Camera Drones & Motorcycles

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by RideFreak, Mar 14, 2018.

  1. RideFreak

    RideFreak Torque Junky

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    Oddometer:
    14,900
    Location:
    Out in the NM Dez somewhere
  2. webnetxpress

    webnetxpress Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2015
    Oddometer:
    340
    Location:
    Dakar, Senegal
    Beyond the avoidance detection/tracking difference (dji v skydio), the controller situation is an issue as well.
    With the DJI crafts you can't easily have it auto tracking yourself because you have to rig a remote/phone setup somewhere on your person. not very easy/convenient for motorsports, dirtbiking especially!
    The Skydio with the little beacon is a great option, being able to adjust viewpoint on the fly and not having to use a full size RC.
    RideFreak and Snake Oiler like this.
  3. RideFreak

    RideFreak Torque Junky

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    Oddometer:
    14,900
    Location:
    Out in the NM Dez somewhere
    The beacon is a game changer for me, there's no way I could use a controller for the filming I do. For one thing you can't hardly see a phone in direct sunlight and controller operation is not an option when riding off road.

    Snake Oiler and chilejack like this.
  4. brianpc

    brianpc Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,548
    Location:
    CA
    Nice!
    +1 about the DJI setup vs. the skydio phone/beacon. I'm taking my Skydio out on a ride tmrw and trying out the beacon and phone on my bar mount. Any pointers to offer?

    The DJI setup works great when I'm flying the drone, would not want to mount that setup on my bars while riding (but I've seen folks do it in vids). I imagine DJI will either specialize a model or a controller/beacon setup for the new drones to compete.
    RideFreak likes this.
  5. RideFreak

    RideFreak Torque Junky

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    Oddometer:
    14,900
    Location:
    Out in the NM Dez somewhere
    Best thing i can suggest is don't try too much at first, play with the different positions and get familiar with how it reacts to different things. Do some simple follow and get used to repositioning it, also try it with and without the height floor.
    Snake Oiler likes this.
  6. brianpc

    brianpc Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,548
    Location:
    CA
    Thanks! After a simple (and short) test on Saturday riding with @EvilSteve , I concluded:
    - Object avoidance works great, but it will lose the subject in trees and not follow. This was my bad, the area I was in had a bit of trees at one point.
    - It won't keep up too well beyond 20-25mph? This might be a setting I'm missing, but I tried in active follow and "orbit" modes and both times it defaulted to chasing/behind the rider. Also this ate up a LOT of battery trying to follow (like 30% in 5 minutes)
    - What's the best "cinematic" follow? The 'tether' option? Can you combine modes? tether+orbit, etc?

    I really need to play with it more, and also I noticed the height floor(ceiling) you mentioned might be an issue - I think it could have flown over the trees we rode under, and it might have lost tracking but stayed up high - I'll have to test that next time.

    I think I'm decent enough at setting the drone and positioning it (and landing/flying it) - so now I need to start playing with more of the advanced follow options. Any advice on where to start / what works best? What speed are you all riding at on your trail follow vids?
    EvilSteve likes this.
  7. RideFreak

    RideFreak Torque Junky

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    Oddometer:
    14,900
    Location:
    Out in the NM Dez somewhere
    Based on my usage orbit will be a problem at any speed over 15mph, when it's going the opposite direction as the subject they tend to pass each other (subject/drone) at a high rate, then it has to turn around and attempt to catch up and pass the subject to orbit again. It's not really an issue at slower speeds but if you're going any speed it's going to work really hard to catch up, that drains the battery fast. I wouldn't suggest orbit unless your under 15mph.

    I use the beacon using it to move the drone's position periodically and get different shots. I'll also wand it around especially if I see something coming that I want it out of the way for like a car.

