the Phantom to follow me, I would fly it to follow me.  But that is just me.  But so far, none of them has impressed me even enough to download and look at let alone try.  The DJI app may not be the best, but it works and provides useful functionality.  When an app demonstrates a more useful functionality, I may decide to try it.  Again, that is just my opinion.  I am not knocking his app - I haven't used it obviously.  It just didn't show me anything that would make me "have to have it."
2015-3-27
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i_anderson
lvl.3

United States
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How very apropos!.......

I've now done so much reading about different "solutions" for autopilots I'm getting confused!

I've now flown a handful of missions from the DJI GS app, and it works great with, I think, a few caveats (*Please* jump in and correct me with any corrections, thanks!)

- [Info] Being a "conservative" sort, for my first mission I set the speed to "low". It was a little windy, but I think it would have taken about a week to complete it had I not intervened! (OK, failsafe would have taken over, but you get my point!) Did it again at "high" speed (still limited to 6m/s I believe?) and was much better.
- [Feature request] Again, I could be wrong, but seems you can only set up waypoints in "real time" - You're on-site, the map is preloaded, the TX, RE and bird are all fired up and ready to go. Then you can swipe to GS, enter waypoints and "go". She takes off and flies to WP #1.
- Once there, she appears to hover for a while, then make the appropriate yaw adjustment and heads for WP#2 (etc). I *think*, but again, please jump in here, this may be improved by setting, say, three 30degree change WP's close together in order to turn 90degrees?
- I can't see a way to either "save" missions and/or set them up ahead of time?
- No "POI lock". I'm going round in circles (or, rather, I'm not! ;)) on this. I keep thinking a combination of H/L & C/L could do it, but only if I move the home point. Which is something I don't really feel good about - I'm very happy flicking S1 down to invoke RTH, and am happy when she lands within a foot or so of the takeoff point - Don't want to mess with that!

I believe the "offline" mission planning stuff is however available in "DJI Pilot", from the app store. Trouble is, that's only for the Inspire 1, not the Phantom. The app was getting *terrible* reviews from Phantom pilots who couldn't make it work..... The GS app is the only (official DJI) autopilot for the Phantom(?)

So, I continued my studies and came across Autoflight & Phantom Flight. For reasons that elude me now, I decided PF was not what I wanted, and dug deeper into Autoflight. It looks very much like what I want (I'll detail that below), but the (very nice) site leaves me with more questions...... Hopefully, the developer can clarify;

- I'm using an iPad for application display, connected to the Phantom's wifi (no cellular). My iPhone should also be in my pocket and connected to the same wifi network - Correct? [Cellular can be disabled?] - I think in that case I can set "follow me" and Autoflight will not only chase me (or be ahead of me, or to the side etc depending on the "bearing" set) , but also keep the camera pointing at me. I can set the distance, altitude & bearing and she'll orientate herself to keep the camera aimed at my iPhone - Correct?

If this is true, sounds like a great way to "follow" (or lead, or be abeam of?) a car or boat for example. However, I believe the release notes say I need to be moving at least 3MPH for this to work - Probably fine in a boat or car, but not when I'm walking around the outside of a castle for example......

I also believe (but again, could be very wrong!), that the RE doesn't need to be anywhere near the TX? It just needs a connection to the Phantom (?) So, what I'm thinking is to drop the iPhone (wifi only) & RE at the POI ahead of time. Then the Autoflight app will "focus" exclusively on that location and keep the camera pointed there - Correct?

Is that's true, I can then use the "orbit" capability to get in closer or go further out/higher up while still keeping the POI in the center of the video?

Would really appreciate any comments, clarifications or corrections! My son is getting married (outside) next month and I'd love to give them an "aerial video" of the whole place (an old mill in France) along with some subtle, out of the way, video of the ceremony itself. They would need to be the POI - maybe slot my iPhone & RE into her garter belt!? ;) [More seriously, stash the iphone & RE under the "altar"........]

