What is Headless Mode in a drone and what is it for?
Lately, several drones have come to the market with a so called “headless mode”, also known as CF (Care Free) and “headless”. The general consensus is that the headless mode makes the drone easier to fly and control, but there are still a large number of users who still do not know what it is for.
What is Headless Mode in a drone?
Before we begin to explain what the headless mode is, let’s first talk about how a drone or remote control works in a very brief way.
Anyone who has piloted a drone (or even remote control car) has had this experience: you want to send your drone to the left, but it goes to the right.
Like any vehicle, the drone has a front and a back. When you are looking at the back of your drone, the remote and the front of the drone are pointing in the same direction. When you pull the lever to the left, your drone goes to the left.
The problem arises when the front of the drone is facing you; the remote control and the front of the drone point in opposite directions. So, when you pull the joystick to the left, your drone goes to the right.
As the design of the drone is symmetrical it becomes difficult to distinguish which is the front and which is the rear end. To solve this problem, many drone manufacturers ship their drones with propellers in different colors; For example, blue propellers on the front and red on the back.
However, when the drone is at a certain distance, it is practically impossible to distinguish between the colors, which again causes the orientation problem. Some manufacturers put different colored LEDs on the drones that really help, however these lights are pretty ineffective in daylight, most of the time.
The Headless Mode is basically a function that allows the pilot to stop worrying about the orientation of the drone completely.
How does Headless mode work?
The operation of the headless mode is quite simple. The only prerequisite is that before taking off, you are required to position the drone in such a way that the front of it is in front of you as well.
When you take off with the drone pointing forward, algorithms within the drone’s micro-controller will ensure that any directional changes are compensated. In other words, even when you turn your drone 90 degrees to the left, it will still move forward when you push the stick forward (on a drone without the headless mode, this would make the drone go left).
Should I Buy a Drone With Headless Mode?
The headless mode can be a good function for anyone who has never piloted a drone before, or for those who want to fly for hobby and do not have time to train the conventional mode of flying it, or simply for those who have not been able to adapt to the “normal” mode.
If you’re using your drone in order to film something, the headless mode can be very useful. You do not have to worry about guidance and you can change the direction of your drone as you want to make a good video.
Now, if you plan to become a master of the drones, you need to practice with your drone in ‘regular’ mode. That’s because not all drones will come with headless mode, plus the normal mode allows absolute control of the drone, regardless of the position of the remote.
But if you’re just thinking of doing a test (and actually checking if that hobby suits you), the headless mode allows you a smooth entry into the world of cool drones.