Why Should You Use Drones?

Table of Contents

Why Should You Buy a Drone?

The market for consumer drones grows further, and now there are several options from which to choose. Unlike earlier, now you have so many affordable drones that offer decent specs. Now, because you know a lot about drones and their parts, let’s talk about how a drone can help you and why you should buy one today.

1. Impressive Real Estate Videography and Photography

As a real estate dealer, you will know the importance of pictures and videos and how they help sell the property fast. From a commercial perspective, using a drone to capture unique aerial stills or videos of real estate properties is one of the most talked-about uses of drones. These shots can be a unique way to catch the attention of potential buyers.

Aerial photos and videos give buyers a good idea of the property’s surrounding areas and provide them a complete look at the entire property.

However, before buying a drone for this purpose, you must have an FAA-approved 333 exemption and a drone pilot license[i].

2. Smooth Video Footage

The latest drones come equipped with high-quality cameras and gimbals that allow the users to shoot smooth video footage without any shaking. As a filmmaker or a vlogger, you can use DJI’s drones as they offer impressive specs for professionals and beginners. Their video quality is top-notch.

3. Make Money While Flying Drones

The potential to make money while flying drones is huge today. The only thing you require, besides a drone, is to be Part 107 certified to fly a drone commercially[ii]. Some clients pay as low as $100 and sometimes as much as $10,000 for a one-time drone flight.

4. It’s Fun

Even if you are not a professional or don’t want to earn money for flying drones, you can buy one to have fun. And with drones, the experience you will have is not ordinary at all. It is out of the world, especially with today’s latest FPV drones, that provide users the best views, especially when using DJI Goggles. There are many different models of hobby drones that you can get for fun. To know which ones are the best for newbies in drone flying, you can read the Beginner’s Guide to Buying a Hobby Drone.

5.Provides Support with Emergency Efforts

Drones can easily reach areas where humans cannot, which is one of the many things that make them special. Drones aren’t limited to recreational purposes only; they have several uses in law enforcement and fire service agencies.

For emergencies, a drone needs to be adaptable and have a long-distance, high-quality camera to be helpful.

6. For Educational Purposes

Drones are getting famous worldwide for providing teachers an edge in delivering their students interactive and exciting lessons. The best thing about this is that students find them useful for their projects. Drones can help students with coding as well, which is not just helpful but interesting too. Hence, more and more students are choosing it as a career. Learning how to code can be less intimidating if the students can see the real-time effect of their code on a machine.

In this case, students can engage in writing programs that allow them to experience the effects of their code first-hand.

7. Drone Racing

We know about horse, car, and bike racing, but drone racing? Is that even a thing? Well, yes, it is. Usually, racing drones are packed with high speed and great propulsion force that allow them to zip across the skies without much effort. While racing, you can also perform stunts with your drones, such as a backflip, front flip, and whatnot.

And the best thing here is that you don’t have to invest in expensive drones for this recreational purpose. Several inexpensive drones are available on the market that you can buy and learn to fly and race.

8. Stand Out on Social Media

Who doesn’t want more followers and likes on social media? You can level up your selfies and photographs with a drone and see your followers go crazy about it. The key to building a significant social media following is by posting high-quality photos and unique videos. Is there a better way to do that than with a drone?

9. Turn Your Pictures into 3D Models

3D models are beneficial for construction companies that need to plan or want to reconstruct[iii]. Using high-quality drones, such as the DJI Phantom 4 Pro or Mavic 2 Pro, you can easily convert pictures/videos into 3D models with the combination of a mapping app.

Additionally, a drone reduces the surveying time from dozens of hours to only a few, depending on the area’s size.

10. Amazing Sports Angles

Popular sports such as football and extreme sports like mountain biking, snowboarding, and surfing, a drone can capture thrilling moments and unique angles. Just imagine seeing your favorite sportsman in action from up close. Wouldn’t it be interesting?

The Tennessee Titans became one of the first professional sports teams to receive approval by the FAA to use drones for commercial purposes[iv]. It appears that they applied for an exemption to shoot aerial footage of them practicing to improve their sport.

11. An Excellent Companion for Traveling

Drones have always been the top choice for all travel vloggers because their vlogs are incomplete without beautiful aerial footage. Now, so many lightweight and compact drones are available on the market that you don’t have to carry extra weight on your shoulders. Take your drone in your hand and fly them wherever you want.

