Autonomous missions for the Mavic Mini with Drone Harmony

November 7, 2020

The support of the DJI Mavic Mini is here! With the recent update, Drone Harmony customers can now plan and execute automated flight missions using the Mavic Mini drone. Drone Harmony has made an extra effort and developed a new way of executing autonomous missions. This was a crucial request from our customers since DJI does still not offer support in the form of traditional waypoint missions for the Mavic mini, severely limiting what can be done with the Mavic Mini.
The new flight-control provided by Drone Harmony will benefit Mavic Mini pilots with the following exciting new usability improvements:

  • There is no longer the need to upload a mission to the drone, thus the drone will start a mission almost immediately.
  • There is no longer a limit for a mission on the number of waypoints, nor on the distance between consecutive waypoints.

If you are a Mavic Mini pilot there are a few safety notes to consider when flying your Mavic Mini with Drone Harmony:

  • Maintain a good connection between the remote controller (RC) and the Mavic Mini
  • Maintain a good GPS Signal
  • Interrupt/Pause autonomous mission at any time by touching the RC stick. A short prompt in the Drone Harmony Application will offer to continue or abort the mission.
  • The return to home (RTH) functionality works the same way as with other DJI drones.

If you would like to know more about these safety notes, we provide more detailed explanations below.

With that, we wish all the Mavic Mini Pilots out there lots of fun planning and executing flights! Note, that the Mavic Mini 2 will get likely the same support as soon as DJI will allow us to connect to this new Drone (requires DJI SDK support).

Continuous connection to the Remote Controller (RC) Required

Unlike other DJI drone models, the Mavic Mini (as of 6.11.2020) does not support the execution of autonomous waypoint missions. Thus Drone Harmony developed a new way of flying autonomous missions by controlling the drone directly, you may think of a computer pilot operating your remote controller. It is hence very important to maintain a good RC connection signal by maintaining a reasonable distance from the drone and avoid flying the drone around large obstructions. Recall that the signal strength is displayed in the telemetry panel in Drone Harmony Mobile when the drone is connected.

In case the RC signal is lost, the drone will hover in place at the location of connection loss. When the connection is regained the drone will continue the pre-planned mission automatically.

Good GPS connection is required

Our computer pilot needs to know where the drone is, i.e. it needs good GPS signal quality in order to follow the planned flight. At takeoff Drone Harmony does check GPS signal quality, and if not deemed good enough prevent the launch. If the GPS signal quality should drop during the flight, the drone will start to hover. So this behavior is the same as with the traditional waypoint missions that you may already know.

What Happens When Touching the RC Control Sticks During Automated Flight?

Touching the RC sticks causes the mission to pause

As you may know, the RC sticks can be used during an automated flight of most DJI drone models to control the speed of flight execution or even to reverse the flight trajectory. This is not the case with the Mavic Mini. In the case of the Mavic Mini, touching the RC sticks leads to a pause of the mission. The user can then decide to either abort the automated mission (and regain manual control), or continue the automated execution.

Pausing / Stopping an Automated Flight

Unlike other DJI drones, the Mavic Mini does not have two flight modes that can be toggled using an RC switch. Thus, it is impossible to use a mode switch to quickly stop an automated flight. Instead, the best way to pause, or stop an automated flight with the Mavic Mini is simply to touch the RC sticks.

No mission uploads

The new Drone Harmony computer pilot specifically developed for the Mavic Mini does not require the traditional waypoint mission uploads.

No Limits on Mission Length / Waypoint Count / Distance Between Consecutive Waypoints

The flight control loop for the Mavic Mini enables fewer restrictions on parameters of automated flight missions. In particular, missions with more than 99 waypoints can be executed without issue and without the need for waypoint batch uploads. Furthermore, there are no limits on flight path length or the distance between consecutive waypoints.