Cheers,
Ian






2015-3-27
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kirk2579
First Officer
Flight distance : 37405 ft
United States
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i_anderson@iclo Posted at 2015-3-28 05:33
How very apropos!.......

I've now done so much reading about different "solutions" for autopilots I ...

Ian,

good luck with your mission, I too have one to video , an evening beach ceremony at Sanibel fla.

The speed these apps have been moving I am positive they will have solid follow me and POI and more by July when I need it.
fingers crossed!
2015-3-27
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Northofthe49th
Captain

Canada
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Thanks for all your feedback guys,
Hopefully the developer is somewhere past an "A cup" and can show us the money!
2015-3-27
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i_anderson
lvl.3

United States
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kirk2579@aol.co Posted at 2015-3-28 05:58
Ian,

good luck with your mission, I too have one to video , an evening beach ceremony at Sanibel  ...

Thanks!

The whole 'project' is certainly getting me thinking of ways to do it. ;) Hopefully the Autoflight guys will respond to my Q's shortly.

I do recall you mentioning your project and some comments about not pissing off the brides father! Couldn't agree more with those sentiments....

Good luck with yours too.

Cheers,
Ian
2015-3-27
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m.friedl
Second Officer
Flight distance : 3 ft
Austria
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Can i use the App also with my Phanton Vision only Version? w.o. the + behind!
2015-3-28
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Northofthe49th
Captain

Canada
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Jackson has gone MIA as a "One Post Wonder" so nobody knows what it might do other than what is posted on the web link...
2015-3-28
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Gerry1124
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Northofthe49th Posted at 2015-3-29 00:58
Jackson has gone MIA as a "One Post Wonder" so nobody knows what it might do other than what is post ...

Don't ya just love fly by posters?
2015-3-28
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grangerfx
First Officer
Flight distance : 817504 ft
United States
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I purchased the app. As it happens I need a decent follow me app right now so I will be buying every one that gets released. One thing I am not sure I like about this one is the auto take off mode. Is that really necessary? I like to manually rocket into the sky and get to a safe altitude before doing anything else. Then if something goes wrong, I will have the time and space to take the drone out of auto mode before it crashes.
2015-3-28
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Northofthe49th
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grangerfx@gmail Posted at 2015-3-29 02:01
I purchased the app. As it happens I need a decent follow me app right now so I will be buying every ...

Is Auto take off mode the only take off mode?
i would hope you could manually take off and then simply switch into or out of follow me?
2015-3-28
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grangerfx
First Officer
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United States
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Jim, the author, got back to me right away when I e-mailed him. You can take off manually and then engage autopilot. The next issue I see is that the app has a too small maximum distance and elevation setting. It needs to be at least 400 feet vertical and as far as I need horizontal for the kinds of shots I want to use it for. I plan to only use it in wide open spaces when driving.
2015-3-28
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jtrjr
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United States
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grangerfx@gmail Posted at 2015-3-29 02:01
I purchased the app. As it happens I need a decent follow me app right now so I will be buying every ...

Granger,

I purchased and played around with this a bit with props off in the house. I didn't like the feel of it. I've kind of got accustomed to the way all the other apps work. I've decided not to mess with it too much until I hear more from other "testers". I'm not putting my bird in the air with it just yet. I've tried quite a few apps with follow-me and the best one that I've found at this point is DJI Phantom Flight. I don't remember what it cost but it sure wasn't $30! I've tried 4 different follow-me's and I think that one is the best. Not perfect by any stretch but better than the others that I've played with.

Jerry
2015-3-28
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i_anderson
lvl.3

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jtrjr@yahoo.com Posted at 2015-3-29 02:31
Granger,

I purchased and played around with this a bit with props off in the house. I didn't like ...

Thanks for the feedback Jerry - For sure, the more feedback we get here the better.

