More and more hopes and wishes are coming out daily regarding DJI’s upcoming Phantom 4. Today we have a patent application detailing a method for an UAV to track objects on the ground ( possibly in the air also ).
Yesterday’s news was the Phantom 4 having object avoidance built in. But with Yuncee and other quadcopters having such a feature already demonstrated, DJI could well jump them all by making the Phantom 4 the first RTF quadcopter that can track objects.
How often have you been flying a Phantom ( or Inspire 1 as a single operator ) and struggled to keep the subject in the frame? It’s very difficult tom function the Phantom’s pitch, roll, yaw, throttle and camera tilt all at the same time and also keep an eye out for obstacles. So having the Phantom take care of keeping the moving subject in frame would be a very welcome addition to the pilot.
In February ( 4th ) a DJI patent appeared titled “Systems and methods for target tracking”. It detailed a method for an UAV to track a moving object without the pilot having to keep it in frame manually.
According to the patent it seems very easy to operate this function. All you need to do is identify the object in question by clicking the mobile device’s screen and the P4 will keep it in frame whilst you fly. Another interesting bit of info within the patent is that it seems like it *could, depending on the distance between the P4 and the subject, focus and even zoom in/out ( make what you want of this 😉 ).
There is more. On February 8th, DJI trade marked the names “TapFlight” and “TapFly”. Both seem to be the same product. Looking more into the trade mark here, you get a description of what “TapFlight” and “TapFly” can be used for.
One of the first things the description talks about is “automatic flight control and pilot systems comprising computer hardware and software for controlling the flight of aerial drones”. It mentions “computer software applications for mobile phones and devices” many times as to inly there will be a totally new App for the Phantom 4 range and Inspire 2 and future products ( hopefully not as bloated as the Pilot App ).
It looks lie automation might be a big part of the Phantom 4. sad to think that actually flying might be made a little bit redundant but considering the Phantom range have always been aerial photography and videography machines, its not surprising that DJI would want to make doing these particular tasks easier.