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Indoor Flight Stability Issues

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Hello Group,

We have been having great success with outdoor flights, image quality, everything as long as its out doors. When running our first flight tests indoors, we quickly realized we are having a problem with the drone drifting. at 1 foot it hovers within a few inches of where we leave it. At 2 feet it moves about 4 inches, at 3 feet it moves about 6. When we get it to ten feet it slowly drifts away not holding position. When we get it to the ceiling hight of 16 feet, it will drift all the way across the building and will not stop until we correct the flight.

A few specs
1) Building is precast with 20' ceilings
2) Floor is cement with a dull sheen
3) Flight mode is P-OPTI
4) We are using the two controller system with a pilot and a camera operator

I have tried all three modes and the drifting is much worse in any mode but P.

At the end of the day it seems like a systems issue as the error gets worse the higher it goes.

The question is has anyone else seen this issue and if so how did you correct it.

thank you in advance
 

Mazz

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I fly my inspire indoors. I honestly get no hold at all. I have mentioned it before. It has sensors but I think the tech is pretty new. Maybe you need perfect conditions like a black and white checkered floor to get a good hold.
 
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Well above 2.5 M it switches from p-opti to atti, and then yes you will get drift. I was flying around in a big warehouse today and experienced the same thing, you just have to be super careful and make sure your movements are nice and slow. Another reason to practice atti flying. Below 2.5 M I found it holds ok, especially if you are quite low, but yea once you start getting some altitude it gets progressively worse.
 
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Alright, I got some answers today from DJI. not very promising. I hope they realize most people who are flying indoors are not flying over carpet. Personally, I can certainly maintain position relatively well as we use a second operator to control the camera, its just not as good as the stability we get shooting out doors and I was hoping for greater accuracy.

This is what DJI sent me. My original issue is below that. Thanks for your input by the way!

Mar 24, 09:08

Dear Randy

Thank you for contacting DJI North America.

By using the sensors on the Vision Positioning system, Inspire 1 can perform precision hovering even when no GPS is available.

Follow the steps below to use Vision Positioning:

1. Toggle the switch to “P” as shown the figure to the right:

2. Place the Inspire 1 on a flat surface. Notice that the Vision Positioning system cannot work properly on surfaces without pattern variations.

3. Power on the Inspire 1. The aircraft status indicator will flash twice in green light, which indicates the Vision Positioning system is

For best results please keep the below factors in mind:

Keep the sensors clean at all times. Dirt or other debris may adversely affect the effectiveness of the sensors.
The effective hovering altitudes of the aircraft is from 0 to 2.5 meters.
Vision Positioning system may not function properly when the aircraft is flying over water.
Vision Positioning system may not be able to recognize pattern on the ground in low light conditions (less than 100lux).
Do not use other ultrasonic devices with frequency of 40 KHz when Vision Positioning system is in operation.
Vision Positioning system may not be able to stabilize the aircraft when flying close to the ground (below 0.5 meters) in fast speed.

Thank you for choosing DJI,
"The Future of Possible!”

DJI Customer Service North America




Admin (DJI Technology)

Mar 23, 15:34

Products: Inspire 1 with Single Remote
Name: Randy
Location: North America
Dealers: Bought direct from you
Subject: Indoor flight
Message: Hello, we bought the inspire 1 with dual remotes and have had very good success flying and shooting out doors. Today we began testing to shoot video indoors and experienced a large problem. We are shooting in a large 50,000 sq ft factory. When we take off the drone seems to hold its position somewhat ok, it does drift a bit back and forth. Once we go above 5 feet it starts to list to one direction. at 10 feet it become rather difficult to correct its position as it begins to drift harder. This will make shooting impossible inside. The floors are cement with a dull sheen. We tried flying in areas where the floor is rougher but it did not seem to have any change in affect. What can we do? One of the reasons we chose this unit was the ability to shoot our video indoors. PLease help

randy
 
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Hi Randy,
This is interesting as I have a project coming up which I need to shoot in a 600,000 sq foot distribution facility with the roof height of approx 90'.
I have not done any testing yet so your post has come at the right moment.
Just a thought with a ceiling height of only 20' possibly the craft will be moving in its own air draft ?
 
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I don't think its the draft, Today, I was flying at 10-12 feet, the trusses were at 20 and the deck at 23. After watching the birds behavior for a while (5 batteries worth) I noticed that the surface finish of the floor directly affected the drift. You will notice when you fly that it will pivot to one side to correct its position then pivot back when it reaches its perceived correct position. The problem with trying to maintain flight over smooth concrete is that it never finds the correct position so the correction or drift never stops. The higher you fly the worse it gets as the camera on the bottom can no longer find the stop point. And with DJI's own 2.5 meter (8 feet) limit that the system will work over a patterned surface, its impossible to use the system in warehouse flying above that height. For us we have decided that the pilot needs to steady the craft and the camera operator needs to do their job. We all just have to be a little more precise on what we are doing. Fixed position flight is all but ruled out. We also have adjusted our shoot parameters that when we use the drone, it is for moving or sweeping shots only and when we need a fixed long timed shot, we use something else on a man lift.

