The market is full of drones, but not all drones were built the same. Indeed, not all drones were made for The Great Indoors.
Flying drones is an excellent way to pass the time. But on those rare occasions where flying drones outside is not possible – storms, rain, wind – you always have the option to fly indoors instead.
With drones becoming smaller, smarter, and safer, drones like DJI’s latest palm-sized mini drone Spark, flying indoors has never been more fun and exhilarating. However, certain precautions will need to be taken to ensure that all have a good time in a safe and controlled environment.
The following tips are for safely and successfully flying your Spark indoors which will hopefully help you to avoid accidents, so you get the most out of the experience.
1. Calibrate the compass
Spark is an intelligent mini drone with a vision sensor on the belly of the aircraft, which during testing definitely held its own while hovering indoors. However, you need to be aware of metal structures that could cause havoc on Spark’s internal compass. So it’s paramount that you calibrate your compass in a spot free of interference before you take off inside. God forbid if you live in a building made of metal – the consequences could be dire.
2. Use prop guards
Besides clearing away any obstructing furniture (if you have pets place them in a separate room!) the one most important thing to remember when flying Spark indoors is to use the prop guards. Spark’s prop guards are pretty ingenious. They look tricky to put on, but basically, all you have to do is lift up the little latches so that it opens up the slot and you can see an opening. One by one slip them on and rotate them until they reach the end of the rotation. Next, clip them on so that they are firmly attached. Prop guards are very useful when PalmLaunching and PalmLanding. Watch this tutorial video for details about installing prop guards.
3. The ‘Snatch & Flip’ maneuver
The old ‘Snatch & Flip’ is an emergency procedure for when you want to ground Spark quickly. Essentially what you are doing is grabbing Spark by its belly midair and flipping it over quickly to turn off the motors. So when and why would you need to do that? Well, if someone or something comes close to it then the pilot or navigator can take control in an instant. When flying indoors, this is an invaluable tip, one that could prove very useful.
4. Tripod Mode
Perhaps the most useful option, and one designed for flying indoors or in tight spaces with limited maneuverability, is the Spark intelligent flight mode, Tripod Mode. In Tripod Mode, controls are dumbed down and speed severely reduced. It’s like a Spark time warp in that it’s basically the opposite of Sport Mode. Everything that you do on the controller is the same as usual except that Spark flies more slowly at a much more considered pace.
Our tip? Turn off obstacle sensing when selecting Tripod Mode in the intelligent flight modes section of the DJI GO 4 app.
Now you’re ready to master the art of flying indoors!