Update (17 Jan 2022): DJI released SDK for Mini 2 and now Litchi and other third-party apps are adding support for follow me and active track for Mini 2. Read the article for details.
Drones are becoming more popular, and technology is improving rapidly. Many drones can now be used to follow you around using the Follow Me feature. This feature is not available on all drones. You might be curious if the DJI Mini 2 Follow Me mode exists.
The DJI Mini 2 doesn’t have the Follow Me mode like other DJI high-end drones. To keep it small, compact, and limit the weight to 250 grams, DJI has removed many sensors including ones used to enable the Follow Me mode.
The DJI Mavic Mini 2 does not have a Follow Me feature but it is still a really great starter drone. Especially with the take-off weight limited at 250grams, you don’t have to register it with the FAA and can fly out of the box.
In this article, we are going to learn 2 different ways to make the DJI Mini 2 follow you around like other high-end drones. It won’t be perfect but it will work alright.
Why DJI Mini 2 does not have Follow Me feature?
The Follow Me feature requires extra obstacle avoidance sensors to execute the function safely. Extra sensors mean extra weight.
So, to keep the drone under the FAA weight limit of 250 grams and exempt it from mandatory registration, the DJI design team has stripped away any hardware that is not a necessity to achieve the weight limit. This includes the much-needed obstacle avoidance sensors on the front and sides to safely enable the Follow Me mode.
The DJI Mini line has been stripped down to the extent that it lacks many features that could have been very useful. The DJI Mini 2 can still be used for other purposes.
Related read: Best DJI Mini 2 SD Cards
Even though they lack a Follow Me feature, these drones still function well. You will also learn that you can still use the drone to mimic the Follow Me feature but in a completely different way.
Apart from these complementary features, the drone is otherwise packed with features that make it an attractive option among beginner drone enthusiasts. I had written a complete review of Mavic Mini 2 when it came out.
1. DJI Mini 2 Follow Me Hack Using Litchi App
DJI recently released the Mini 2 SDK and Litchi and other third-party apps have been racing to add support for the Mini 2 and offer features that the official DJI Fly app lacks. This includes both follow me and active track feature.
The Litchi app Version 4.20.0 (released on January 20, 2022) is now offering a ton of additional features for the Mini 2 including the follow me, active track, and waypoints.
Using the Litchi App for follow me and the active track is quite easy. Just like you do in the DJI Fly App for other drones, you have to select the follow me or active track option inside the app, select your point of interest (POI), and then let the drone follow you around.
As we discussed above, the DJI Mini 2 does not have any obstacle avoidance sensors so make sure you do this in an open field with no trees or electricity polls around.
Here is a quick video demonstration for you from Hendrik
2. DJI Mini 2 Active Track Hack Using DJI Fly App
If you don’t want to buy a third party app, you can still memic the follow me mode using the stock DJI Fly App but its a little tricky.
You can get your Mini 2 following you around in a manner similar to the Follow Me function, but instead of using a GPS-enabled lock, you will be relying on image processing via quick shot mode.
Quick shot modes are preprogrammed flight paths that use image recognition similar to active track. You basically select a point of interest (POI) on the screen (it can be you, or your moving car) and let the drone fly around you in a fixed path.
To emulate the active track or follow me feature using quick shots, we are going to use the Circular motion quick shot mode.
To be able to use this, make sure you are in an open area without any trees or obstacles. Since the Mini 2 does not have obstacle avoidance sensors, it can crash if you try this in woods or other crowded spaces.
Another caveat is that you can only use this if you are moving in a straight line. Unlike the real active track/follow me feature found in high-end drones, this hacked method won’t work if you are moving in an irregular pattern. You have to keep walking or moving in a straight line to make this work.
To do this, go to your quick shot menu, select the circle mode, select yourself on the screen and select the direction of the circle in the same direction you are going to move.
Once you are ready, press the start button and start walking. Your drone will try to circle you but since you are moving forward, it will try to compensate again and again and move alongside you emulating a perfect follow me.
Here is a great video tutorial that explains it further:
DJI Mini Follow Me Hack Using Litchi App
If you have the older DJI Mini, you can also use the Litchi App to emulate a follow me.
Remember that this “follow” is based on image processing technology and is not using your phone’s GPS location to follow you. In essence, it works pretty similarly, but the underlying working principle is quite different.
To enable this, go to the Follow flight mode in the Litchi app and select FOLLOW from the list. The rest of the steps are pretty self-explanatory. You might need a clear area to avoid any collision since the Mini 1 does not have any obstacles avoidance either.
Also, the best results are achieved if you wear closed that have high contrast with your background so that the drone can easily track you around without confusing you with the background.
Watch this video to see how the Litchi app FOLLOW actually works and how effective it is.
It does attempt to mimic the Follow Me function, but it’s not exactly one. If you make a mistake or lose track of the drone, it will stop following and instead will make the circular motion it was intended to make. It is therefore very patience-intensive and requires a lot of trial-and-error.
If you are still not convinced and want to have the follow me feature for your adventures, you can consider buying the Mavic Air 2.
Although the Air 2 weighs slightly more than the Mini 2, the Follow Me feature is available, and it is nearly as small and light as the Mini 2. You will need to register your DJI Air 2 with the FAA to use it. This is the only cost you’ll have to make, other than paying more for a more expensive drone. The Mini 2 is smaller and lighter than the DJI Air 2. It’s a reasonable price for a drone with better specs and more features.
If you want to remain below the 250g weight limit and still want to have an actual GPS-based follow me feature, there is a new drone in town. The Autel Nano & Nano+ are sub 250g drones that have the follow me feature. I have written a short Autel Nano vs DJI Mini 2 article if you want to check it out as well.
DJI Mini 2 Follow Me mode – FAQs
What is Follow Me mode?
Follow me is a feature in high end drones that allows you to pick a moving point of interest like a moving person or cyclist and have the drone follow him around recording great aerial shots. It works by locking on to the remote controller’s GPS location.
How Follow Me mode works?
Most modern drones have onboard GPS that can help them accurately position themselves. When in the follow me mode, the drones locks on to your phone’s GPS location and when the phone moves (along with you), the drone moves as well and follow you around.
Follow Me vs. Active Track – difference?
Active Track & Follow Me are very similar features in terms of what they actually do. The difference is how they do it. While the Follow Me feature locks on to user’s phone GPS location and follow it around, Active track uses camera and image processing to lock on to moving objects.
Does the DJI Mini 2 Follow Me Mode Exist?
DJI Mini 2 follow me mode does not exist because it lacks the necessary sensor to safely execute the follow me feature. To keep it less than 250-gram threshold weight, some sensors are stripped away. However, if you want to take a little risk, you can use third party apps like Litchi to execute the feature.