1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Technology behind camera drones with "follow" function

  1. Aug 13, 2016 #1
    Hi.
    Most modern camera quadcopters (drones) have a "follow" function, allowing them to follow and film a person. The DJI Phantom 4 does this by optical tracking, most other brands require that the person carry a smartphone or other wearable.

    How does this work? I assume the smartphone or wearable sends a signal, but how can a single drone determine its distance and direction from the source? Obviously not by triangulation.

    Or is it that simple that both the smartphone/wearable and the drone must have GPS and the drone simply receives the coordinates of the sender, compares them with its own and follows? But is this fast and accurate enough? As far as I know GPS is only accurate to a couple of meters, which could bring the drone dangerously close to the person it follows so far away that the camera shots become useless.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 14, 2016 #2

    mfb

    User Avatar
    2016 Award

    Staff: Mentor

    I don't know what exactly the different tools are using, but GPS is precise enough. The absolute precision of GPS is not good, but the problem mainly comes from atmospheric effects - nearby GPS devices will have the same measurement errors so they cancel in the difference. Even if the receivers are kilometers apart this differential GPS can achieve an accuracy of about a centimeter.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted



Similar Discussions: Technology behind camera drones with "follow" function
  1. Thermographic Camera (Replies: 3)

  2. Camera clicker (Replies: 5)

  3. Make your own drone. (Replies: 13)

Loading...