Personally, I'm not (at the moment anyway) looking for follow me per se but rather the ability to set a POI and then "orbit" around it - Would be nice if I could do that "manually" to get closer, higher etc while the autopilot holds the orientation?

I'm also about to email the developer with a note saying the natives here are getting restless! ;) Hopefully he 'll post some answers soon.....

Cheers,
Ian
2015-3-28
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grangerfx
First Officer
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United States
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jtrjr@yahoo.com Posted at 2015-3-29 02:31
Granger,

I purchased and played around with this a bit with props off in the house. I didn't like ...

Thanks, Jerry. I will give DJI Phantom Flight a try. I tried it on Android but I was not able to figure out how to use the follow me feature. I got it for iOS so I will read the docs and have another go.
Edit: I don't see follow me on the IOS version. I seem to remember him saying the feature is in beta for iOS.
2015-3-28
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jtrjr
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United States
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grangerfx@gmail Posted at 2015-3-29 02:51
Thanks, Jerry. I will give DJI Phantom Flight a try. I tried it on Android but I was not able to fi ...

Granger,

I'm using the Anriod version of Phantom Flight, I don't know if the IOS version has it. Just got the Android stuff so I could mess with all of the different apps available. Lot's of different stuff going on in this segment right now. It's certainly been interesting.

Jerry
2015-3-28
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i_anderson
lvl.3

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Hi,

So, I emailed Jim to give him a heads up on the posts here. He responded to me pretty much instantly, but apparently can't post here for a few hours yet. He did however answer all my Q's in his mail and said he'd answer here ASAP. In the meantime, here's his comments/answers to me. Unfortunately, the S/W here removes all the formatting when pasting, but hopefully you can figure it out! ;)
Cheers,
Ian

- I'm using an iPad for application display, connected to the Phantom's wifi (no cellular). My iPhone should also be in my pocket and connected to the same wifi network - Correct? [Cellular can be disabled?] - I think in that case I can set "follow me" and Autoflight will not only chase me (or be ahead of me, or to the side etc depending on the "bearing" set) , but also keep the camera pointing at me. I can set the distance, altitude & bearing and she'll orientate herself to keep the camera aimed at my iPhone - Correct?

What you are describing is called pair mode, which we haven’t released yet. The idea is to use one device (in your case, the iPad) as the master device running Autopilot. Then place a second, slave device, on a subject and let Autopilot instruct the Phantom to follow the slave device like a GPS beacon. For the time being, you can only have Autopilot instruct the Phantom to follow the master device (either your iPad, or the Phone, but not a combination).

If this is true, sounds like a great way to "follow" (or lead, or be abeam of?) a car or boat for example. However, I believe the release notes say I need to be moving at least 3MPH for this to work - Probably fine in a boat or car, but not when I'm walking around the outside of a castle for example……

The 3 mph limit only applies to follow mode with “Course” selected. The issue is, if you are traveling slower than 3 mph, the iPhone doesn’t report a reliable course, and they Phantom ends up moving around all over the place. If you select “North”, there is no speed minimum as North is an absolute reference.

I also believe (but again, could be very wrong!), that the RE doesn't need to be anywhere near the TX? It just needs a connection to the Phantom (?) So, what I'm thinking is to drop the iPhone (wifi only) & RE at the POI ahead of time. Then the Autoflight app will "focus" exclusively on that location and keep the camera pointed there - Correct?

Yes, you are correct that this is possible. It is an advanced feature described in Flight School here:
http://autoflightlogic.com/autopilotphantom/flightschool#advanced-separate-subject

Is that's true, I can then use the "orbit" capability to get in closer or go further out/higher up while still keeping the POI in the center of the video?

Correct.

Would really appreciate any comments, clarifications or corrections! My son is getting married (outside) next month and I'd love to give them an "aerial video" of the whole place (an old mill in France) along with some subtle, out of the way, video of the ceremony itself. They would need to be the POI - maybe slot my iPhone & RE into her garter belt!? ;) [More seriously, stash the iphone & RE under the "altar"........]

