This guide explains how to get started with the Pix4D mobile application. For more information about hybrid solutions integrating the app, click here.
Download and install
Step 1. Prepare the drone
Step 2. Prepare the mission
Step 3. Start the mission
Step 4. Synchronize the mission
Step 5. Upload and process on Pix4D Cloud
Step 6. Process locally with Pix4D Desktop
Mobile device with iOS 9.3 or later with at least 500 MB of free space to store the images.
| Information: List of compatible drones:
For the sake of clarity the previous acronyms are used to refer to the different supported drones. In addition, DJI refers to all DJI drones and P2V(+) refers to both P2V and P2V+. For more information about supported drones, cameras and controllers: 203991609.
There is a separate getting started article for the Parrot Disco-Pro AG. For more information: 115002664983.
|Download and install⤴|
1. Download and install the latest iOS app via the App Store. For more information: 200798215.
2. Activate the Internet access of the device.
3. Open the app.
4. (optional) In the Welcome screen, tap Sign up for free to create a Pix4D account. For more information: 204708735.
5. Tap Log in to access the app with a Pix4D account. Enter the Email and Password and tap Log in.
|Step 1. Prepare the drone⤴|
| Warning: Know the drone and how to fly it manually.
Before using the app, it is required to first learn how to fly the drone manually. Manual control of the drone is the only way to avoid obstacles or get back a drone that flies away due to GPS interference. For more information, have a look at the drone's user manual.
When flying with the app:
- Connection with the drone: Connection is required to trigger the image capture and to be able to take over manual control of the drone at anytime during the mission.
- Good GPS signal: If the drone misreads the GPS coordinates internally, it might fly away in a random direction. This happens when the drone is flying in an environment with interference or with several high objects in the surroundings.
- Obstacles: Ensure that no obstacle is between the drone home point or takeoff point and the flight altitude during takeoff or landing.
- Battery: As the battery lifetime depends on multiple factors such as wind, altitude, temperature, etc., it is impossible to predict the lifetime of the battery. If the app is connected to the drone and the battery is under 20%, the drone flies home. If the connection is broken and the battery is below a certain level, the drone will behave as defined in the manufacturer's app.
- Drone firmware: Make sure to have the LATEST FIRMWARE installed on the drone. Use DJI VISION (P2V, P2V+), DJI GO (I1, P3A, P3P, P3S, P4), DJI GO 4 (I2, MP, P4P) or FreeFlight Pro (B2) to check the status of the firmware.
|Step 2. Prepare the mission⤴|
1. Open the app.
2. Select the drone and eventually the camera.
2.1. In the Home screen, tap Settings .
2.2. In the section Drone, tap Drone and select the drone.
2.3. In the section Drone, tap Camera and select the camera.
2.4. Restart the app: 209626486.
3. In the Home screen, select a type of mission. For more information: 209960726.
The following steps rely on the example of the Grid Mission. After selecting the type of flight, the Map view appears and street or satellite base map is loaded.
4. (optional) In the Map view, tap to personalize the flight settings. For more information: 115002040526.
5. On the left of the screen, select the desired flight altitude. For more information: 204010419.
6. Place the grid over the area of interest. For more information about the flight track (position, orientation, and color/size): 204010419.
7. Start the mission once it is prepared.
|Step 3. Start the mission⤴|
1. Place the drone in a clear area of at least 10 by 10 meters that can get easily GPS signal.
2. (DJI) Turn on the drone and the remote controller.
3. (DJI) Verify that the propellers can be started manually.
4. In the Map view, tap Start. The drone will not take off at this point.
5. Set the pilot mode to automatic:
- (P2V, P2V+) Put the S1 switch button of the controller to the top position.
- (P3S) Put the S1 switch button of the controller to the down position.
- (I1, P3A, P3P) Put the P.A.F. switch button of the controller in the F position.
- (I2, P4, P4P) Put the P.S.A. switch button of the controller in the P position.
- (MP) Put the P.S. switch button of the controller in the P position
- (B2) Just be prepared to switch to the Camera view or to use the controller.
6. Connect to the drone:
- (P2V, P2V+, P3S) The connection is made via Wi-Fi with the controller. Tap Wi-Fi Settings and go to the Wi-Fi settings of the device. Select the drone's Wi-Fi and go back to the app.
- (I1, I2, MP, M100, M600, P3A, P3P, P4, P4P) The connection is made via USB with the controller. Connect the device to the controller using a USB cable. A pop-up will ask whether it can be trusted. Tap Trust.
- (B2) The connection is made via Wi-Fi directly with the drone or with the controller if any. Tap Wi-Fi Settings and go to the Wi-Fi settings of the device. Select the drone's Wi-Fi and go back to the app.
|Warning: At this stage, ensure that the manufacturer's app (DJI VISION, DJI GO, DJI GO 4, FreeFlight Pro) is not running in the background.|
7. Once the drone is successfully connected, tap Next.
8. The drone takeoff checklist pops up. Verify that all safety checks are green. If yes, the drone can take off. If not, solve each safety issue until it becomes green. For more information on how to solve the safety issues: 204765035.
9. Tap Start. The drone will take off within few seconds.
| Note: There are two ways to start a mission.
When the drone takes off, it flies vertically up to the altitude of the mission and then goes to the first waypoint.
10. During the flight:
- Keep the hands on the remote controller or the device.
- Keep eye contact with the drone.
- Switch to the Camera view to get the video feed while the drone is flying.
- Keep track of the drone's current position moving on the Map view.
| Warning: In case of danger:
It is possible to take over manual control anytime during a mission. The drone stops short and hovers.
| Warning: In case of emergency:
(B2) There is an emergency button in the Camera view. When tapping this button the drone INSTANTANEOUSLY stops its propellers and falls where it was currently flying. When using a controller, pressing L1 and R1 buttons at the same time stops the propellers and the drone falls where it was currently flying. On the Skycontroller there is an emergency button having the same effect.
11. At the end of the mission:
- The drone comes back to the home point (where the drone is turned on) and lands automatically. When the drone touches the ground, it stops after some seconds.
- (MP) The drone does not land automatically but will hover few meters above the home point. Taking manual control at the end of the flight is necessary for landing.
Due to the GPS inaccuracy, the drone might land a few meters away from the starting point. If the drone is landing in a place where it should not land, activate the manual mode to land the drone.
(DJI) When the drone is landing, if the terrain is difficult and not flat, one can catch it from the bottom and hold it in a steady position. The propellers will turn off automatically after a few seconds.
|Step 4. Synchronize the mission⤴|
1. While the drone comes back and lands, the synchronization starts:
- Do not turn off the drone and/or the remote controller until the synchronization is completed.
- The app generates a .p4d project file that will be used later for processing with Pix4D Desktop. For more information: 202560819.
- The images are transferred from the drone's SD card (DJI) or internal memory (B2) to the device's memory.
2. (optional) Image synchronization can be aborted and restarted later. To abort synchronization, close the window. For more information: 204057579.
|Step 5. Upload and process on Pix4D Cloud⤴|
After being synchronized, the mission can be uploaded to Pix4D Cloud. The project is processed and the results can be visualized, shared, and downloaded to the computer.
1. Upload the mission. In the Home screen, tap Mission Manager, and select the project corresponding to the mission. For more information: 204057579.
2. An email is sent when the upload is finished and the processing is initiated.
3. Another email is sent when the processing is finished. Click the link in the email to reach the project page on Pix4D Cloud. For more information: 208278623.
|Step 6. Process locally with Pix4D Desktop⤴|
For advanced processing options and outputs, transfer the images and the .p4d file to a computer and use Pix4D Desktop. For more information: 214516203.