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Follow Me Test in Cold Weather Conditions - Mainly Success

Joela85

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I was recently out skiing in Austria and had a little play with the Anafi out in the cold, managed to get it to follow me reasonably successfully even though it would complain about it being too cold to take off and that it would go into auto-landing as soon as it did take off. Never the less managed to get a nice bit of footage while skiing. Will look forward to trying it again.
Still a little unsure of the follow me feature as it did come down close to a tree which could have crashed. Also unsure how well the change in altitude with the barometer worked. It looks like it stays at the same altitude and then it lowered altitude if I slowed down or stopped and then carried on again. Might try this again with a better phone next time.

 

Agustine

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Cool video. I am wondering what you would have done if the Anafi decided to not follow you and you did not know it till you where at the bottom o_O
Would have been hard to get back up the hill to rescue the Anafi I would think. :unsure:
 

Joela85

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Thanks. Ye, I was quite cautious to begin with. I would keep an eye on it to make sure it was still following and would stop every now and then to double check. Only the one incident when I stopped and it came down to 1m off the ground and 1m away from a tree. Wasn't really quick enough to get my phone out my pocket to make it avoid the tree if it decided it was coming down on top of the tree. Overall, worked quite well.
 
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Mar

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That came out great, nice video. Just how cold was it?
 

Vegasrobbi

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What device are you using equipped with a baro? Warm the batteries thoroughly and you will get better flight time and less warnings. It's important to keep the subject in the box or you are just using GPS which does not center you in the frame. Unfortunately I find you must redraw the box on a fast moving subject regularly; however, Anafi does a better job at follow than most.
 

Joela85

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That came out great, nice video. Just how cold was it?
Thanks, it was around about -5 degrees C most of the time I was using it.

What device are you using equipped with a baro? Warm the batteries thoroughly and you will get better flight time and less warnings. It's important to keep the subject in the box or you are just using GPS which does not center you in the frame. Unfortunately I find you must redraw the box on a fast moving subject regularly; however, Anafi does a better job at follow than most.
I was using a friends 'Sony Xperia Z3' which has a barometer, I am looking at getting the new Pixel 3 at some point though which might work better.

It's difficult to keep the batteries warm as it takes 30min+ to get to an area where I could ski and use it. (Perhaps wrap it up in foam in the bag or something.)

Ye, it is difficult to ski and keep an eye on what the drone is capturing. I was thinking afterwards it would be good to get one of those see through arm bands that you can put a phone in to keep on my forearm while skiing. But saying that it did do quite a good job.
 

Joela85

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I asked a question about the altitude change with barometer and got this response.
"Hello Joel:

Kindly note that even if the smartphone has a barometer it stays at fixed altitude.

Kind Regards,
Joe S.
Parrot Customer Support
Office Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00AM - 6:00PM
1 (877) 972-7768"
 

MustangPhil

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Hello Joela85,

this answer from the customer’s support is surprising, I don’t have a barometer on my phone (Pocophone F1), but I have a barometer on my iPad 4 mini and was under the impression the Anafi would climb and descend depending not only on the GPS height position (precision of the GPS sensor on the ‘z’ axis is only +/- 5 meter at its best), but also was relying on the barometer sensors of both the Anafi and the smartphone (precision around +/- 0,2 m).

When activating the ‘Follow Me’ function, you get the following screen (snap from user’s manual) :
D24B7676-F660-428F-8747-AEC73C5631ED.jpeg
That says ‘smartphone barometer (optional). So why would this info pop up if the barometer was completely ignored ?

If you can send us the json file of your fast descent on skis, we will quickly check if the altitude was regularly descending or remaining constant ?
 

Joela85

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Hello Joela85,

this answer from the customer’s support is surprising, I don’t have a barometer on my phone (Pocophone F1), but I have a barometer on my iPad 4 mini and was under the impression the Anafi would climb and descend depending not only on the GPS height position (precision of the GPS sensor on the ‘z’ axis is only +/- 5 meter at its best), but also was relying on the barometer sensors of both the Anafi and the smartphone (precision around +/- 0,2 m).