12. Helps Farmer Manage Crops Better

UAVs are used for shooting unique pictures and videos and for several other practical reasons, such as making farming more efficient. Using drones, a farmer can improve his yield, save time and resources[v].

Farmers often use massive-sized UAVs that can carry gallons of sprays or fertilizers and release them wherever the substances inside them are needed.

The Innovation in Drones

Since the development of the first UAV and the military’s use, there has been so much innovation in the field. We have a drone for every purpose – be it photography, videography, search and rescue, delivery, critical missions, you name it. Let’s talk about the great innovation in drones and how they have improved from their predecessors.

1. Pocket-Sized Aerial Photography Drones

Drones have become so small that you can even carry them in your pocket. Such an example is the Air Pix aerial photography drone. With it, smartphone users can capture stunning selfies without the need for selfie sticks or tripods[vi]. It has a 12MP sensor for shooting high-quality photos without cropping out any person from the picture. It provides up to half an hour of flight time per charge.

2. Autonomous Passenger Drones

We know about delivery drones, racing drones, photography, and videography drones, but have you ever imagined seeing a flying taxi without any driver/pilot? It is now possible with autonomous passenger drones, such as Boeing’s developed and tested.[vii]

This Boeing drone is an excellent example of eVTOL – an electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft. The design was developed by developed through Boeing’s urban air mobility division. This drone is referred to as a “passenger air vehicle.” It is simply amazing to see the wonders of autonomous technology.

3. Saucer-Shaped Supersonic Drones

Named the All-Directional Flying Object or ADIFO for short, this supersonic drone is equipped with a pair of rear jets that propel it forward along with its whole surface that acts like a wing. Designed by a group of Romanian engineers, the drone promises excellent aerial maneuverability and flexibility.

Apart from that, what makes this supersonic drone so unique is the array of thrusting systems it features, enabling it to perform various tasks, such as flying upside down. Although it is currently in the prototype stage, it is undoubtedly a remarkable innovation that can change the possibilities of future drone flight.

4. Nature-Inspired Biometric Drones

The “MetaFly” is a nature-inspired biometric drone designed by Edwin Van Ruymbeke[viii]. It can fly like a bird, thanks to its synthetic wings on either side of its body. These wings allow it to fly indoors and expertly navigate obstacles as well as withstand impacts.

This drone reaches speeds of up to 11 miles per hour and operate within 320 feet radius of the user. All it needs is 12 minutes to get fully charged, and it can then provide you up to 8 minutes of flight time.

5. Forestry Exploration Drones

“Humla” is one of the best examples of forestry exploration drones. It is designed for groundskeepers and forestry planners as a professional solution to help them have a closer look at remote areas in less time[ix]. The drone features three hubless propellers that allow it to fly through tree branches without harming small animals.

One can use this drone for surveillance purposes over vast land areas with minimal effort and without wasting time.

Due to its remarkable design work by Anders Sandström and Engin Güzel, Humla also won the 2018 iF Design Talent Award.

6. Forest Fire-Detecting Drones

A conceptual drone named “Feuxzy” has been created as a safe solution to detect and fight forest fires within rural areas and without human interaction[x]. Hopefully, it will provide a way to contain fires without risking human life.

The drone designed by Martin Rico and Adolfo Esquivel. It monitors forests, woods, and parks for fires and uses low-frequency bass sounds to fight the fire.

This conceptual drone is powered by a fuel cell or lithium-ion batteries that can withstand extreme temperatures.

7. Expandable Module Component Drones

If you like customizations according to your preference or requirements, you can now do that with a drone as well. The conceptual “Dash Drone” can be tailored according to your needs[xi]. It is a futuristic solution designed by Sheida Amiri-Rigi that consists of dual-rotor modules, which can be used as-is or paired with additional units for enhanced performance. This way, one can use this drone to traverse any indoor or outdoor location easily.

In addition to that, you can also add camera units to the drone for capturing thrilling aerial shots.

