The Drone Software We Use
Drone software that makes drone services possible
Without the proper software, drones would only be flown for fun. And, of course, flying drones is always fun, but when you combine fun with function, ta-da! Drones can change whole industries.
Whether you are a drone pilot novice or a professional Orthomosaic map creator, the software you choose to work with will determine the ease of use and the quality of shots you produce. While most pilots are familiar with DJI software, which is compatible with the most popular drones, other platforms are available.
So, what software does FlyGuys use to complete a drone services mission and send deliverables to our clients?
Read on to see which apps we trust to get the mission accomplished.
DroneDeploy has been our go-to application for mapping since day one. This powerful software collects and analyzes data in real-time, allowing you to make on-the-spot decisions that could ultimately save your company time and money by preventing or addressing problems.
DroneDeploy allows FlyGuys to customize flight plans that are sent to our licensed pilots. The pilot quickly captures data for mapping, modeling, marketing, reporting or inspections, then generates and shares reports across your organization. You can upload media directly from the site and even share live streaming with your team without creating a separate account.
The user-friendly app can process hundreds of maps and models simultaneously. It can upload up to 10,000 images at once without additional hardware and generate instant point cloud classification. The software adapts to the specific job by detecting information inputs and can calculate distance, area and volume.
FlyGuys uses the DroneDeploy for construction, agriculture, pipeline inspections and engineering in conjunction with our Mavic 2 Pro and Phantom 4 Pro V2 drones.
One of the best things about DroneDeploy is that they are constantly updating and adjusting features on the app. We rarely experience glitches, but in the instance one does arise, the problem is fixed almost immediately.
Litchi is an autonomous flight app compatible with our Mavic and Phantom drones. It is a waypoint mission engine that can sync missions on all platforms across all devices. Litchi is super user-friendly and provides an in-depth how-to guide on their website.
There are multiple modes Litchi allows the drone to fly depending on the project. Though it is an autonomous app, FPV mode enables users to switch to manual using joysticks on the remote control. Follow mode prompts the UAV to follow the movement of a subject, usually the mobile device or a user-specified pinned location. Orbit makes the drone circle around a point of interest, advantageous during inspection missions. The orbit parameters, including the radius, altitude and speed, can be modified in real-time. This mode also allows the user to save and load flights.
Focus mode takes control of the gimble and yaw axis so that you can focus on horizontal movements. It allows you to keep the subject in the frame while flying the drone manually. Litchi has Panorama mode as well.
One cool thing about Litchi is that users can create 3D missions using Google Earth. The camera can be positioned precisely where needed at every waypoint. This feature vastly improves the quality and precision of missions. The software also makes importing DEM files and exporting KMLs faster than ever.
DJI Go 4
This app is rudimentary and easy to use for basic angles and shots. The app serves as a home base for all default settings. The app uses waypoints and has Point of Interest (POI), similar to the orbit mode in Litchi. The camera control is controlled manually, and when the drone orbits a defined center point, the footage is exceptionally smooth. We use DJI Go for smooth and stable video shots that don’t require complex predetermined courses.
The user-friendly app provides typical flight modes like Hyperlapse, Quickshot, Active Track, Point of Interest, Waypoints, Tapfly, and Cinematic Mode. These modes are not necessarily advanced, so we use DJI Go for less data-intensive applications like marketing videos and photography.
This app can control the drone camera and transmit photos smoothly and in real-time. This software has limited compatibility with enterprise drones, so the features are minimal. We use DJI Pilot for thermal, waypoint, mapping and oblique missions, which are flown from a specific angle to produce 3D mapping.
Drone software constantly evolves to meet the pilots’ needs and deliver quality output. Most drone software companies are diligent in updating and fixing glitches and making additional features available for specific drones. That being said, not all software is created equal and many apps not supported by all drones. Make sure the software you purchase or download is compatible with your drone, and look at the platform’s dashboard and training videos to make sure it is applicable for your missions.
See you in the sky.