Its still a fantastic system, I just wished they had thought out its industrial uses a bit more. Good luck and happy flying!

PS....watch the hanging power cords lol we almost lost it on a white cord hanging from a white ceiling >grin<
 

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I don't think its the draft, Today, I was flying at 10-12 feet, the trusses were at 20 and the deck at 23. After watching the birds behavior for a while (5 batteries worth) I noticed that the surface finish of the floor directly affected the drift. You will notice when you fly that it will pivot to one side to correct its position then pivot back when it reaches its perceived correct position. The problem with trying to maintain flight over smooth concrete is that it never finds the correct position so the correction or drift never stops. The higher you fly the worse it gets as the camera on the bottom can no longer find the stop point. And with DJI's own 2.5 meter (8 feet) limit that the system will work over a patterned surface, its impossible to use the system in warehouse flying above that height. For us we have decided that the pilot needs to steady the craft and the camera operator needs to do their job. We all just have to be a little more precise on what we are doing. Fixed position flight is all but ruled out. We also have adjusted our shoot parameters that when we use the drone, it is for moving or sweeping shots only and when we need a fixed long timed shot, we use something else on a man lift.

Its still a fantastic system, I just wished they had thought out its industrial uses a bit more. Good luck and happy flying!

PS....watch the hanging power cords lol we almost lost it on a white cord hanging from a white ceiling >grin<

Why not just use Atti which knocks out the vision position system and the craft will be predictable?
 

Mazz

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When flying indoors, unless you are flying low, you need to fly manually. It is the only way. Since there is plenty of movement in the air around us and since quad is not perfect it will always drift. It is much easier to practice atti mode indoors since there are very few factors that will effect the movement of the quad itself. You mostly need to compensate for your own momentum and slight drifts.
 
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You may all be correct, we are test flying next week in Atti Mode. I will let you know how it went, thanks for all the feedback.
 
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There are definitely limits to what the sensors can do for indoor flying. Unfortunately, it is not a perfect system, yet. It is a great step forward and hopefully the next iteration will have better range on the sensors for indoor flight.
 
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Verdict is in (from us anyway) this system can not fly indoors with any accuracy, manual is the only way to go. That's fine, we run a two person system anyway, it would just be nice if it did what it was promoted to do. I still think its the best system out there (so far). Happy Flying!
 

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I wonder if they could come out with a system of 4 or more sensors for inside that you could mount and it would act as artificial gps. Maybe you could put them them in the corners of the room and it would allow the inspire to know where it is in space.
 
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I've flown a bit indoors with different results, Most arising out of the floor I was flying over. The sonar/visual system needs a couple things for it to work as described in the reply from DJI and in the manual.

Visual... The floor needs to have a pattern that is easily discernible and stationary. The higher the contrast, the better it works.

Sonar... Likes surfaces that reflect sound waves (carpet sometimes absorbs the sound waves and thus only works at low alts.

I had my best experience shooting in a dance hall... The floor was tiled and had a crazy pattern to it. Bird locked-on and gave me great footage shooting 12 feet up from the deck. Got nice sweeping shots and steady raising and lowering moves.

That said, there aren't too many indoor venues that have ideal conditions for the Inspires sensors. Nice that DJI added that capability but beware it's not fool proof
 
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I'm having the exact same experience as the original poster here. P-OPTI works on 5 different floor types i've tried in buildings around campus, but only up to about 5-7 feet high. Any higher than that, and the system switches automatically to P-ATTI. Honestly, i feel sort of let down by this. We bought this drone hoping to use it mostly indoors in large high ceiling venues. Some of our venues are nice and wide open--where I can fly P-ATTI fairly safely. But most of our venues are high ceilings but not very wide open--20-50ft wide halls, some with hanging fixtures, etc where I need agility and accuracy from my Inspire 1. (on another note: the lack of prop guards when flying indoors is very unnerving for me).
Alas, perhaps this technology is still 1 year away from being perfected. My guess is, some other small start-up drone maker will perfect indoor flying soon, and probably offer it in an affordable package. I'm heading to NAB next week. Maybe we'll see something new for indoor flying there? Because, honestly, past 7 feet high indoors, I had more confidence with my old Phantom Vision 2 than I do with my Inspire (phantom--smaller, prop-guards help if i accidentally touch a wall. And really, at 5-7 feet high (indoors)... why do i need a drone? I can pull off that shot with my Defy G5 gimbal, or any other handheld gimbal--easier and more safe really. Drones/UAVs really shine more when elevated closer to ceiling height, right? We want shots we can't get with a jib or a handheld gimbal. That's why we spent $4k on the Inspire 1.
That said; when flying outside with proper compass calibration and GPS signal, the Inspire 1 is a sheer joy to fly and film with! Really it's amazing. Just wish indoor P-OPTI would perform better.
On an engineering/development note: Any chance we might see DJI offer an upgrade (firmware/hardware) in the future to improve/perfect P-OPTI indoor flying on the inspire 1? Or would you wager that's a whole new product coming later and/or from some other manufacturer?
 
