All you need to know about Drones
In the last few years, the market for drones has grown leaps and bounds. At one time, the use of these devices was restricted only to the military and government organizations such as disaster management. These days, however, these devices are used in a more widespread manner and even by civilians. The technology has also evolved a lot, and better drones are coming into the market. If you are unaware about what a drone is and why and how it is used, read on.
What are Drones?
These are remotely managed, unmanned aerial vehicles which can be used for particular tasks as well as for casual flying around as a pastime or hobby. Many companies are now into the production of these devices, which are being seen as cool by the young and old. DJI Phantom, IO Hawk and Parrot are some of the big names in the business. There is mini drones used for simple flying about as well as larger drones, some of which are equipped with cameras in order to shoot pictures and videos.
Drones are also often referred to as UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle). These are operated through radio controls, and the fact that they can be used as an extra pair of eyes makes them ideal for accessing seemingly unreachable or “difficult” locations.
Why Are Drones Used?
Flying drones in the sky make a pretty sight, although their usage goes beyond simple appearance. Today these aerial vehicles are used for various purposes, such as:
- Real Estate – Whether for scouting locations for development and construction, or in order to capture excellent aerial footage of constructed properties, drones are highly useful.
- Photography – Aerial photography with drones can capture thousands of square miles in high quality, and the footage can be downloaded real-time to smartphones, tablets and other devices.
- Disaster Management – These are useful for spotting people stranded due to floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and other natural disasters.
- Medical Evacuation – Drones are also used by medical evacuation teams to find people in difficult locations in snowy or high altitude regions or even forests and sea.
- Agricultural and Forest Management – The aerial footage captured by the devices also aid in managing vast agricultural land and forests, which are seemingly difficult to traverse and look at.
- Military Operations – Ever since drones came out first, they have been used by military personnel to view war situations, stealthily glance at tactical arrangement of forces by the enemy side, and locate soldiers stranded in hostile territories and more.
Drones are also used for many other purposes. Equipped with sensors and high definition cameras, these help in data collection and analysis. These also aid in structural analysis and evaluate the condition of bridges, roads, buildings and other structures. With next generation cameras and sophisticated software, such devices aid in collecting information and sending them back for analysis, all in real time. An estimate by the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) has predicted that as many as 30,000 drones could be hovering in the American sky by year 2020.
Important Criteria for Choosing Drones
Drones are flying vehicles of unmanned variety, which can be controlled remotely. These can be used for fun as well as for carrying out some particular types of work. These are steadily becoming more and more popular, and more commercial apps have been created for these. Whether mini drones or larger drones, you will have to consider a few criteria in order to understand which ones would work best for your purpose.
Drones can be found in any type of shape as can be observed in larger airplanes. These can be availed in many striking shapes, such as birds, large pests, donuts, triangles, discs or oblong airships.
Ease of Use
You should consider how easily you can fly the drone. Are you interested about flying the device around the city and taking photos from varied angles and perspectives that have not been accessed earlier? Just like in a flying game, you need to control your drone by tilting the phone right, left, backwards or forwards. In a drone, the standard technology involves some type of steering mechanism, propulsion mechanism or engine, or some form of sensors to discern paths and spots. A sender-receiver mechanism can be utilized in order to transmit and obtain signals for recording and steering.
The flying range is another thing that distinguishes one drone from another. On a single charge of a battery, the DJI Phantom can offer a maximum flight time of 40 minutes and as much as 25 minutes for Parrot Air Drone. While the DJI Phantom is a bit bulkier and is reported by some people to be more stable in high winds, the Parrot Air Drone also offers reasonable stability. For both models, replacement components can be availed for purchase from Amazon.
Some of the drones are equipped with cameras, and even those that come without them can be attached with cameras. Fortunately, HD video cameras can be availed at lower costs these days. Both DJI Phantom and Parrot AR Drone come with these.
Some of the drones come with soft parts on the outside in order to prevent issues such as cracking of TV screen on impact. As most drones are used secretly, it is tough to offer a complete account of how these can be used and who are flying them. However, drone manufacturer commercials, scientific and journalistic articles and consumer accounts offer a more or less clear picture about safety regulations.
As drones of bigger sizes can be compared to air vehicles, these need to come with lanterns and various other methods in order to offer warning against potential accidents.
It is also essential to consider the features that come in the drones. The upgraded ones are equipped with a ‘return home’ feature as well as GPS capability. Some also have a Wi-Fi hotspot to pair your tablet or Smartphone with, and allow direct HD video streaming to the device.
You should also check whether the drones that you are purchasing offer excellent performance. The performance can be expected to be better in more expensive models.
Author: Vicki Lezama