Under the alter would work great - probably want to be careful about installing in the garter…maybe let your son do that?
2015-3-28
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Northofthe49th
Captain

Canada
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jtrjr@yahoo.com Posted at 2015-3-29 02:59
Granger,

I'm using the Anriod version of Phantom Flight, I don't know if the IOS version has it.  ...

According to Brian the iOS version is in the hands of Apple for release so hopefully will be out shortly.
I would like something a bit different than the Vision app and will be keeping my eyes on these apps as they release...
We are all PC or iOS here so an Android would be a third wheel. Certainly appealing though as I saw this super sweet Samsung Tablet on sale that I nearly bought the other day..Temptation is a bad thing!
2015-3-28
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Northofthe49th
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Canada
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i_anderson@iclo Posted at 2015-3-29 05:35
Hi,

So, I emailed Jim to give him a heads up on the posts here. He responded to me pretty much inst ...

I am certainly happy that these softwares are going to start challenging one another in some respect so I am excited to see how they develop and will keep eyes wide open until I decide which route to take.
2015-3-28
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autoflightlogic
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grangerfx@gmail Posted at 2015-3-29 02:28
Jim, the author, got back to me right away when I e-mailed him. You can take off manually and then e ...

We updated Flight School with the inflight engage workflow: http://autoflightlogic.com/autop ... ced-inflight-engage

I'll hold off on posting the answers to Ian's questions since he already copied them here.
2015-3-28
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jackson This user has been deleted
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2015-3-28
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2015-3-28
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i_anderson
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jackson Posted at 2015-3-29 07:53
Thanks, honestly we didn't put a whole lot of time into the site -- we just added what we thought  ...

It's certainly a very nice site already...... Gives me some confidence that the app may be the same.

User generated content is always "nice", but there's a ton of that out there already. Content that demonstrates the capabilities of the app would be great though.

Then I think you should have a forum, preferably using VB of course ;) for user Q's, enhancement requests and so on.

I'm going to go ahead and buy it later. I have a nice little park real close with a fountain (non working of course - we're in a drought here) more or less in the middle. I'm thinking leave the phone (no point in using the iPad) & RE on top of that and giving it a go once the wind dies. [Probably tomorrow]

Just to confirm, in addition to controlling the orientation, the app will also control camera tilt?

Cheers,
Ian
2015-3-28
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2015-3-28
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2015-3-28
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grangerfx
First Officer
Flight distance : 817504 ft
United States
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I just got finished with my first flight with the Autopilot app running on my iPad Mini 2 with cellular and GPS.  The flight was flawless. I was on a hair trigger at first ready to take over control if anything went wrong but nothing did. I got between the transmitter and the drone a couple of times causing it to lose contact but I was able to reconnect again right away in the app with no issues. I did the enage thing while in the air which seemed a lot safer than having the app make the drone take off on its own. You have to tap the little check marks icon below the Engage button and then tap Engage. I had the drone about 300 feet above me and 160 feet away. I could orbit it around my position by changing the angle in the app (in Follow Me mode not the Orbit feature which I have not tested yet). By the end of the flight I had stopped worrying and was just having fun.

Now if the drone ever does go into Return To Home mode I am going to want to recover right away because it will get there long before I will. This is the reason for the conservative distance limits. It could go into Return To Home mode and fly directly away from you further out of transmitter range. DJI has promised to updated their SDK to allow the apps to set the RTH point which will make Follow Me much safer.
2015-3-28
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i_anderson
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grangerfx@gmail Posted at 2015-3-29 08:52
I just got finished with my first flight with the Autopilot app running on my iPad Mini 2 with cellu ...

Sorry dude, which one are you talking about here?......

2015-3-28
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2015-3-28
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Gerry1124
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jackson Posted at 2015-3-29 08:18
Sorry guys, took me a day to log back on. As for Fly By Posters, nice pun!

