The EVO II’s omni-directional obstacle avoidance system can help you prevent all sorts of nasty collisions, but just like with any drone, it isn’t without its blind spots.
Unlike the high-resolution camera attached to the gimbal, the sensors that make up the drone’s early warning system are composed of black and white cameras with lower resolutions.
While this makes it easy for the system to quickly detect objects in its peripherals, it also makes it difficult for the drone to detect:
- Flat objects with a solid color. Such as the side of a building—especially if it’s painted white. If the sensors see too much of a solid color, they won’t register that it’s any different from the open sky.
- Thin objects. Such as power lines, telephone lines, or skinny tree branches.
Ultimately, the obstacle avoidance system was designed to aid pilots, not to do the flying for them. It’s merely intended to be an early warning system—an extra set of brakes that gives the pilot enough time to manipulate the aircraft if it’s approaching a hazard at high speed. Expecting to avert disaster just because the system is on is like putting your car in cruise control and taking a nap.
To avoid an unnecessary collision that could damage your gimbal or ruin your drone, make sure to:
- Fly slower. Especially around obstructions the obstacle avoidance system might have trouble detecting. This will give your aircraft more time to react once it has identified an obstacle.
- Plan smarter. Could you get the same shot by approaching from a different angle? Is there another location with fewer obstructions where you could get similar footage? Avoid flying around troublesome obstacles, if you can avoid it.
- Recruit a visual observer. Bringing someone to maintain visual line of sight with the drone while your eyes are glued to the remote controller can save you a lot of heartache.
- Be careful at night. Since visibility is reduced at low light—for both you and your drone—it’s always a good idea to practice extra precaution when flying at night.