    As for the trees you'll learn how to best use it in those areas with some practice, tall dense trees that you are flying in and through will always be a problem unless there's room under them and the height floor is turned off. As the density goes up around the drone the speed will drop as it's processing the obsticles and looking for a way through them. When you're filming a motorcycle traveling at 20-25 this will be a problem. It won't follow me through the woods at riding speeds ether. If there's space for the drone to see the tree coming it will swoop over them up to a point, when the trees are pretty high it spends an amount of time going straight up to find a path forward as the subject (you) ride away if it can't go around. Less density works best. With the height floor turned off it will follow a subject down the tree covered road really well since there's room under the trees to maneuver. It needs some breathing room if you want it to follow you at speed. I'd suggest going out one day to an open area by yourself and let it follow you around, get used to that try different shots. Then start introducing trees into the mix and see how it reacts to that, you'll discover what it's good at and what it isn't. I've found that half of getting good video with the SD2 is shooting in places that compliments the drones capabilities. If the trees are dense it's probably not the best location to film at speed. It will go 37mph flying backward filming you, I've tested it but there were no obstacles. Hope that helps.
    jasiu and brianpc like this.
  8. BDO

    BDO Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2015
    Oddometer:
    682
    Location:
    Transporter Tube
    New Skydio 2 Software update


    Software Update for Skydio 2

    Today we have an exciting new software update for Skydio 2 owners. This update includes one of the most requested features since launch, Extended Tracking Distance! Skydio 2’s visual tracking system is what sets it apart from any other drone on the market, enabling Skydio 2 to predict the motion of a subject with precision at close range (even while flying backwards through the trees). Until this point, subject tracking has been limited to 10 meters (33 feet) at max range, but that all changes today!

    Thanks to the hard work of the Skydio engineers throughout the lockdown, we have optimized Skydio 2’s tracking system to smoothly blend between precise visual tracking at close range and GPS tracking at long range. This means Skydio 2 can now track subjects from up to 40 meters (130 feet) away with the Skydio Beacon and 20 meters (66 feet) for Phone-only users.

    We’re also excited to announce another step towards smarter and safer drone technology with Case Landing. If a landing is initiated above the case, Skydio 2 will autonomously perform a safe landing on the logo of the case. You’ll see an augmented reality target appear around the case on the phone after initiating landing. Use this whenever you’re landing on uneven terrain, worried about debris near the props, dust on the ground, or just want to show your friends how smart your drone is!
  9. BokaRoka

    BokaRoka It always seems like a good idea

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2019
    Oddometer:
    54
    Location:
    Pure Michigan
    Saw this as well! Super excited wish I could "rent" a Skydio 2 for my Ridaho trip in August since mine won't be shipped by then... Looking forward to capturing some great footage in the near future!
  10. RideFreak

    RideFreak Torque Junky

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    Oddometer:
    14,900
    Location:
    Out in the NM Dez somewhere
    I just updated the drone beacon and charger. Went out front and did some quick testing for about 10 min and it definitely tracks from further away/higher up. I also got a "Too Hot Warning". The fan is running so that isn't the issue. Not sure if its our location/temps or something going on with the sd2. We're at 5K' and it's 94 degrees out. The thinner does affect cooling on about everything around here but I may take it out for a desert test later on before dusk when it cools off a little out there.
  11. Darkside500

    Darkside500 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2012
    Oddometer:
    55
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    wow. just got done reading all 44 pages in one sitting (7 hours). Thanks to everyone who contributed esp. RideFreak. just ordered a Skydio2 (you should get a commission). I didn't even know I wanted a drone
  12. michaelb1

    michaelb1 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    28
    Honestly the image quality looked horrible. The camera on that thing seems to be very low quality. Look how washed out the sky is and the ground is muted.
    I’d return it.
  13. RideFreak

    RideFreak Torque Junky

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    Oddometer:
    14,900
    Location:
    Out in the NM Dez somewhere
    Hey Darkside congrats, I hope you enjoy it. When you get comfortable with it and make some vids, post 'em up. I'm sure these guys are sick of my stuff.

    It's always good to see different ideas and techniques, there's some great videos the guys in this thread have posted. If you have any questions I can help you out with PM me, I'm always glad to help out.
  14. RideFreak

    RideFreak Torque Junky

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    Oddometer:
    14,900
    Location:
    Out in the NM Dez somewhere
    You've been on here 11 years with 26 posts and this is the kind of stuff you share with us, very constructive. If you'd have bothered to do more then look at the video and actually read the thread you'd know that drone uses a GoPro. Probably a good idea to get the facts before coming into the thread and lecturing on a drone's camera quality, especially when the drone doesn't have one.
    Hkon89, BillUA, Shaggie and 1 other person like this.
  15. michaelb1

    michaelb1 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    28
    i don’t know why you’re being defensive. I merely commented on the image quality which is objectively bad. I do t really care that it’s a GoPro. You asked how it looked and I told you.