Please feel free to s ...

Santa Claus runs a fly by night operation, then stays in hiding for a full year.
2015-3-28
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grangerfx
First Officer
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United States
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i_anderson@iclo Posted at 2015-3-29 08:59
Sorry dude, which one are you talking about here?......

Talking about Autopilot From Auto Flight Logic which is the subject of this thread.
2015-3-28
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johnrechd
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umpa Posted at 2015-3-27 17:00
Since Ken started his Ultimate Flight app, everyone has jumped on the bandwagon.  No one bothered be ...

Hi Umpa,
That's nice to defend Ken and he is doing some great work. However, follow me and other features in these apps are mostly common ideas in the drone community. "Follow me", "Mission planning" etc are all terms and ideas that are commonly used. While Ken was one of the first to sell a product, others have been working on this since DJI released their SDK back in November. The SDK release is what caused the bandwagon to be jumped on and yes, many others bothered to start building these products as soon as it was released. Really, all the phantom community should be grateful to DJI for building a developer community around their product as this is what will drive the Phantom forward. Just look at how many apps are in production already.
2015-4-6
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jtrjr
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Flight distance : 4339 ft
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John,

I would consider myself a "Phantom Test Pilot" at this point in time. I originally purchased the product thinking I would pull it from the box and just start flying it. Thankfully, after I ordered it, while awaiting it's arrival, I decided to do some internet research and fell upon these pages. My original plan of out of the box and into the air went right out the window. I read everything I possibly could on this forum and a few others. I put my flight plans on hold, bought the stupid X4 and went to flight school instead. And so the story goes...

I now feel somewhat comfortable with pushing some limits. I clearly understand the risks associated with doing so and take full responsibility for my actions. The problem that I see (and I've seen many videos that support the unintentional ignorance many have, I would have been one of them if I hadn't come upon these pages) is that John Doe, in many cases, isn't coming here until after a negative event. Many people will get the product and go into the App Store or Google play and look for a "better" app.  Possibly before they ever even fly the thing! The "it looks better so it must be better" analogy. It could ultimately have a very negative effect on this new civilian technology, the hobby and the way in which the public views it.

I'm having a blast with this thing but more because it's making me use my mind. Every time I watch the video of the guy in his backyard, beer in hand and cigarette in mouth, trees everywhere, pool two feet over, flying 2-10' high, no prop guards, with wifey in the yard, back and forth over the pool and by the trees, I just cring.

I just wish that with the rush of all these apps to the marketplace there would be a lot more responsibility taken from the developers to better educate people on these new apps, to provide more warning information and to test the product more throughly and carefully before rushing out to make a buck. Once people start getting hurt or property starts getting damaged because of the misuse of these products the floodgates will open. The lawsuits, the banning, big brother taking control. It's said but unfortunately, it's the reality.

I've flown with many apps now and I don't know of a single one that has any sort of written instruction or users manual. I will defend Ken to a degree. His app, as of this date, is my primary app. I'm part of his beta group. I get new updates almost every day. He works very closely with all of his users. He's directly involved with his product and his customers damn near 24/7. He's listening to his customers and making changes as required. We're testing his updates and if they don't work or have a problem he adjusts for it. On many occasions he's made changes, "follow-me" was one, where it did not work well enough, we told him it didn't and he pulled it from the next release. I would venture to say that it's much harder for him now because he has been at it from the beginning. While many of these other developers are rushing out with the latest and greatest app (the one in this thread comes to mind) that really hasn't been tested to the degree that Ken's app has, he has to plod away at making the app more stable while the other guy claims that his app can do everything.

Don't get me wrong, I don't have any bromance with Ken, he and I've got different opinions on things. It may be safe to say that he may not even like me. You know what, I don't care. As far as I can tell, he's a very hard working, honest person, continually trying to improve upon his product based on the information that his customers are providing him.

