what is headless mode on a drone

What Is Headless Mode On A Drone?

If you’ve ever flown a drone, you probably know that getting its orientation right is quite a challenge. With so much movements happening as it glides through the air, anticipating where it’s facing is a near impossible task to accomplish. Not only is this annoying, but at times, it can also lead to accidents and cause serious injuries.


Thankfully, UAV manufacturers heard our qualms and did something about it. What started out as a high-end feature for expensive models, quickly turned into a non-negotiable for all. Even those $100 entry-level options already have this component built-in and working smoothly.

Still, I know a lot of users who find utilizing a headless mode drone quite confusing, which is completely reasonable because it is still a fairly new technology on the market. In order to shed more light on this issue, I’ll be dedicating this article on discussing what is a headless mode on a drone, how it works, and why it should be a constant fixture on all remote-controlled devices.

If you’re interested in learning more about this topic, I invite you to read further. Hopefully, we can all learn something new from this.

Basic Description

Before we even get into the nitty-gritty of this subject, let’s first get on the same page by properly defining what exactly this is.

Basically, a headless drone mode is a UAV’s ability to align its movements to the actions on the remote. This means that where it was originally facing won’t be a big deal; when you instruct it to move forward, backward, or to the sides, it will do just that.  

headless mode

Having this capability streamlines the entire flying process, especially for aerial vehicles without an incorporated monitor. All you’ll really need to focus on are the surrounding obstructions and not crashing in to them because predicting the movements are a lot easier.

How To Activate It?

Initializing this feature is as easy as a press of a button – literally.

On your controller, there is a switch, usually found in the middle, which instantly activates the drone headless mode. However, not all models allow you to do this mid-flight. There are some that requires you to turn it on before firing up the drone’s engines. It’s important that you know each of their differences and which one your own drone operates under.

Whichever the case, remember to inspect what mode it’s on before flying it around. Otherwise, it may be counterproductive and end up disorienting you in the process.

If you’re a beginner still figuring this out, try controlling it at a slower pace first, before gradually increasing the speed when you’re feeling more confident. This should help you get the hang of things and truly mastering this very practical tool.

Is This Really Necessary?

Many people have asked me whether I think a drone headless mode is really a necessity. Honestly, your UAV will work fine without it; but for a few extra bucks, why wouldn’t you want to have an insurance policy? Most importantly, don’t you want to lessen the risk of damage or injury?

Despite being only slightly more expensive, I believe that this function is more of a need than an add-on. Not only does it give you an added veil of protection, but it also greatly lessens the chances of your bird flying out in the abyss and crashing into a million pieces. Having this around simplifies the entire flying process.

 drone headless mode

Instead of looking at this as an added expenditure; consider it a good investment. The peace of mind, added security, and user-friendliness that you’ll be getting from this purchase is truly invaluable. Having this around would even potentially save you a ton of time and money on hospital bills or repairs.

Therefore, whether you’re a first-time user or a more advanced user, the headless mode drone plays the same role – it makes your life easier.

General Price Range

As I’ve said above, unmanned aerial devices with this setting are more expensive than those without, but not by a significant amount. Buying one should cost you anywhere from $20 all the way to a couple thousand dollars. Of course, this will greatly depend on the specs included, as well as how advanced the drone headless mode is.

For the sake of comparison, here is a short description of each. Cheaper options usually only come with the basic orientation and alignment utilities, while more luxurious ones have a return to home control, high-tech video camera with screen, and a better-developed gyroscope. These are included to complement that function perfectly.

Choosing which one to procure will greatly depend on what you need it for and who’ll be using it. For children and beginners, a rudimentary one should suffice; while professionals and true enthusiasts of the sports will want to invest in a more cutting-edge selection. My tip would be to first consider what qualities you want it to possess, set a semi-firm budget, and start finding options. This way, you’re able to find the best choice for you, while also maximizing your spending power.

Who Will Benefit From This

While this is a greatly practical and widely popular tool to have, a good chunk of UAV aficionados will insist you learn how to fly the right way. Despite their belief, which is quite understandable, there are still a number of people that will benefit having this around. Here’s a quick run-through of each.

1. Kids

Young children, who are most probably trying this out for the first time, are those that will benefit most from having this feature. Off the bat, they’ll be able to manage the gadget more easily, while reducing the risk of any untoward accidents. Additionally, this is a practical starting point because as they get more acclimated to the controls, they can better determine whether to pursue this hobby further or not.

2. Professional Photographers and Videographers

A group of people that has greatly benefited with the rise of the headless mode drone is the cinematography industry. Utilizing this technology has helped them to capture breathtaking scenes and vivid shots from a truly remarkable vantage point. In the past, they would need to ask someone to perch up on a scaffolding just to take a good aerial shot but now, a better-controlled drone can handily do this.

headless mode for photographers

Having his headless features not only gives them better authority over the device, but it also allows them to focus on the artistic side of the job, which in itself is already extremely difficult. As a result, they have more room to enhance their creativity.

3. Agricultural Specialists

Nowadays, drones are also used on the planting fields as a farming tool. They’re chiefly utilized to roll out seeds or fertilizer across a vast space. However, there are times when only a portion of that lands needs to be doused. In these cases, having a headless feature is superbly advantageous.

agricultural specialists

Using this gives you better jurisdiction to direct the instrument in the way that you want, instead of gliding all over the place. In the end, you should be getting better results and your crops should be sprouting in no time!

4. People Transporting Goods

It’s still weird to think that UAVs were once used solely for military warfare because at present, they aid humanitarian relief operations. There are times when it would safer to send aerial objects that bring supplies to far-flung areas instead of people. Given the added weight and normally inclement weather, not to mention the added obstructions, having perfect control and the right orientation is crucial.

5. National Security and Surveillance

Similar to the last point, drones are also being employed to serve as spies or utensils for investigation. Since being inconspicuous is a must, knowing what or how you are facing something is equally important. After all, you don’t want your target to notice you before you see it!

Conclusion:

To answer what is a headless mode on a drone, this is an integral feature that should be found on any UAV. Not only does it help you control it better and reduce the risk of any unfortunate incidents, but you also get to focus on your main purpose – whether its having fun, capturing footage, mobilizing goods, or any similar act.

Many people may look down on this function and those who use it, but I’ve never seen it as a shortcut for anything. It provides a great introduction into the world of unmanned aerial vehicles and teaches you the basics as a novice. Ultimately, this setting sets a solid groundwork for future ventures in this sport.

This may be slightly more costly than regular models, but I believe that the increase is warranted since you can’t really put a price on safety and security. This feeling of peace is something truly invaluable and essentially what you are paying for with this included.

Learn more about the headless mode drone by watching this short video.

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