Quick, easy and useful (at least, for me) question

Hi everyone, hope you are doing it all right these days.

I don’t use to ask question with no previous research, but as I am totally new in this world and there is a tones of electronic words, terms and info (english is not my language) I would rather like to seek for some help and save up time (and money), so please don’t get me wrong.

I will use a drone to take pictures in farming. I was thinking “connecting” the Pixhawk controller to computer, set the path (and all configuration that goes with it) to take pictures, release the drone, wait for it to do the job, get back and download the pictures. As far as I can see, no communication will be necessary between Pixhawk controller and computer during the trip.

My question is: is that possible? In that way, I won’t need to get a radio controller, nor “RC receiver and compatible transmitter” (shown as “required components” in QAV250, for example), right?

I need to know before buying, if what I buy is enough or if I am missing something. Is not that easy in my country to get stuff from outside, and if I make a mistake in my purchase I may get stuck for a couple of months, until I get following shipment.

Any help will be more than appreciate, really. And if you need further information, please let me know.

Thanks for you time and patience, Juan.

It is possible, yes, but there are a couple of reasons why it might be a bad idea:


  1. For first tests you will have to fly manually using some RC. If you start with autonomous missions with a new drone (prototype, not finished product) right from the start you’re likely to run into issues which require manual intervention.
  2. Now for later normal operation you might not really need RC, however, you might if anything goes wrong. Also, bear in mind that some regulations require you to be able to manually take over.


  1. For first tests you might need to do some tuning or adjust the settings so they fit for you. This is much easier with a telemetry connection to a ground station. Otherwise, you need to keep landing, adjust a param, and try again which will take way longer.
  2. For later operation, telemetry is the way to observe your vehicle and whether everything is going well. Without it you are essentially blind and it’s hard to see from the ground if everything is going as it should.

So, given that I would suggest to use a telemetry radio and RC for the first flights and tests until you learn more about the platform. Then, once you know more and have more confidence in the system you can rely less on it and decide what you don’t need.

Hi Julian, thanks for your prompt reply. I little detail I didn’t mention (as I figured out right after that post), is that I am gonna attach a Raspberry Pi to the drone (to process images in real time and based on results, say to Pixhawh what drone has to do next). So Raspberry Pi may work as communication bridge also. With not a lot of range, but enough at the beginning for me (guess I could improve that later)

Thanks again !!

1 Like