DrotagX for GeoTagging

I’ve recently been trying to use the DrotagX to geotag images for use in a search and rescue competition (Japan Innovation Challenge) but I’ve been unable to get it to trigger the camera shutter of a Sony A5000.

I’m wondering if anyone else has had success or failures with this device?

The way this device is meant to work (I think) is it connects to both the flight controller and the USB port of a Sony camera. It receives mavlink messages from the flight controller including the vehicle’s position and also DO_DIGICAM_CONTROL messages. It should trigger the camera if it receives a do-digicam-control message and then it records (on it’s own SD card I guess) the picture id and vehicle location. then later when the vehicle is switched into RTL or Land it directly writes the location to each picture using EXIF.

I’ve talked to two other ArduPilot developers. One reported that “it just worked” while another said they’d tried two other users to get it working and were not successful.

I’m also considering trying an alternative device called the AirPixel Entire in case people have experience with this alternative.

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Same issue with me with Sony RX100 mk2. Any updates on A5000 @rmackay9 ?

I recently installed the DrotagX on a drone. We trigger the camera by a separated Infra Red module like seagull or something, connected to an AUX output. I don’t know if the module is supposed being able to directly trigger the camera through the USB connector provided…
We have issue with it. It starts tagging and stop after just some pictures. Sometimes it tags only the longitude and not the latitude, etc… It is very strange and not reliable.

Ah, I forgot to give an update. In any case, I’ve been talking with the Drotag developers it’s working for me now at least on the bench. I hope to give it a test fly on a real vehicle in the coming few weeks.

There were two issues:

  • ArduPilot was sending commands to the Drotag using MAVlink2 when it shouldn’t have (PR to fix this issue). This fix will be released with Copter-4.0.0-rc3.
  • There were some other issues which I don’t fully understand that were fixed with a new version of the software from Drotag. I don’t know if they’ve published this software or not but I can check.

I’ve updated AP’s Drotag wiki page with some more details on setup and testing.

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There is another discussion over here on CubePilot re the Drotag. The issue discovered in the other forum is that the lat/lon sometimes appears as 0,0. I’d like to consolidate the discussion for this device here if possible because I don’t think it’s Cube specific.

I am Paulo, the main developer of DROTAGx. I leave here the link to the latest firmware release to be used by customers of Airborne Projects.
@Julien could you send me the pixhawk logs and the logs on the camera?

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Hi @ptsneves,

I do not have it. The DrotagX unit has been installed on a client drone, and i know he contacted you directly and sent back his unit to you for RMA (a french guy named Olivier B.)
After installing and setting up the drotagX on the client drone, we made quick tests with very small missions just to check if it works and results were good.
As i understood, when the the customer make normal/larger mission, some pictures are correctly tagged (15-20%), some of them are not tagged (70%) and some others are half tagged, sometimes with very crazy values.
He told me that you have been in contact with him about 1 month ago, but i had no news since this date.

Thanks for sharing the latest firmware and for the work you made with @rmackay9 to fix it.


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Thanks for this. I’ve asked another user, Chandrahas Singh who was struggling if he can post his log files here too.

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Is the firmware file still available? The link doesn’t seem to be working.

Kind Regards,


Good Evening All,

It seems like this module is no longer sold by the developers. Is there any other setup that can achieve the same outcome? We just need images triggered and geotagged in exif data - the crucial part is that the tagging needs to be done in real time. We start downloading and processing images as the aircraft is in flight.

Did you ever get the DrotagX to work correctly?
I am having an issue lately (previously it just worked) where I can only get a photo every 30 seconds. I have a sony a5000 & it is set to manual exposure. I am running 4.05 copter.
I flew a 8 minute test mission and out of 60 DO DIGICAM CONTROL commands it worked once.
Do you have any advice?