Although drones were originally developed for aerospace and military industries, they have got their way into the mainstream due to their advanced features and enhanced efficiency. Nowadays, professional videographers and photographers are at the forefront of the use of drones. So, what is a drone?
A drone, also known as an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), is essentially a flying robot controlled remotely. The systems that work in conjunction with GPS and onboard sensors play a significant role when flying a drone. The applications of drones range from photography to sporting activities.
In addition to the definition, there is more that you should know about drones. It would be easy for you to make the right decisions regarding drones when well-equipped with extensive knowledge of drones.
What is the Main Purpose of a Drone?
While drones have a wide range of uses, the primary purposes of drones are surveillance, photography, and videography. Professional videographers with a vision to thrive in the industry always invest in the best drones. In addition to aerial photography, drone technology has a plethora of stunning applications, which includes;
- Shipping and delivery
- Geographic mapping
- Disaster management
- Precision agriculture
- Search and rescue
- Wildlife monitoring
- Law enforcement
- Sports aerial coverage
- Surveillance and monitoring
- As a hobby
What are the Different Types of Drones?
Classification of drones can be pretty tricky since there are different models with different sizes, features, and prices. One of the most common ways of classifying drones is based on size.
Nano and Mini Drones
These are the smallest types of drones on the planet. They can be divided into two classes; Nano and Mini drones. The Nano drones are the smallest, with dimensions similar to an insect. On the other hand, the Mini drones can have dimensions of up to 50 cm in length, and they boast more advanced features than the Nano drones. These types of drones are ideal for spying and surveillance due to their small size and maneuverability.
Small Size Drones
The drones that fall under this category have a dimension ranging between 50 cm and 2m. Since they do not have powerful motors, they require to be thrown into the air to start flying. These are pretty popular due to their excellent features and affordability compared to the bigger drones. Additionally, the flight time of these drones ranges between 20 and 40 minutes. You may find this category outstanding if you need affordable drones for your hobby.
Medium Size Drones
All the drones with a wingspan between 5 and 10 M are under this category. Notably, these drones carry up to 200Kg, which implies that they have powerful motors. Further, it is imperative to note that a single person cannot fly these drones, making them less convenient for ordinary people. The flying time for these drones can be as long as 6 hours. Amazon uses these types of drones for delivery sizes.
Drones with a wingspan bigger than 10M fall in this category. In other words, these drones have dimensions similar to that of a small aircraft, and the military uses them often. Civilians do not have access to these drones because they are considered aircraft. Moreover, most of them are equipped with weapons, including missiles and bombs. They are primarily used in hostile environments where sending a human pilot is considered risky.
However, these categories face lots of moral and political concerns since they remove people from the consequences of their actions. Consequently, carelessness and collateral damage are likely to be high. It is also good to note that these drones can be categorized as short-range models, medium-range models, and drones with the longest radius.
Besides the classification based on size, another common classification is generally based on the features and designs. In this mode of drone classification, drones can be categorized as multi-rotor, fixed-wing, single-rotor helicopters, and fixed-wing hybrid VTOL drones.
The multi-rotor drones are quite famous, and you have probably seen them in your local park. One of the identifying features of these drones is the several fans above their compact body. The several propellers create a lift and provide precise control to the pilot. Additionally, their small size and maneuverability make them ideal for aerial photography.
Having more rotors on these drones may not be convenient because it makes it more complex to learn and control the drone. It is imperative to understand that all those moving parts consume power, hence contributing to the batteries' draining.
The fixed-wing planes look like convectional planes requiring a catapult or a runway to launch. The advantages associated with these types of drones include:
- A high level of efficiency.
- A longer duration of operations.
- Long-distance coverage.
However, they tend to be pricier and require more experience to operate.
Single-Rotor Helicopter Drones
These drones combine the best attributes of large, single-wing units and tiny, multi-rotor devices. The rotors play a significant role in the hovering and vertical launch of the drone. Additionally, the absence of multiple motors makes the drone more efficient. The single-rotor helicopter drones tend to be larger and more complex when compared to other types of drones.
Fixed-Wing Hybrid VTOL Drones
The fixed-wing hybrid VTOL drones form the newest technology in the current market. Interestingly, these drones combine the flight time of fixed-wing drones and the long-range vertical ability of rotor-based drones. This combination provides versatility, making the drone an excellent option for commercial drone use. Further, it is essential to note that Hybrid VTOL drones are an excellent option for long-distance flying.
What are the Main Drone Features?
When shopping for a drone, you must buy the best model in the market. It is the best way to be sure that you can get the most from your drone. Understanding the standard features of the best drones can go a long way in ensuring that you do not make simple mistakes.
Essential features that you should consider when purchasing a drone for the first time include battery life, a range of remote control options, and available accessories. Flight time is one of the main features of a drone. It determines how long you will be airborne, and this is essential as it will help plan for your time.
One way to learn about the fright time of a drone is to examine the quality of the battery. Quality batteries should give you a decent fright time. However, you need to understand that the drone's design may have an impact on power consumption. Those drones with batteries that you cannot replace should have a short charging time.
Other essential features that you should consider when shopping for a drone includes;
- The quality of the camera
- Hover accuracy
- Flight logs
- Obstacles sensory range
- Maximum speeds including descent and ascent
- Media Storage
- GPS Module
- Flight Controller
What are the Challenges of Drones?
While drones offer solutions to emerging challenges in different industries, they too have their negative side. Privacy is a significant concern that many people have expressed. Since drones are fitted with quality cameras, some people complain of being captured without their consent.
Besides the privacy issue, there is a conflict of using the airspace. Drones can reach heights rivaling jets, which can exacerbate disasters and emergencies. Lastly, drones are prone to crashes even when they are unmanned. Worse, crashes can cause damage to properties and lives.
There is a lot to consider when considering investing in drones. With a good understanding of what a drone is, the different types, the features, purpose, and challenges associated with drones, you should be in a better position to get the best. Additionally, it is imperative to purchase your drone from the right place. Once you have access to your drone, remember to abide by the local flying guidelines.
Learn More: What Is The Best Follow Me Drone?
Shawn Manaher loves to play with new toys and dive into new hobbies. As a serial entrepreneur, work definitely comes first but there is always room for hobbies.