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Landed in pool - replacement?

smithlaw

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A few months ago I took my Evo Pro to the beach with us and filmed us kayaking in the inlet. When it was time to bring the drone in, I sent it to land in the yard at the beach house. Somehow the drone lost transmission while hovering over the yard (slightly out of my sight). When I got the kayak back to the dock and started looking for the drone in the yard I found it in the bottom of the pool. Shouldn't the obstacle avoidance have kept this from happening? Is this something Autel would replace?
 
My first thought would be that the reflections off the water in the pool confused the OA sensors. Possibly battery exhaustion, possibly due to extra effort caused by wind.
 
Shouldn't the obstacle avoidance have kept this from happening? Is this something Autel would replace?
Nope and nope. It's obstacle avoidance, not operator error avoidance :). None of its sensors are designed, intended, or advertised as being able to determine what type of surface it is about to land on and decide to go somewhere else. It landed exactly where you told it to land unfortunately. I believe it has some ability to shift a bit for actual obstacles under some limited circumstances, but to say "oh that's a pool, let me go land in the grass instead", no that doesn't exist.
 
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Nope and nope. It's obstacle avoidance, not operator error avoidance :). None of its sensors are designed, intended, or advertised as being able to determine what type of surface it is about to land on and decide to go somewhere else. It landed exactly where you told it to land unfortunately. I believe it has some ability to shift a bit for actual obstacles under some limited circumstances, but to say "oh that's a pool, let me go land in the grass instead", no that doesn't exist.

Exactly right...OA is for obstacles, a flat surface of a pool is just a flat surface to the landing sensors. I've had it try to land on the top of a light pole, I was hovering too close directly over the top of it and it thought I wanted to land on it; as soon as its within about 3' of a reasonably flat or even a not so flat surface it will start the landing sequence.
 
A few months ago I took my Evo Pro to the beach with us and filmed us kayaking in the inlet. When it was time to bring the drone in, I sent it to land in the yard at the beach house. Somehow the drone lost transmission while hovering over the yard (slightly out of my sight). When I got the kayak back to the dock and started looking for the drone in the yard I found it in the bottom of the pool. Shouldn't the obstacle avoidance have kept this from happening? Is this something Autel would replace?
I've only encountered this situation once with my EVO II Pro RTK V2 and it was due to battery exhaustion. I always charge my batteries the night before any flight.

I've always set my first low battery warning at 25% and the critical at 15%, this method has always worked for me from day one. I've used this setting with confidence especially when mapping large sites as once I reach 25%, I'll have enough battery left to return home. Many times if I'm concerned at the distance from my home point, I've also hit the RTH even at 30%.

However, I was experimenting with various warning levels one day in a large pasture and intentionally set the low warning to 15% and the critical at 5%. I was flying close to my home point in case something went wrong out of safety concerns for the aircraft. The aircraft was operated no further than 500' away.

I didn't have any problems when the low battery level hit 15% and the RTH warning sequence started, but as I was intentionally flying to and below the critical level of 5% by canceling the RTH, the aircraft began to behave in a very erratic way. I was no more than about 50' from the home point when the automatic landing sequence started. I was at 4% battery. The aircraft really had a mind of it's own and tried to land but apparently it didn't recognize a good spot. The field was with short grass eaten by cows and was like a carpet.

It was about 5' off the ground when it suddenly quit and dropped to the ground. Thankfully, there was no damage to the craft other than some scruffed up props but I learned not to fly at or near the critical battery warning level. I'm thinking the software performed as designed, however the extremely low battery level probably had also contributed to the crash.

Experiment successful, I reset the battery management at 25% low warning and 15% critical level since then. So this may have caused your craft to land in the pool. You didn't mention what the battery level was, however you may learn something from my experiment.
 
I've only encountered this situation once with my EVO II Pro RTK V2 and it was due to battery exhaustion. I always charge my batteries the night before any flight.