8. Drone Visibility Light Devices

With the Lume Cube Strobe light, never let the darkness keep you down. This anti-collision light is specially designed with safety in mind, reducing the chance you lose your expensive drone in an accident. Simply attach the device to your drone (don’t worry, it weighs only 10 grams), and it can provide you up to 6 hours of battery life per charge on a fast strobe[xii].

Once it is attached to the drone, you can fly it without worrying about losing it, as the strobe light is visible from over three miles away.

Features and Technology Used in UAV

1. Radar Positioning and Return Home

The latest drones come equipped with Global Navigational Satellite Systems (GNSS), such as GPS and GLONASS. High accuracy is crucial when flying, especially when creating 3D maps, search and rescue missions, and surveying landscapes.

When the quadcopter is switched off, it searches for GNSS satellites. High-end GNSS satellite systems use Satellite Constellation technology – a group of satellites working together and giving coordinated coverage.

2. Obstacle Detection and Collision Avoidance Technology

The latest advanced drones feature collision avoidance systems that use obstacle detection sensors to scan the surroundings. After scanning, the software algorithms and SLAM (Simultaneous Localization and Mapping) technology convert the images into 3D maps that allow the drone to sense and avoid obstacles.

These drones are equipped with one or more of the following sensors:

  • Vision Sensor
  • Infrared
  • LiDAR
  • Monocular Vision
  • Ultrasonic
  • Time of Flight (ToF)

The Mavic 2 Zoom and DJI Mavic 2 Pro feature six obstacle sensors on all six sides. In 2019, the Skydio 2 drone was released, featuring obstacle avoidance camera sensors on all sides[xiii]. Its highly advanced technology visualizes and calculates its surroundings and intelligently predicts what will happen next. Therefore, it makes accurate decisions multiple times a second.

3. Gyroscope Stabilization, IMU, and Flight Controllers

Sensors are crucial for a drone to avoid obstacles and plan ahead, but without gyroscope stabilization, a UAV won’t fly smoothly. The gyros equipped in a drone work instantly, stabilizing it against forces jolting it, keeping it flying or hovering without any shakes.

On the other hand, a drone’s IMU (inertial measurement unit) detects the current rate of acceleration using one or more accelerometers. Using gyroscopes, it detects changes in rotational attributes, such as yaw, pitch, roll, etc.

In simple words, the gyroscopes are components of an IMU, while an IMU is an essential component of a drone’s flight controller.

4. Drone Propulsion Technology

A UAV’s propulsion system consists of motors, electronic speed controllers, and propellers. All these parts allow the drone to fly or hover in the air in any direction. The propellers and motors work in pairs on a quadcopter, with two motors/propellers rotating counterclockwise while the other two rotate clockwise.

The propulsion system receives instructions from the drone’s flight controller and the electronic speed controllers (ESCs) to fly or hover the drone in any direction.

Today’s UAV motors and propulsion systems are highly advanced and are comprised of the following components:

  • Electronic Speed Controllers
  • Motor Stator
  • Motor Bell (rotor)
  • Propellers
  • Bearings
  • Cooling System
  • ESC Updater
  • Wiring
  • Arm
  • Windings

5. Real-time Telemetry Flight Parameters

All the drones are controlled via a smartphone application or a Ground Station Controller (GSC), allowing you to control the drone and track the current flight telemetry. This data may include the drone’s range, height, speed, remaining battery, GNSS signal strength, warnings, and much more. Many UAV ground controllers use FPV systems that transmit video from the drone to the controller in real-time.

6. No Fly Zone Drone Technology

The latest drones (such as DJI) include a “No Fly Zone” feature to increase flight safety and prevent mishaps in restricted areas. These zones are regulated and categorized by the FAA[xiv].

7. Internal Compass & Failsafe Function

The internal compass of a UAV drone allows the remote-control system to know the exact flight location. This way, a home point can be set where the drone can return if it loses signal, or the remote controller stops connecting. It is also known as the “fail-safe function” of the drone.

8. FPV Live Video Transmission Drone Technology

A video camera, such as GoPro, is mounted on a drone that broadcasts live video to the remote controller (smartphone). This way, the pilot feels like they are aboard the aircraft, which is much better, and, in all honesty, cooler than looking at it from the ground-based position.

FPV systems allow the drone to fly much higher and further from the ground while still having all the controls in your hand. Moreover, FPV allows more precise flying, especially around obstacles.

