11 Things Tello Drone Owners Should Know

Tello is a quadcopter UAV drone presented by the Chinese company Ryze Robotics in cooperation with DJI. It’s a budget-friendly drone combining DJI’s flight technology and targeting the STEM community.

Tello drone is mainly aimed at the younger audience. It’s the perfect drone for training new pilots rather than professional aerial photography. With lower cost, the tello drone has some special aspects in addition to the basic DJI flight features.

Whether you’re a tello drone owner or are planning on purchasing one, you might have different questions about the tello drone’s various aspects. After research on everything about tello drones, here are 11 things you, my tello drone owners (pun intended), should know.

How much does the Tello drone weigh?

The Tello drone weighs 80 grams with its propellers and battery included. When the propeller guards are installed on the drone, its weight rises to 89 grams. This makes it lighter than even the smallest DJI drone, the Mavic Mini, which weighs 249 grams. 

Its compact weight and small build make it a great drone for easy traveling and casual fun. However, the tello drone can only carry a payload weighing 70 grams, which is low compared to even the smallest hobby drones that can carry up to 140 grams.

How long is Tello’s Battery Life?

The tello drone has a maximum flight time of 13 minutes. However, that is the flight time you’ll get when the drone is merely hovering in the air. During an actual flight, the tello drone has an average battery life of 8 – 10 minutes.

The good news is you can still squeeze out that promised 13 minutes of flight time. As with other drones, you have different ways to increase the battery life of the tello:

  • Remove the propeller guards: tello drones come with propeller guards. Since the flight time of a drone is affected by its weight, removing extra items such as the propeller guards from the tello drone increases the battery life by 2-3 minutes. 
  • buy a spare battery: spare batteries specifically made for Tello are easily available for around $20 each in the DJI store and they are easy to mount. You should note here, that the batteries are not hot-swappable and you may lose progress if you try to do so. The battery charges in the aircraft via USB, but you can purchase 4-battery charging hubs for the extra batteries.

The Tello drone has a low battery protection feature – an alert goes off when your battery gets low and the drone lands automatically when the battery is about to die.

How can you tell your Tello is fully charged?

Light Indicator at the head of the aircraftTello Drone’s state
Blue slowly blinking light – once per every secondBattery charging
Blue solid lightFully charged battery
Blue rapidly blinking lightError with charging process

On average, it takes Tello 1 and a half hours (90 minutes) to fully charge. Tello battery is charged in the aircraft via USB by connecting the micro USB port to a charger

Does Tello have an SD card slot?

Due to Tello drone’s small and compact size, it has no slot for a memory card. Therefore both videos and images captured during the flight are transmitted and stored on your phone or tablet through the Tello app.

For Android devices, Tello stores images and videos directly to the phone. The files are available in two folders called “Tello Photo” and “Tello Video.” On the other hand, for IOS devices, it stores footage to the Tello application. In the Tello app, touch the “Play” button (Circle with a triangle in it). Your photos and videos are found there, but the files can still be transferred from the app to your phone. According to the online manual: you need to view your photos and videos in Tello and transfer them to your device before shutting down the aircraft.

Not all phones and tablets are compatible with the tello drone. Only IOS devices with version 9.0 or higher and Android devices with version 4.4.0 or higher are verified for use by the manufacturer.

Does Tello have Follow Me mode?

The Ryze Tello drone does not have the Follow Me mode. Due to its tiny size, Tello lacks facets such as this and a few others. You can however use the TelloMe application for the Follow Me and Active Track features. The application is only $4.99 on Google Playstore. 

TelloMe makes Tello drones follow a face/person (or a small group of people). With this app feature, Tello can rotate to follow, or stay at a position recording a walking person from the side, or ahead. Furthermore, the Tello drone can keep a constant distance, and adjust the altitude to keep the object in view. this is unreadble

Computer vision requires image stabilization so calm weather is required. Even little wind affects tracking ability as Tello reacts differently upwind vs downwind. unreadable

In addition to the FollowMe mode, there are two more flight modes:

Orbit: the tello drone flies in a circle around a person, which also works while walking slowly. Orbiting also works for the front part of a face (but will stop once the face is no longer visible).

Manual: Tello stays focused on the object. You can fly around using one on-screen joystick for pitch & roll. TelloMe takes care of yaw & throttle to keep the face/person in view.

Does Tello need Wi-Fi?

The Tello drone does not necessarily need Wi-Fi. Bluetooth is sufficient for connection if you’re using a customized controller. Even so, the Tello drone uses WIFI technology. It means, on startup, Tello configures itself as a Wireless Access Point, allowing our smartphone device to connect directly with the drone. more than 330 characters and not clear

The direct Wi-Fi connection between the tello drone and your smartphone has very poor range, making it a weak connection. This highly affects your view of where you’re flying your drone and disrupts the quality of images and videos recorded by the drone. This limits your drone flight experience, but don’t throw away your tello yet, because it has a solution.