I've always set my first low battery warning at 25% and the critical at 15%, this method has always worked for me from day one. I've used this setting with confidence especially when mapping large sites as once I reach 25%, I'll have enough battery left to return home. Many times if I'm concerned at the distance from my home point, I've also hit the RTH even at 30%.

However, I was experimenting with various warning levels one day in a large pasture and intentionally set the low warning to 15% and the critical at 5%. I was flying close to my home point in case something went wrong out of safety concerns for the aircraft. The aircraft was operated no further than 500' away.

I didn't have any problems when the low battery level hit 15% and the RTH warning sequence started, but as I was intentionally flying to and below the critical level of 5% by canceling the RTH, the aircraft began to behave in a very erratic way. I was no more than about 50' from the home point when the automatic landing sequence started. I was at 4% battery. The aircraft really had a mind of it's own and tried to land but apparently it didn't recognize a good spot. The field was with short grass eaten by cows and was like a carpet.

It was about 5' off the ground when it suddenly quit and dropped to the ground. Thankfully, there was no damage to the craft other than some scruffed up props but I learned not to fly at or near the critical battery warning level. I'm thinking the software performed as designed, however the extremely low battery level probably had also contributed to the crash.

Experiment successful, I reset the battery management at 25% low warning and 15% critical level since then. So this may have caused your craft to land in the pool. You didn't mention what the battery level was, however you may learn something from my experiment.

I think the OP's problem was different, the OP landed without LOS of the drone and assumed it would pick a safe landing location. IMO it has no such function and will land on literally any surface that is less than 3' below it, it has no way to judge the safety of that surface.

I have had the same problem when the battery drops below 5%. I think for safety the drone starts to force land no matter what is below it to attempt to prevent from falling out of the sky higher up.
 
Thank you all for the replies. The battery may have been getting low. I was having issues with the phone disconnecting from the controller (cord issues probably). I could see the house/yard from my location and I could see the drone until it got close to the yard (weird incline so everything wasn't visible). I lost connection right when the drone was back in the yard and I never attempted to force land it. If it did a "return to home" it certainly did not land where it took off from.
 
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Thank you all for the replies. The battery may have been getting low. I was having issues with the phone disconnecting from the controller (cord issues probably). I could see the house/yard from my location and I could see the drone until it got close to the yard (weird incline so everything wasn't visible). I lost connection right when the drone was back in the yard and I never attempted to force land it. If it did a "return to home" it certainly did not land where it took off from.
RTH is a finicky thing. IT really depends where the RTH mark is made and thus where it may land. We all hope RTH works as it should, but I found out on my Lite+ after the last update - that Autels don't always do what they are supposed to do. If you lost sight - Autels stance is 100% OPERATOR ERROR and they won't do jack diddly for you. Same thing they told me when my Lite+ hit a tree limb and I had taken my eye off the drone for a minute. They don't want to cover their own issues. 9 out of my 10 flights in testing the Lite+ after the firmware update and people were having issues - it landed almost spot on. That 1 time - well it was off a lot.

If your drone made it back and encountered an OA issue and thus stopped short of the RTH spot and hovered; then low batt level caused an auto land - it landed where it was at. That's how it works unfortunately. No idea if your drone found an obstacle and stopped or not. I have flown many times and tried to land and the drone stopped dead in its tracks as it detected an obstacle and did what it is supposed to do. I learned I had to turn the drone sideways - as no side sensors on the Lite - to get it to land. Otherwise if and when it would go into critical batt level and did auto-land - nothing you can do. Once it starts auto-land it shuts down all nonessential systems including GPS, which turns the drone into ATTI MODE.

Most droners who do a lot of overwater flying have learned sometimes the hard way - that you update RTH to near where you are (on the fly in the app) - not the original homepoint as you may be too far away - maybe in your case and no way for you / them to make it back to that point in time. Bad, esp if you're on a boat in the water and homepoint is the water.
 
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