Follow Me Mode (GSC Enabled)

Follow Me mode makes it possible for you to have your copter follow you as you move, using a telemetry radio and a ground station.

Note

Unlike other autopilot modes, this feature is implemented in the Ground Station. The ground station controls the movement by reading the vehicle position using MAVLink Telemetry and sending GUIDED mode instructions to move the vehicle appropriately. Currently this sort of functionality is supported by Mission Planner for Windows laptops, APM Planner for OS X laptops, and DroidPlanner for Android devices.

What you’ll need

  1. A Copter with telemetry
  2. A laptop (or a phone/tablet with an integrated GPS available to the GCS app)
  3. A GPS USB dongle like this or Bluetooth GPS module like this.

Instructions for Mission Planner

  1. Set one of your flight modes to “Loiter”
  2. Set up your Copter at the field and establish a MAVLink connection over wireless telemetry
  3. Ensure that your GPS USB dongle or Bluetooth device is plugged into to your laptop and showing up as a serial port. Using the software that came with the module, make sure that it’s working and that you have GPS lock.
  4. Take off, and once in the air switch to Loiter. (Sufficient altitude to ensure that while it is following you it isn’t attacking you might be a good idea).
  5. In the Mission Planner Flight Data screen try right-clicking on a nearby spot and select “Fly to Here”. If this works, you’re ready to try Follow Me mode.
  6. In the Mission Planner, enter Control-F, which will open the following window. Click on “Follow Me”
../_images/followme1.jpg
  • This will bring up this window. Select the serial port that is assigned to your GPS device and whatever baud rate it uses.
../_images/followme2.png
  • Once you click “Connect”, the Mission Planner will read the GPS data from your device and send it to your Copter as “fly to here” commands every two seconds.
  • Now pick up your laptop and start walking around.
  • The Copter should follow you!
    • If you have set the altitude to 5 feet it might be a good idea to see if you can out run it.
    • As mentioned before, sufficient altitude to prevent injury is useful.
    • Seriously this is a great capability, but safety is really important when using Follow Me mode especially with an open bladed Multicopter.

Warning

The barometer is used in the altitude calculation meaning that it can drift over time and impact rising terrain. Watch for obstacles and elevation changes. The altitude maintaing behavior is similar to loiter mode.