Autonomous vs Guided (Smart Shots)

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I have ran a number of autonomous missions with Tower and had the FS_THR_ENABLE parameter set to (2)-enable continue in auto. What is the effect of this parameter in regular Smart Shots (Guided)? My Smart Shots have always been close proximity that loss of controller signal should not be an issue but it's always good to know SOLO expected response during Smart Shots. Thanks
 
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You are a wise man to think of this and ask. As of the latest firmware update (2.4.1-6), that parameter no longer applies only to auto mode on the Pixhawk. That now affects auto and guided mode. All the smart shots use guided mode. So if you program a smart shot that takes the Solo out of range, or your controller craps out on you in the middle of the shot, it will continue with the shot as programmed. This can be very handy if you're doing something like an orbit around an obstruction where you lose signal temporarily.

However, you must use this wisely and understand the implications. For example, you setup a zipline, push the play button, and it starts moving along the line. The very nature of zipline means it will keep going along an infinite course. With that parameter set, it can now keep going beyond the range of the controller. It will just keep going until the battery reaches failsafe level. At which point, it probably won't have enough juice to make it home, and will crash on the way back. Another scenario, is you're doing basically any other smart shot and the controller dies. In the case of a MPCC, it will proceed to the end, then just sit there until the battery failsafe kicks in. With an orbit smart shot, it will just keep orbiting around and around until the battery failsafe kicks in.

So, use it but use it wisely.
 
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You are a wise man to think of this and ask.
Definitely. I hadn't considered it until I read Andy's question, but zipline immediately jumped out at me as having the potential for issue - if the parameters are set to happily continue, and it looses connection while on an infinite line... yea, that pretty much means your Solo is going away.

If you frequently go between Tower/MP missions and Solo/Solex, it's probably a good habit to double check that parameter each time to make sure it's set appropriately for what you're doing each time.
 
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P2P, Thank you for the comment. I have flown a number of Tower Auto missions, especially surveys. This parameter is very convenient to make sure the survey completes without interruption. I have been testing surveys at various altitudes to get optimal quality. Sometimes trees get in the way of communication at lower altitudes. Also, I think GPH4B is not the best camera for these photos, but I digress.
Smart Shots have always been billed as a new flying mode but I was not sure how Pixhawk handled this. I love Zipline, its the fastest cable flyby for a great focal point shot. I agree that Cable Cam, Orbit, and even Selfe are all "contained" flight paths and would allow time recover. Zipline, like you say would just fly on off.
 
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If you run tower at the same time as the Solo app (or Solex), and you have tower' audible feedback turned on, you'll hear the "real" flight modes. For example, when the 3DR app says "FLY", you'll at the same time hear Tower say "Mode Loiter".

FLY = Loiter
FLY:Manual = Alt Hold Mode
Smart Shots = Guided Mode (companion computer doing all the work)
Stab & Sport = Stab & Sport Modes
RTH and RTM = Guided Mode for lateral navigation, then Land Mode for vNav to land.
 
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Another scenario, is you're doing basically any other smart shot and the controller dies. In the case of a MPCC, it will proceed to the end, then just sit there until the battery failsafe kicks in.
One way to avoid this is to program the MPCC to come back close to you at the end.

With an orbit smart shot, it will just keep orbiting around and around until the battery failsafe kicks in.
Good reason to use Tower for orbits, you can program the number of orbits it makes before exiting the program.
 
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As far as MPCC goes, the ending location doesn't really matter. When the battery failsafe kicks in, the smart shot will exit and it will begin it's RTH/RTM. Since you can't make a MPCC smart shot out of range of the controller to begin with, it really could never be too far away (unlike infinite ziplines). The same with orbit, it really can't get too far away. You're just going to be stuck watching it fly in circles for 10-15 minutes until the battery failsafe kicks in and it returns home.

Using tower for circle mode is vastly different than the orbit smart shot. The orbit smart shot is a move coordinated and piloted by the Solo's companion computer with the Pixhawk in guided mode. The circle mode you get in Tower is the circle mode in Arducopter handled completely by the Pixhawk. You can put it in circle mode with the mode selector, and it will use whatever the circle radius parameter happens to be set for. Nothing you can adjust on the fly with the sticks. Or you can setup an Auto mission that has a circle command with associated radius in advance. But neither give you anything like the orbit smart shot capabilities of the Solo's companion computer.
 
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As far as MPCC goes, the ending location doesn't really matter. When the battery failsafe kicks in, the smart shot will exit and it will begin it's RTH/RTM. Since you can't make a MPCC smart shot out of range of the controller to begin with, it really could never be too far away (unlike infinite ziplines). The same with orbit, it really can't get too far away. You're just going to be stuck watching it fly in circles for 10-15 minutes until the battery failsafe kicks in and it returns home.

Using tower for circle mode is vastly different than the orbit smart shot. The orbit smart shot is a move coordinated and piloted by the Solo's companion computer with the Pixhawk in guided mode. The circle mode you get in Tower is the circle mode in Arducopter handled completely by the Pixhawk. You can put it in circle mode with the mode selector, and it will use whatever the circle radius parameter happens to be set for. Nothing you can adjust on the fly with the sticks. Or you can setup an Auto mission that has a circle command with associated radius in advance. But neither give you anything like the orbit smart shot capabilities of the Solo's companion computer.
Good point about the MPCC not getting out of range.

I like the orbit feature in Tower, I like planning the flight ahead of time and sending it up.
 

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