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Flying the inspire 1 indoors is a waste of time. The lock is terrible, it often drifts around and you hace to manually control it. I damaged mine slightly whilst practicing indoors ove light carpet with multiple shapes on the surface (which should have helped).

My advice is to keep it outside where it belongs or you will be buying spare parts very soon.
 
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I have never tried this but has anyone thought of using tape (say white on concrete for example) to create some kind of grid pattern?
I imagine this would work on warehouse flooring and would not have to be intense.
It might just give the sensors enough texture to work off of.
I know a large warehouse might take some time to put some tape down, but if it will help with stabilizing the drone, it might be worth it.
Just a suggestion.
 
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I'm having the exact same experience as the original poster here. P-OPTI works on 5 different floor types i've tried in buildings around campus, but only up to about 5-7 feet high. Any higher than that, and the system switches automatically to P-ATTI. Honestly, i feel sort of let down by this. We bought this drone hoping to use it mostly indoors in large high ceiling venues.
It is supposed to do that. P-OPTI is only spec'd to operate from 0 - 250 cm.
 

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I'm having the exact same experience as the original poster here. P-OPTI works on 5 different floor types i've tried in buildings around campus, but only up to about 5-7 feet high. Any higher than that, and the system switches automatically to P-ATTI. Honestly, i feel sort of let down by this. We bought this drone hoping to use it mostly indoors in large high ceiling venues. Some of our venues are nice and wide open--where I can fly P-ATTI fairly safely. But most of our venues are high ceilings but not very wide open--20-50ft wide halls, some with hanging fixtures, etc where I need agility and accuracy from my Inspire 1. (on another note: the lack of prop guards when flying indoors is very unnerving for me).
Alas, perhaps this technology is still 1 year away from being perfected. My guess is, some other small start-up drone maker will perfect indoor flying soon, and probably offer it in an affordable package. I'm heading to NAB next week. Maybe we'll see something new for indoor flying there? Because, honestly, past 7 feet high indoors, I had more confidence with my old Phantom Vision 2 than I do with my Inspire (phantom--smaller, prop-guards help if i accidentally touch a wall. And really, at 5-7 feet high (indoors)... why do i need a drone? I can pull off that shot with my Defy G5 gimbal, or any other handheld gimbal--easier and more safe really. Drones/UAVs really shine more when elevated closer to ceiling height, right? We want shots we can't get with a jib or a handheld gimbal. That's why we spent $4k on the Inspire 1.
That said; when flying outside with proper compass calibration and GPS signal, the Inspire 1 is a sheer joy to fly and film with! Really it's amazing. Just wish indoor P-OPTI would perform better.
On an engineering/development note: Any chance we might see DJI offer an upgrade (firmware/hardware) in the future to improve/perfect P-OPTI indoor flying on the inspire 1? Or would you wager that's a whole new product coming later and/or from some other manufacturer?
I'm not sure why you feel let down by something that performs as advertised and within the specs quoted on the manufactures website?
The vision posisioning system only works on highly patterned surfaces with illumination of higher than 15 lux and to a maximum altitude of 2.5 meters (so near enough 8 feet).
The behaviour you are describing would imply your Inspire is performing exactly as advertised.
I would be rather pleased with that rather than feeling let down.
DJI have never made claims that their indoor positioning system will work in high ceiling/altitude situations.
As an aside, prop guards have never been part of the equipment listing, nor will they be.
Prosumer or multi's like the Inspire , S800, S1000 etc are not designed to be flown with stabiliser wheels like the Phantom series.
Sorry, but that's just the way it is.
 
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Yes I always keep it on atti now indoors. Has drift but is more predictable and if you move slow you shouldn't run into any issues. A trick I use inside when filming (warehouses, machine shops etc.) is to start a little drift with the right stick and then while it is drifting do a camera tilt. You get a really nice move and it is pretty easy to pull off because you only need to focus on the camera tilt while the inspire drifts slowly
 
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Many thanks to everyone that has posted in this thread. It helped me prepare for flying indoors. Flew indoors in ATTI mode yesterday on a basketball court with a dual controller setup. We decided to embrace the "drift" & used it to our advantage performing slow movements all over the court at various heights.
 

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