So what is driving this Air Drone Craze you ask, In a word “Technology” that has taken the popular hobby of rc aircraft to new heights …literally.
Company’s are now looking to take advantage of the lower cost in recent advances and create a whole new industry of flying robots.
It involves the development of remote controlled drones with cameras to perform a multitude of task more efficiently than current methods and in particular, aerial photography with some amazing results.
Whether you’re interested in aviation, electronics, photography, or just feeling like a kid again, drones offer you a lot of ways to have fun.
If your a beginner, you probably have a few questions. Here are some helpful Drone Resources to use.
- How to fly a drone
- Terms associated with drones
- Rules pertaining to flying a drone
- Registering your drone
What is a Drone?
The term Drone can be used to describe all unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) equipped with a camera or other information gathering devices. Able to send real time data back to the pilot and have the ability to perform certain task.
Basically a “drone” is a flying robot that can fly autonomously. Equipped with devices for gathering information and operate with on board sensors to help stabilize flight. All being controlled from a remote location.
What can I do with a Drone?
Flying drones can be very rewarding, spend some quality time outdoors and learn a new hobby. You can fly by yourself or with friends. You can free fly and learn to do different stunts with your quadcopter.
By far the real payoff for most hobbyist is the pictures and video captured from heights that allow you an impressive bird’s-eye view of the world.
New drones come with 4K Cameras mounted on 3 axis gimbals that can take your home videos to the next level.
Many people have discovered they are great to take with them on vacation to capture special moments and scenic places with family and friends.
They can be used to do routine checks for things like roof damage on your home, garage or shed where a ladder would normally be required.
Some Quadcopters offer First-Person View (FPV) by sending a live feed back to the drones control mounted monitor or to a smart phone were you see from the drones perspective…… very cool!
The new sport of Drone Racing is fast becoming a mainstream attraction with racing leagues popping up all over.
You don’t have to be a professional to enjoy this sport, with the right equipment, you can take on competitors in local races with a ready to fly quadcopter and some FPV goggles.
You will be amazed with the totally immersive experience once you get the hang of it.
What kind of drone are you looking for?
For anyone interested in taking to the skies, the only challenge is deciding which drone to buy.
The market is constantly adding new models. Drones built with a specific purpose in mind, like Selfie Drones that are easy to carry and come with software that makes it easy to share you pics and video on social media.
Racing Drones has become so popular, Now Drone Manufacturers have got on board with ready to fly models that any novice with some experience can buy and have some real flying fun. What started as a garage builds by hobbyist, has now developed into a full fledged sport.
With 5 different types of consumer drones on the market, deciding which drone to buy can be a challenge for anyone interested in taking to the skies. This includes everyone from novice flyers to professional aerial photographers.
What Can I Expect to Spend ?
Since you’re looking for the best drone possible for your money. This will depend entirely on your budget and skill level. For most beginners, just learning how to fly, you can get a small, cheap drone for under 50 bucks.
For something a little bigger, that’s more stable outdoors and includes some of the latest features, you can get a great hobby drone for under 300 bucks.
If you want a drone for aerial photography that’s easy to use, then you will need to spend at least 500 dollars or more to get a solid model that’s stable in flight with an excellent integrated camera.
You should also budget for a couple of sets of propellers and a extra battery or two, along with some rechargeable AA batteries as most controllers take four of them.
What Are Some Of The Latest Features On Consumer Drones?
There are some very useful features that you should look for in your new drone. The 3 most popular features on beginner drones are:
- Headless Mode: Intended for beginner pilots, using this mode means the drone will always travel forward, backward, left or right when moving your remote’s stick in those directions, regardless of which way the front of the drone is pointed.
- Altitude Hold: The pilot will be able to set the drone to steadily hover in the same place in air. Allowing the pilot to focus on the shot.
- One Key Return or Return to Home: A safety feature that allows the drone to autonomously fly back to the pilot’s location or starting point. This feature works great in situations when you lose sight or control of the aircraft.
There are a lot of different features and flying modes available, but most of them are usually reserved for more expensive drones.
Still, if you’re a beginner and your have the money, it might be better to consider buying a drone that offers some of these automatic features.
- Automatic Landing and Taking Off: With the push of a button the drone will take off and hover in the air, push the other button it will land by itself. No need for pilot’s input.
- Follow Me Mode: A feature that allows a drone to automatically follow a subject, typically using a GPS signal from a mobile device, remote control or attached tracker.
- Automatic Flight: Only found on higher priced drones. Via GPS satellite the drone is able to automatically fly pre-programmed flights by the pilot.
What are some of the benefits to this Air Drone Craze?
Drones have had a lot of technological innovation over the last couple years. They can be equipped with different cameras and sensors that allow them to be used in many different fields.
There are many applications already being used for instance, they are helping emergency services personnel conduct search and rescue missions, farmers are finding them quite handy for agricultural management and conservationist are using them in an effort to reduce poaching and tract wildlife populations.
They are becoming very popular for uses known as the four Ds: Dull, Dirty, Dangerous and Difficult task, their small size and stability allow them to be maneuvered into places where it isn’t practical or safe to put a person.
One of my favorite uses is that of infrastructure inspections, this includes Roads, Bridges, cell towers, power and pipeline inspections just to name a few.
Here’s a great example, There are roughly 4 million miles of highways crisscrossing the United States. Using drones for inspecting roads and bridges would help keep the highways safe. As solar and wind power become more popular, Drones are the perfect solution for inspecting these structures.
Want to know more about how Drones are being used, See the Top 12 non-military uses for Drones.
A New World of Opportunities …
In the not to distant future, the skies may be filled with smart Drones. A lot of them will be small business owners using Drones to offer Aerial Photography and data collection services. Others include journalists, police departments, disaster rescue teams, scientists, real estate agents and large corporations that want to use drones for a particular task.
There is an amazing amount of interest in using Drones for commercial purposes, Funding for start-ups in the drone space is growing and more will be contributed in the coming years.
With major corporations like Facebook and Google among others, investing millions of dollars into drone technology. All in an effort to make these Flying Robots smarter and safer, it only confirms one thing:
Drones are more than just toys, they’re Tools of the Future.