Litchi App For DJI Drones

​Litchi is an app for DJI drones that ​can be very useful for automating flight paths. Often touted as a replacement for the DJI GO 4 app, I prefer to think of it as a supplement to that software. Both apps are good and both will have ​their place in my flying.

While the Litchi app can be used for manual flying, it's real strength is in the automation. It's several flight modes are able to command the drone without input from the operator - even if the connection to the remote is lost.

This post is just an ​overview the Litchi app. I will be posting more in depth looks at the various feature and how they work in the future.

​Flight Modes

​You can choose from six flight modes in Litchi as shown in the image below. ​Most modes have several variations and many options so there are an almost unlimited number of ways to get the results you want from each flight.

Credit goes to the Litchi help page for the descriptions below. I have taken the liberty to edit some of them for brevity.

Litchi Flight Modes

​FPV Mode

​FPV mode is the default flight mode and allows manual flight of the UAV. When you enter this mode there are several options available.

  • Auto TakeOff/Land: Use this to perform an automatic take off, Return to Home or landing. 
  • Home Lock: When enabled, moving the right joystick down will bring the aircraft back to the home point regardless of its current heading.
  • Course Lock: When enabled, moving the right joystick up/down ​will move the aircraft forward/backward in the direction defined by its heading at the time Course Lock was enabled.
  • VR Mode: Enter VR mode using this button. No special ​headset required. VR mode works with Google Cardboard and most other inexpensive VR ​viewers.
  • Share Video Stream: Tap to share your video stream. On Android and iOS, you can share it to Facebook Live. On iOS you can also share the video stream to a second mobile device running the Litchi Vue app.
  • Tripod Mode: ​In Tripod mode, the maximum speed is limited to 2.2mph (3.6kph). Responsiveness to joystick movements is​ reduced for smoother and more controlled movements.​

​Waypoint Mode

​Litchi's Waypoint mode allows you to setup waypoint missions as well pre-program advanced camera moves such as ​video tours and Cable Cams. Waypoints were the reason I first wanted to try Litchi.

​​Place multiple waypoints on ​the map ​view and the ​drone will fly from waypoint to waypoint and complete the mission even if the remote signal is lost. 

Waypoint missions can be planned without the drone connected. That saves battery and allows you to plan the flight before you even leave home! The Litchi website Mission Hub also let's you plan missions on your desktop or laptop.

​The overall mission and each waypoint can have many options set to get exactly the results you want from the flight.

This flight mode deserves a post of it's own. There are just too many options to go into them all in this​ short introduction to Litchi.

Waypoint Screen

​Image From Litchi Website

​Orbit Mode

​The orbit mode will fly the drone in a circle around a point of interest. The radius, altitude, speed and gimbal view are user ​configurable and can be changed during flight by using the joysticks and gimbal control.

Because the pilot has so much control during flight, this is a very flexible flight mode. I will certainly do a full post about orbit.

Here are the settings and options:

  • Altitude: The altitude at which the aircraft should orbit. Can be changed in real-time using the left joystick up/down.
  • Radius: The distance ​the aircraft should orbit​ around the point of interest. The circle can be changed during flight by using the joystick​. Push the right joystick up to reduce the radius, or push it down to increase the radius.
  • Speed: The speed at which the aircraft ​will orbit set in degrees per second. The maximum ​speed will vary depending on the ​radius. For control in flight, push the right joystick to the right to increase the clockwise speed, push it to the left to increase the anti-clockwise speed.
  • Entry Point: The point on the circle where the aircraft will start orbiting.
  • Heading Mode: Defines the orientation of the aircraft while orbiting. Can be set to "Center", "Along the circle (Forward)", "Along the circle (Backward)", "Outwards" or "User Controlled (Manual)". The heading can be changed in real-time using the left joystick. Push the joystick to the left to turn left, and to the right to turn right.
  • Direction Of Rotation: Defines the orbit direction, clockwise or anti-clockwise.
  • Gimbal Control: When set to auto, causes the gimbal to point at the orbit center automatically. If the option is set to manual, the user ​can control the gimbal manually.
  • Subject Height: The height of the orbit subject that the camera should point at. If Gimbal Control is set to auto, ​the  gimbal wheel can be ​used to adjust to subject height during an Orbit session

​Pano Mode

​Panorama mode has options for auto or ​user defined panoramic photos. They can be shot horizontally, vertically or spherical.

User defined panoramas allow the operator to set every aspect of the shot including width in degrees, height, linear or spherical, nadirs (bottom shots), columns, rows and more.

The ​panoramas can be stitched in the app after the flight ends so aircraft battery isn't used while stitching.

​Focus Mode

​Focus mode allows you to easily keep a ​point of interest or the mobile device in the video frame while flying the aircraft manually.

The aircraft rotation (yaw) and gimbal p