Jeez, I'm not even sure what the topic is anymore. I'm not even going to re-read this thing. I'm just going to hit the post button. I hope it's a good read for somebody. Next...

Jerry
2015-4-6
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autoflightlogic
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jtrjr@yahoo.com Posted at 2015-4-7 04:35
John,

I would consider myself a "Phantom Test Pilot" at this point in time. I originally purchased  ...

Jerry-

We take safety very seriously and have created an extensive instruction manual for Autopilot for Phantom here: http://autoflightlogic.com/autopilotphantom/flightschool

Did you see this yet? We would love to get your feedback on both Flight School and the app.

-Jim
2015-4-7
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i_anderson
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Hmmmm....... Why did "Jackson" get banned? He may have been a little too "salesmanny", but no more than the highly (and rightly) respected Ken around here.

OK, Ken has answered many Q's etc, whereas Jim/Jackson are newbies here, but I believe the former is doing Android while the latter is iOS, which has to be good for us - Keeps everyone "pushing the envelope".

Full disclosure; I'm a beta tester for Jim's app ("Autoflightlogic"), and am still "probing" V1.1 before posting a review here & to the app store. So far so good for me at least.

I understand DJI doesn't want this forum to become a huge advertising site, but believe (unless someone tells me different?) it's unfair to ban one and not the other.

As always, my 02c,
Cheers,
Ian
2015-4-7
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jtrjr
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autoflightlogic Posted at 2015-4-7 23:55
Jerry-

We take safety very seriously and have created an extensive instruction manual for Autopil ...

Jim,

Yes, I saw it and read through it. As I said previously, your site looks very good. It is very well done. That's kind of what I'm getting at. I think professionalism and presentation are extremely important and there is not a great deal of it yet in this industry. There will be, even if it has to be force fed. I've seen it many times before in my professional career.

I liked your site. I liked the concept and the original look of your app. I purchased it and the extra modules. I did a very limited, casual, in-home test with it. I sent you a note with a few questions, you responded in a timely and professional manner. I'm satisfied with everything you've done to this point. I have not and am not looking for a refund. I hope you'll use the proceeds for further development and testing. Will I put my bird in the air with it? No, not yet.

You may be too young to recognize the old ad slogan "Where's the beef?", if you are, look it up. Where's the beef, Jim? Where are the alpha and beta groups? Where are the hours and hours of flight data? Do you get what I'm saying? I'm new to this hobby but I've logged at least 150-200 flights now. I had my first crash about 10 days ago. I've casually tested at least 6, maybe 7 apps now. I've flown with 3 and the stock DJI app. I've put the most time on one 3rd party app, Ultimate Flight, I am flying one other 3rd party app that I've flown with maybe 3 times now. On Ultimate Flight I'm part of the beta group on the other app I'm part of the alpha group. I'm very interested in a better, more stable flying platform. I have taken it upon myself to take responsibility for the risk associated with "testing" apps. I know I could lose my bird. Fortunately for me, I can go out and buy another one. Many can't. What I think I trying to say was that many people will go out and buy these things as a toy, a novelty. They'll jump on the net and look for the things that will make it cooler. These apps are easily accessable and to some degree untested. Certainly, not mature in any sense of the word. Putting a new (possibly dangerous, we've all seen the videos) toy in the hands of anyone that wants it and providing them with pretty new apps to use, IMO only, may have a negative impact on this hobby.

Manufacturers and developers need to police themselves before they provide the government with the public (negative national media attention) ammunition to take the control away from them. Again all of this is just my opinion. I've been around the block for 56 years. I'm now retired but I was self-employed from the moment I left the USMC. And I just, this very morning, sent off another one of my 33% checks to Uncle Sam. I have also been very fortunate that I have never had to ask for a single penny back.

