Flying a drone is a difficult task and tracking its orientation is quite challenging, especially for new pilots. If you are not an experienced pilot, then you might get confused with the drone’s orientation during flight. The headless mode of a drone makes flight easy by maintaining its orientation in the right direction. In this blog, we will discuss the headless mode on drones–a featured flight mode that helps pilots demonstrate a drones orientation easily.
What is Headless Mode?
Drones are mostly designed in a symmetrical way without a formal start and end point. Hence, it makes it hard to track the orientation of the drone as a pilot will be unable to find the drone's forward facing direction. Manufacturers use colored LED lights to assist pilots in determining the front face of the device, but it can still be difficult to determine the head of the drone with LED lights as they age with time.
For a drone, headless mode is a software feature that helps a pilot to determine the direction of a drone in constant motion. Headless mode features a lock system that locks the head of the drone with the help of a gyroscope. This way, the enabled headless mode will lock the drone’s orientation so that the front part will always remain in front of the pilot while rotating. This way, the drone’s forward-facing side will always be facing the front side of the pilot, the left direction will be the pilot’s left side, and the right direction will be the pilot’s right side–in terms of which direction the drone is pointing.
How Does a Headless Drone Work?
The pilot of a drone can activate headless mode by delivering inputs from gyroscopes, magnetometers, and accelerometers. These are micro-electro mechanical systems that work for drones to determine their initial position after switching on headless mode. The drone’s first position after locking the head, known as the reference position, is then the front-face of the drone regardless of rotation.
During flight, when a pilot changes their orientation while rotating the drone, the gyroscope and accelerometer will measure the comparison of the reference position and final position which helps to determine the accurate heading through inputs provided to the computer. Then, the computer tracks the head at all times while the drone is moving, and the transmitter will follow the commands of the pilot.
The headless mode on drones is an advanced piece of technology that works through GPS. Enabling headless mode helps a drone fly in a set direction, which can be suitable for new pilots. To ensure proper use, a pilot must reference manufacturer instructions before activating the drone for flight with a digital compass. As quadcopter manufacturers call headless mode “care-free” or “head-free” mode, you may see different naming conventions for varying products.
How to Turn on Headless Mode
You can switch on the headless mode very easily for most types of drones. First, you need to turn on the controller. Next, to set up headless mode, turn on the drone and press on the headless mode icon on the controller until it turns blue.
The headless mode will then activate, and the drone will fly in its set direction. If the headless mode is not working, refrain from using this mode and switch off the device. If the icon is blinking, the headless mode has switched off automatically, and if it turns blue again, it is activated. To switch the mode on and off, press the icon button on the controller. The icon will blink for 3 seconds when turning on, and similarly for switching off.
Pros and Cons of Headless Mode
There are many advantages of flying a headless mode drone, few of them are given below:
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