When activating the ‘Follow Me’ function, you get the following screen (snap from user’s manual) :
View attachment 1239
That says ‘smartphone barometer (optional). So why would this info pop up if the barometer was completely ignored ?

If you can send us the json file of your fast descent on skis, we will quickly check if the altitude was regularly descending or remaining constant ?

That would have been a great idea had I not already given my friends phone back and I think he's deleted the app, and I hadn't uploaded any of the flights as that phone wasn't connected to the internet while I was away. Next time I try it.
 
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Joela85

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Another response from the Parrot team,

"Hello Joel:

Please be advised that originally the Follow me Feature had 2 modes:

1-Auto framing: enables the drone to track a subject while maintaining a stationary hovering position.
2- Auto follow: Enables the drone to track a subject anywhere.

There was a lot of issues with the second option so it's disabled for now that's why the Follow me only work with auto framing.

Kind Regards,
Joe S.
Parrot Customer Support
Office Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00AM - 6:00PM
1 (877) 972-7768 "

Also, my friend hadn't deleted the app yet, so have these two flight plan graphs.
It looks like the altitude changed a bit but mainly stayed at the same altitude. I think the points when the altitude drops down is when I stopped skiing and it came back to get me back in frame better.
Flight1.JPG Flight2.JPG
 
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MustangPhil

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Interesting ! Thanks for taking time to dig this question and communicate infos from the Parrot team.
 

Dirk_ANAFI

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In the first flight altitude goes from 0 to 150 m.
The possible role of the barometer isn't clear for me.
To answer the question of a good following with constant height (with GPS and possibly barometer) one would have to use two graphs with your own height and Anafi's height.
That is not possible with Anafi's data alone.
 

Joela85

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Ye, I would have to get the phone to log it's own GPS/altitude via a separate app and compare side by side to see. Hopefully it's a feature they are continuing to improve. But still quite happy with some of the results.
I am a bit confused with the barometer being used myself. When ever I connect my non-barometric phone to follow me feature the (optional) barometer is always ticked green.
I'm looking at upgrading my phone and not sure whether to get one with a barometer or not as it limits my options somewhat.
 

Vegasrobbi

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I use a Mini 4 cellular with barometer and dynamic altitude works well.

I think what the CS was saying is Anafi stays a fixed altitude above the subject when a device with a baro is used.
 

Joela85

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I use a Mini 4 cellular with barometer and dynamic altitude works well.

I think what the CS was saying is Anafi stays a fixed altitude above the subject when a device with a baro is used.

That's also what I was expecting, I was using a Sony Xpeira Z3 with a barometer and it didn't keep the same altitude from the device.
Whether this was because it couldn't keep up with the change in altitude and horizontal travel, I don't know.
 

Vegasrobbi

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This trail is about a 7 degree elevation and for the most part I'm hands off on the throttle.

 

MustangPhil

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Yes, I think the Anafi does follow the slope of the moving object it follows with the help of the Barometer MEMS sensor that is on the smartphone via the SK3 USB connection.

A french guy that descends a hill on a mountain-bike and has an Anafi, did the following video.
I asked him to share also the screenshot of the flight’s parameters.
No doubt : the Anafi climbs at +10 m at the beginning of the video, and stays at 10 m above the head of the guy... and you see the curve that gives the heights of the Anafi, relative to the initial launch point, going from +10 to -40 m...


1263

1264
 

Joela85

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So he used the Sky Controller 3 with his smartphone? I can't see where he has got the Sky Controller 3 in the vid? The screen shot below shows he has got something on his handlebars, but looks like phone or tablet holder maybe.
I just used my smartphone as it is very awkward to ski with Sky Controller 3. My Flight data never went below 0m at all which is odd as I dropped at least over 200m each time.
1265
 

MustangPhil

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I asked him an he replied he uses the Sky Controller 3 connected via USB with an iPhone 6.

On his channel, you will see many other examples of his flights (including very very risky footages... for the poor Anafi, particularly when descending a slope in a forest, with the Anafi running backwards at 5 meters or less from the ground and lots of high trees around...)
 
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