You can easily extend your Wi-Fi range by using a USB Wi-Fi repeater with a built-in amplifier. A Wi-Fi repeater receives a signal from your connected Wi-Fi router and amplifies that signal in strength, quality, and range. There are various Wi-Fi extenders out there, but the one that takes the crown is the Xiaomi Wi-Fi extender. The setup steps are a bit complicated, so you can use the video below as a guide.

Does Tello need FAA Registration?

Currently, the Ryze Tello drone isn’t required for the Tello to be registered by the FAA. The FAA governs drone registration rules based on the aircraft’s weight, and the Tello drone, with only 80 grams weight, falls below the required weight for registration, which is above 250 grams. great answer

It is highly unlikely that Tello will be required for FAA registration in the future either. The small size and weight of the aircraft pose little to no threat to other aircraft and even if it did, it can’t fly that high. However, if you still want to register your tello drone, you can for $5 here.

How high can Tello fly?

The altitude limit for the tello drone is 30 meters (100 feet). Upon the drone’s initial release, Ryze had set the altitude limit to only 10 meters, but after a firmware update, a new setting was added. The new feature grants the user to set the altitude limit from 2 up to 30 meters. the answer should come first.

Before the firmware update, consumers used the TALS altitude limiter application, but you have no need for that now. You can set the altitude limit between 2 to 30 meters by only using the Tello app.

Sure, you can fly your tello up to 30 meters altitude, but should you do that? There is a reason Ryze put the 10 meters limit in the first place. There is a high probability of losing control since VPS failure and wireless interference will most likely come into play at 30 meters altitude. Using a Wi-Fi repeater is a must when you fly tello that high to prevent losing control of it. 

The low wind resistance of the tello makes it highly susceptible to being blown away at that altitude. And Tello drone’s lack of GPS presents a big problem because a gust of wind pulls the drone along, then there is no way it can come back on its own. The propeller guards help the drone shield itself against the wind, but it decreases your flight time by no less than 2 minutes. But to be on the safe side, it’s better to fly your tello when there’s little to no wind.

Are Tello drones programmable – How?

The Ryze Tello drone is programmable. Furthermore, Tello has another version called Tello EDU. With its advanced commands and increased data interference, the TelloEDU drone is dedicated to making programming a fun activity for youngsters with programming languages such as Scratch, Swift, and Python. The Tello EDU drone has various impressive programming features: rework this

  • Beginner programming – Tello EDU supports block programming for beginners
  • Drone Swarm – controlling multiple aircraft using only one device. The maximum number of drones for this feature is 4 aircraft.
  • Advanced programming 
  • Tello Space Travel – this feature teaches you how to use the Swift programming language to code on your iPad while following a storyline. This space adventure is available via the Swift Playgrounds app.

Scratch is the best programming language for programming your Tello drone. Scratch is computer programming software that was developed at MIT and is easy to use. Here are the general steps on how you can program your Tello EDU:

  • Download needed features: you need to download and install Scratch, which is free. It’s recommended for you to download the Scratch offline editor. The next program you need to download is Node, which is a command prompt program and completely free. The “recommended for most users” is the best version to use. The Tello files needed to run the code from scratch must be downloaded as well.
  • Node – Open the node program and find the downloaded files. To access the current location, you need to open Node, type cd downloads, hit enter, type cd scratch, and hit enter. Then type: node tello.js. You’ll see the program run.
  • Scratch – open the installed scratch on your computer. Hover your mouse over File on the toolbar and press Shift. At the bottom of the menu, you’ll see Import Experimental HTTP Extension. Click on that. Then you’ll open your Tello.s2e file that you downloaded in the scratch folder. The tello command appears in the More Block section.
  • Connect the tello drone Wi-Fi with your computer
  • Fly and do some tricks – drag and drop the commands you want the Tello to perform from the More Block section on the open box on the right. Now you’re set to code your drone within Scratch.

For a more in-depth and elaborate explanation, you can check out the video down below…

Is Tello waterproof?

Tello is not waterproof nor water-resistant. It may tolerate a little splash of water, but it’s better not to risk it. In addition, you can’t fly your tello drone over a water body either. 

Tello lacks GPS and compass, therefore it uses a belly camera facing downwards and a sophisticated algorithm to locate itself and find its course, allowing distance measurement and RTH emergency maneuver into third-party apps, like Tello FPV. Unfortunately, Optical Flow fails when flying above a patterned or moving body like grass or water, and the drone crashes. Despite this, some people had managed to fly over water bodies. The trick is choosing a flight path carefully by finding calm, shallow water or islands, rocks, dams, and every fixed reference (not floating objects) you can find. Any fixed object is enough for the belly camera to recognize its location.

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