How Do Drones Follow You?

Nathan Rizzuti Profile image

Written By:

Updated June 27, 2022

Finding the highest-quality drone to meet your needs can be a tall but rewarding task. Whether it be knowing how to film with a drone or how to get into drone photography, the capabilities of this emerging technology can be essential for both recreation and commercial purposes. And one functionality that serves many purposes is a GPS tracking setting. Below, we’ll explain just how drones do follow you, so you can set them up to do this.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Dones can track and follow objects through two different forms of technology: machine vision tracking and GPS flight mode.
  • Machine vision tracking uses programmable drone cameras to visualize and follow a specific object.
  • GPS mode is WiFi connected and follows via an external tracking device.

And if you’re debating what kind of drone to get, you can check out a couple of helpful reviews we have, such as on the FPV vs GPS drone or our Kizmo K180 portable drone review.

How to Make a Drone Follow You

Many looking for the perfect aerial shot wonder how to get a drone to follow them. Before, if you wanted to shoot drone videos or photos with you, you had to have a friend or colleague present to operate the remote control. But now, drones come with the capability of multiple forms of tracking technology. The two most common forms of tracking technology with drones are machine vision and GPS beacon tracking.

Insider Tip

Set a home base location for your drone using the follow me mode. This location gives it somewhere to go if the signal is lost.

Machine Tracking

Machine tracking uses cameras and spatial sensors on the drone to visualize images and thus track the object that it’s programmed to follow. This technology is common in consumer drone models.

Of course, some say that it can be spotty, especially if there are obstacles and obstructions between the drone and the object being tracked. However, machine tracking has seen technological advances. This type of drone technology now uses more artificial intelligence to predict the location of a programmed object with a greater degree of precision.

GPS “Follow Me Mode” Drone Technology

Many drones now use GPS mode as a tracking method that acts as a virtual tether. This method uses an ultrasonic sensor and WiFi connection so that a drone can follow a mobile device or special wristband as an external tracking device. This drone application tends to deliver more accurate tracking than recognition technology.

Using a Mixed Approach

The most reliable tracking experience will be with a drone that implements both types of technology. For a cinematic shot in complex environments that require a lot of angles and movement, a model like this is recommended. However, the mixed approach requires more sophisticated software, and the drones that incorporate it tend to be more expensive.

Warning

Be sure to calibrate your drone when first using it. Failing to do this can get your drone lost or damaged.

F.A.Q.S

How can I turn on follow me mode?

Follow me mode is turned on through the device’s remote controller, which will likely be an app you can download on your smartphone.


What is recreational flying?

Recreational flight is a label for those using drones for fun and not business purposes. There are different registration requirements for recreational vs commercial drone use.


How to create a business account on FAA DroneZone?

You have to take the Part 107 examination to register your drone. You also have to complete a background check.


STAT: It’s recommended to calibrate your drone every time you use it, especially if your new location is at least 10 miles away from the previous calibration location. (source)

Nathan Rizzuti Profile image