2018 continues to see the increasing popularity of drones among consumers – personal, hobby/recreation, as well as commercial use – still many have vague or faulty notions of what drones are. For one thing, some think drones are only for flying as a hobby, or only for the military to use. Others are even scared at the thought of seeing one over their rooftops or properties, perhaps due to numerous incidents of reckless drone flying in recent years.
You may be a plain, curious observer, a budding enthusiast or beginner user of drones, here are the top 5 interesting drone facts you need to know.
Drones are automated, unmanned, mechanized vehicles, and divided into two categories. A press release by MarketWatch says these categories are according to:
- Type of unmanned vehicles:
- Unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) – used by the military and commercial sectors for “applications where it may be inconvenient, dangerous, or impossible to have a human operator present” (Wikipedia)
- Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) – also for military and civilian use with applications varying from warfare to a growing number of recreational and commercial uses (Wikipedia)
- Unmanned surface vehicles (USVs) – vehicles that operate on water, without the need for deploying a crew, and are used for tasks such as collecting sea data or subsea positioning. Examples of these types of drone include C-Enduro and C-Worker 7 by ASV Global
- Unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs) – these underwater drones use “side scan sonar to search and discover objects of interest,” according to the US Navy Fact File.
- Logistics and warehousing – drone delivery is still on a small scale, even with a large number of tech companies developing their drone delivery technologies, as it does not have the full blessing of the FAA. But according to a report, it might come really soon. In the field of inventory and warehousing, drones have their place, too, for their conceived work, time, and cost efficiency. Read this and this.
- Defense – as used by the military (US) in the warfare against threats of terrorism, as well as in other industries for security and surveillance operations.
- Field operations – drones are increasingly useful in agriculture, and other fields, for applications, such as, access to hard-to-reach or dangerous areas, and data mining and increased first-time fix rate.
- Entertainment – aside from their widespread popularity in aerial photography, drones for entertainment are growing their fan base among aficionados of such activities as FPV racing, light shows, sporting events, and dance programs, to name some.
Unmanned aerial vehicles are the most popular type of drones, especially for recreation, photography or video/filmmaking. The DJI consumer drones are the most popular because of their affordability and ease of use. They come in with built-in cameras, while some drones don’t. A GoPro cam is the leading drone camera of choice. DJI, a Chinese drone maker company with headquarters in Shenzhen, China, is the world’s leader in consumer drone (unmanned aerial vehicles) manufacturing. It’s leading competitors are Parrot, 3DR, and Yuneec.
FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 a new law covering recreational drones signed on October 5, 2018. It establishes new conditions for the use of recreational drones, and “immediately repeals the Special Rule for Model Aircraft.” The Reauthorization Act of 2018 keeps a distinction between recreational and commercial drones, but a new section is put in place of Section 336. In its place is Section 349, “which covers what the FAA expects of recreational flyers. […]Small models—including things sold as toys, even paper airplanes—are referred to as “Unmanned Aircraft.” Read more.
Best drones for beginners
- DJI Spark leads the pack of drones for beginners, based on reviews of top-rated tech mags. It is relatively cheap for an entry-level, light-weight drone at less than $600 on Amazon, best for taking selfies, and taking along with you on your travels.
- DJI Mavic Air is another great drone for beginners, travellers, and enthusiasts as well.
- Parrot Bebob 2 FPV an entry level drone that can be enjoyed by the whole family.
Top-rated drones for real estate marketing, other professionals and hobbyists – see more here
- DJI Inspire 2
- Phantom 4 Pro+
- DJI Mavic Pro Bundle
Here is an aerial shot taken by a drone of an unnamed road in the Netherlands. No wonder drone photography is gaining more and more followers and users.
In the next article, The Droneologist will share more interesting facts and trivia about these automated, unmanned vehicles, more known as drones. As you can see, drones – especially of the flying kind (UAV) – are here to stay for long, providing fun, recreation, and benefits.