The DJI Mavic 2 features an FPV system that can provide a live broadcast range of up to 5 miles or 8 kilometers with a 1080p quality video transmission.

9. FPV Over 4G / LTE Networks

In 2016, it was announced the drones now could stream a live broadcast over 4G or LTE networks. Because of this, video streaming could occur from a virtually unlimited range. The videos would have low latency issues, however.

This technology was released on the Sky Drone FPV 2. It was equipped with a camera module, a 4G/LTE modem, and a data module.

10. LED Flight Indicators

LED indicator lights in green or red are found at the back and front of the drone. The front LED indicators indicate the drone’s nose, while the rear ones indicate different states of the drone. For example, when powered on or getting its firmware updated.

Therefore, you should understand what the flashing indicator lights are for on your UAV. You can find this in the user manual that comes with your drone.

11. UAV Remote Control System

Every UAV comes with a remote-control system – be it a dedicated one or a smartphone application. For instance, the DJI Phantom 3 features a wireless communication device of a 5.8 GHz frequency band. The drone and ground control (remote control) should already be paired when leaving the factory.

12. Gimbals & Tilt Control

All the drones equipped with a high-quality camera come with the support of gimbal and tilt control for smooth photography and video footage. Mostly, a drone has a 3-axis gimbal with two working modes: FPV and non-FPV.

13. Operating Systems in Drone Technology

Most UAVs use Linux-based operating systems, while only a few use Microsoft Windows. One benefit of Linux is that it is open-source, and anyone can contribute their part in the betterment of drones. In 2014, the Linux Foundation launched a project called the Dronecode project. It is also an open-source, collaborative project that aims to bring together existing and future open-source UAV projects under one governing party, The Linux Foundation.

This step led to developing a shared open-source platform for UAVs, which is helpful for all drone users worldwide.

[i] Getting Started. Retrieved from https://www.faa.gov/uas/getting_started/

[ii] Become a Drone Pilot. Retrieved from https://www.faa.gov/uas/commercial_operators/become_a_drone_pilot/

[iii] Stetson Doggett, Aerial Photogrammetry – Create 3D Models With Drone Photos. Retrieved from https://www.dronegenuity.com/aerial-photogrammetry/

[iv] Paul Kuharsky (November 12, 2015), “With FAA approval, Titans free to film practice with drone.” Retrieved from https://www.espn.com/blog/tennessee-titans/post/_/id/16901/with-faa-approval-titans-free-to-film-practice-with-drone

[v] Marco Margaritoff (February 13, 2018), “Drones in Agriculture: How UAVs Make Farming More Efficient.” Retrieved from https://www.thedrive.com/tech/18456/drones-in-agriculture-how-uavs-make-farming-more-efficient

[vi] Michael Hemsworth (May 29, 2019), “Pocket-Sized Aerial Photography Drones.” Retrieved from https://www.trendhunter.com/trends/air-pix

[vii] First Flights to the Future. Retrieved from https://www.boeing.com/features/frontiers/2019/autonomous-flying-vehicles/index.page

[viii] Michael Hemsworth (May 2, 2019), “Nature-Inspired Biometric Drones.” Retrieved from https://www.trendhunter.com/trends/metafly-drone

[ix] Humla. Retrieved from http://www.sandstromanders.com/portfolio/project-6/

[x] Sarang Sheth (January 22, 2019), “The Feuxzy Drone Fights Forest Fires With Sonic Waves.” Retrieved from https://www.yankodesign.com/2019/01/22/the-feuxzy-drone-fights-forest-fires-with-sonic-waves/

[xi] Michael Hemsworth (March 13, 2019), “Expandable Module Component Drones.” Retrieved from https://www.trendhunter.com/trends/dash-drone

[xii] Strobe – Anti-Collision Lighting for Drones. Retrieved from https://lumecube.com/products/strobe

[xiii] Sean Hollister & Vjeran Pavic (December 11, 2019), “Skydio 2 Review: A Drone That Flies Itself.” Retrieved from https://www.theverge.com/2019/12/11/21009994/skydio-2-review-self-flying-autonomous-drone-camera-crash-proof-price

[xiv] No Drone Zone. Retrieved from https://www.faa.gov/uas/resources/community_engagement/no_drone_zone/

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