    also, you seem like kind of an @$$hole. There was nothing offensive or rude in my comment. Why attack me?
  16. RideFreak

    RideFreak Torque Junky

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    Oddometer:
    14,900
    Location:
    Out in the NM Dez somewhere
    Sorry but I didn't ask how it looked, I've filmed hundreds of hours with go pros and know exactly how it looks. Just like any other action camera filming in a low angle sunset without a filter. The video wasn't about the camera or picture quality, it was displaying a drone's autonomous operation. Your unsolicited opinion is noted.
  17. MarkH67

    MarkH67 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2008
    Oddometer:
    578
    Location:
    New Zealand
    How was your comment not offensive & rude? It was very out of place to suggest someone sends back a drone because you think the image quality is bad when the drone doesn't come with a camera (so the image quality is nothing to do with the drone) and why on earth are you posting to criticise something posted over 2 years ago? Your comment was ridiculous - telling someone to send back a product that they already replaced just shows that you don't know what you are talking about.

    When someone points out how wrong of you it is to post such nonsense, responding that they seem like an @$$hole just shows off exactly what sort of person you are. Why would you even think that anyone cares about your opinion on a video posted in March of 2018?

    Maybe you should learn the difference between "that video looks washed out, what's up with that" and "the image quality is horrible, the camera looks to be low quality, I'd return it". There are polite ways to say things and there are offensive & rude ways of saying things, you seem to lack the awareness of how your posts come across.
    BillUA, YLBiker, Snake Oiler and 3 others like this.
  18. michaelb1

    michaelb1 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    28
    I’m just going filter the users I comment on to try to avoid people with very delicate sensibilities like you and OP. Life is too short for people who see insult in everything.

    matter of fact, I’ll set your profiles to “ignore”. Have a nice day.
    RideFreak likes this.
  19. RideFreak

    RideFreak Torque Junky

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    Oddometer:
    14,900
    Location:
    Out in the NM Dez somewhere
    So I went out yesterday and tested SkyDio's recent update that increases the distance it can track a subject. This allows the drone to stand off much further. It definitely works and the tracking in that situation (GPS) seems to be improved. I was alone so I'm still not sure if the issue with it locking onto other subjects is fixed but it will track you now from a long distance and/or pretty high up.

    That adds another issue, if you're like me and put the drone at allot of different perspectives and track at higher speeds there's increased risk you'll clip a branch. On my last flight yesterday I had it flying low, 10' off the ground, pretty far out, 150 yards or so, it was tracking my movements well and I was moving at a good clip. When it's flying fast small (bare) branches are tough for it to spot in time, I know that as I've run into issues with it before. On this flight the tracking was over a relatively flat area which then changed into a dune area at a higher elevation. It was following me then it wasn't, I stopped and couldn't hear the drone, an o'sh#t moment. Luckily I had opened the app after connecting to the drone with the beacon so if needed I could use the app to find the drone's last known location. I'd never used it before so of course I used it wrong at first. The display will show 3 icons; one is a picture of a house, that's home and the point where the signal was lost, I used this and eventually gave up. There's another icon, a circle. That's the location of the phone being used to locate the drone. Then there's a little pointed arrow (looks like a north indication on a phone's map app) which was what I thought it was, the drone crashed facing north (go figure) so it "looked" correct. After riding around in circles for an hour I decided to find the arrows location, sure enough that's where I found the drone. It clipped a tall bare branch and belly flopped into the sand. Busted a prop blade but otherwise was unhurt, had to blow the sand out of the motors but I flew fine after I got home. This is a pretty tough drone.

    Lesson learned, if you're going to use the extended tracking which is pretty cool, turn your phone on and connect to the beacon with the SD app, it might save you time and anxiety if you end up like I did.
    Snake Oiler and Darkside500 like this.
  20. boney

    boney Ride > Post Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,732
    Location:
    Sonoma CA
    Thank you for documenting your time with the Skydio. Lot's to learn from your experiences that may also relate to other drones on the market.