Hey, I'm just throwing out my opinions. Hell, I'm retired now, it gives me something to do. If I see a bit more of some of the things I mentioned in this note, I might actually put my bird in the air with your app. BTW, don't tell Ken that I told you 'cause he's probably pissed at me right now. I just sent him a screen recording of his new beta version crashing on my Nexus 7 again! I did that right after I sent the check to the IRS. The good news is, I am a beta tester, I signed up to be one. Someone who purchased the released version shouldn't have to deal with it because hopefully I'll find out about it first.

Good luck with your product. I really do hope that it is successful. I mean it. Success is good for the industry.

Respectfully,

Jerry
2015-4-7
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umpa
Second Officer

United Kingdom
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johnrechd
I did not mention follow me or any other feature, its just an observation that since Ken made his app, about 3 more appeared in the store where before there was none.

More apps is good, but I wonder about the quality.  Ken is testing his quite extensively and I am sure the quality is high. I bought the FPVBooster for android and it made squat difference.  I can't get my money back either because it took longer than the 15 mins allowed to test. Takes more than 15 mins to get to my fly field - lol
2015-4-8
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johnrechd
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United States
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umpa Posted at 2015-4-9 15:35
johnrechd
I did not mention follow me or any other feature, its just an observation that since Ken m ...

For Jerry and Umpa,

Jerry, practicing was a great idea. I have been flying cheaper quads for a little over a year (christmas present from the wife) and was very familiar with the controls when I purchased my phantom and feel that everyone should do this before flying a delicate $1200 flying machine.

I appreciate the perspective and advice and will take it to heart. I definitely want you guys to know that developing this stuff is no small task and I feel the responsibility of making sure it doesn't ruin someones drone, I guarantee you that any app that is working even pretty well in follow me mode (barring follow me mode that just sets waypoints on the fly, which will never work well) has had hundreds of hours of programming and hundreds of hours of flight tests. I will try to make an edit video of all of my flight tests when I get released just to make you guys laugh as my drone careens out of control over and over. Building this app takes a strong stomach and quick reflexes as my "investment" is put on the line every time I test (and there is no other way to test other than fly). I work a full time job as a developer and work on this every free moment I have. I flight test about an hour every morning before work to test the changes that I made the previous night. This is exactly the opposite of a quick buck, it is a passion project that would be really nice if it could support itself. Try to remember that just because you aren't on someones beta test team, doesn't mean that they don't have one and aren't going through the same steps.

Also, we all worry about the regulation of this stuff and no developer wants to perpetuate this by doing dumb things. Unfortunately we are past that as every day there is another story online about a drone pilot doing something stupid. I'm sure you've read the FAA proposal for drone regulations that would probably go into effect 2016 or 2017? They want pilots to go to ground school, possibly get a sport pilots license, never fly out of line of site and no autonomous flying. I'm personally bummed at this prospect since it will limit innovation in this country since other counties have been much more open in their regulations.

Umpa, I honestly can't defend any other app out there. I guarantee you that I am in no hurry and I am testing extensively along with several friends that are beta testing for me. Keep in mind that the SDK (which allows developers to write apps for the phantom) was only released in Nov. 2014. Ken was out pretty early but many advanced features (like autonomous flight) require more time. I'd be willing to bet that there are people that have been working on follow me since November that still aren't out. My app won't do any improved functions from DJI's app, only autonomous flight modes and could take some time (especially if I lose a gimbal again, drone crashed into a tree branch while I was landing it after it went into go home mode. FYI USdronerepair.com fixes almost anything that can happen to your gimbal for much less than a replacement).

Anyway, it's late and I'm rambling. This is a great hobby, I'm glad we have this community to share our passion for it and I look forward to getting feedback on my app when it is released by people who obviously care about the direction of this industry. I will offer the initial version for a very low price (may only contain stationary following, which maybe Jerry will feel safe testing). Early adopters will get updated modes for free (and I have a long list that I am going to be working on).

Thanks guys.
2015-4-15
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