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While drones are mostly flown outdoors, there are times when you need to fly them indoors. This could be for fun, during a lockdown, when you don’t have time to go outdoors, or for professional work like Real Estate or Construction.
Now, there are drones designed to fly indoors, but what if you already have or are planning to buy the DJI Mini 2?
Can the DJI Mini 2 fly indoors?
Yes, it can, but there are limitations. For one thing, you will not have access to GPS. Also, the DJI Mini 2 lacks obstacle avoidance, and the vision sensors aren’t always reliable. This makes indoor flights with the DJI Mini 2 very risky.
Please keep reading to learn more about flying the DJI Mini 2 indoors, some tips on doing it right, and some suggested drone models if you are serious about indoor flight.
Can the DJI Mini 2 fly indoors? #
You can fly the DJI Mini 2 indoors, but you need to be careful since this drone isn’t exactly designed to fly indoors
For starters, the DJI Mini 2 relies on GPS for hovering and navigation. When indoors, you may not be able to connect to enough satellites.
If you can get a few, you will be good to go, but in most cases, you will have to fly without GPS. The only mechanism the drone can resort to when there’s no GPS is Vision sensors which can help the drone maintain an altitude, but you will notice a slight drift.
Besides, these vision sensors depend on light to “see” since they are meant to help the drone detect the ground when landing and to hover close to the ground.
But if there isn’t much light, or you are not very close to the ground, these sensors won’t see, and the drift will be even more pronounced.
Secondly, this drone lacks obstacle avoidance sensors. When indoors, there are so many things you could bump into, from walls, furniture, electronics, and people.
There are times when you will not have enough time to react and end up crashing and damaging your drone or other items.
Another issue with flying indoors is the electromagnetic interference caused by metallic objects and electronics, which may lead to a poor or lost connection between the drone and the controller.
And since hovering isn’t that good indoors, the drone may drift and crash into something when there’s no connection with the controller.
How to fly the DJI Mini 2 indoors #
Now that you know the limitations of flying the DJI Mini 2 indoors, let’s see how you can do it safely.
Calibrate your drone #
Since you will be flying in a new environment, the drone may prompt you to calibrate the compass. And if it doesn’t give you the prompt, it’s always good to calibrate it, especially if it’s been awhile since you last calibrated.
Below is a step-by-step process to calibrate your drone:
- With the drone connected to the controller, go to the DJI Fly App and tap on the three dots in the top right corner.
- Under Safety, scroll down until you see Compass Normal.
- Tap on the “Calibrate” button.
- On the screen that appears, tap START.
- You will get a prompt to rotate the drone 360 degrees horizontally. Hold the drone horizontally, and rotate it as guided. The best way to do it is to hold the drone and walk like you are going around it.
- Once you are done, you will be prompted to rotate the drone vertically. Hold the drone with the camera facing up, and walk like you are walking around it as you did with the horizontal rotation.
- And that’s it. Your drone compass is calibrated.
For the IMU, follow the following steps.
- Go to Safety through the three dots at the top right corner.
- Scroll down to IMU and press Calibrate.
- Follow the prompts on the screen, which involve placing the drone on a flat surface in different orientations.
Use propeller guards #
As I mentioned earlier, the DJI Mini 2 lacks obstacle avoidance, and it may occasionally drift when flying indoors.
To keep the drone’s propellers safe, invest in some propeller guards.
The DJI Mini 2 propellers and arms are quite delicate, and considering they are rotating at high speeds, they will always get damaged if the drone crashes.
Propeller guards not only keep your drone safe but also minimize the damage caused to your walls, furniture, electronics, or even injuries to people who may be around.
Scan the area you will be flying in #
It’s good to know the room you will be flying in. What objects are in the room? What are the walls made of? How much space is available to fly in?
It’s also always good to select the biggest room in the house and clear out everything that may interfere with your flight. WiFi often causes some interference, so you may have to turn it off too.
When selecting a room, also go for a room that’s well-lit. As I mentioned earlier, the vision sensors will not work as expected in poorly lit areas.
Use the “Hover” safety feature #
The DJI Mini 2 has three safety features in case the signal is lost; Return to Home, Hover, and Descend. When flying outdoors, Return to Home is the ideal feature.
But when indoors, you don’t have GPS, so the drone will not have a location to return to.
You may also realize that in RTH, the drone may ascend to a higher altitude and end up crashing into your ceiling. The same would happen if you chose Descend as your safety feature.
But as long as there’s enough light, or you were lucky enough to get some satellites, Hover is your best bet.
Always use manual mode #
When flying indoors, don’t rely on automatic take-off, landing, and other automatic features like RTH since they may not work as expected.
Practice flying manually so you have control of the altitude, landing area, and safety in case of an emergency.
Suppose you have been asked to fly indoors for a project and want to bring your Mini 2.
Practice ahead to know how your drone will react in such a situation and decide if you will use it or get another drone. You can replicate where you will be flying by arranging stuff in your house or in a hallway.
The best drone for indoor flight #
If you are flying indoors because of a lockdown or winter, or you have no time to go outdoors, then you don’t have to get a new drone.
But if you do it professionally and think you will be doing indoor flights often, it’s better to go for a drone designed for that.
And my favorite currently is the DJI Avata, a Cinewhoop-like drone that’s the newest DJI FPV drone on the market.
» MORE: DJI Avata: Hands-on Review (From an FPV Beginner)
It’s small, not as wide as the DJI Mini 2, and comes with inbuilt propeller guards.
Being an FPV drone, you have access to a fully manual mode, and the drone lacks several automatic features that may not work so well when flying indoors.
The FPV goggles and motion controller are also a nice touch, giving you a perfect immersive experience. And to crown it all, the 4K at 60fps resolution is good enough to create high-quality videos.
Can the DJI Mini 2 fly indoors? Yes, it can. But should you fly it indoors? I don’t think the risks involved make it worth it.
You can do it occasionally, using the tips given in this post, but you risk damaging your drone in case of a lost connection.
If you want to fly indoors professionally, consider a cinewhoop like the DJI Avata or a custom-built one.