Drone is a popular nickname given to an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV in short), which refers to any flying machine without a human pilot on board. In the past drones were mostly used by the military in reconnaissance missions, but like almost any other cool piece of technology, it too eventually found its way into the hands of civilians. For the last couple of years drones have been gaining popularity among policemen, firefighters, poacher hunters and even photographers and technology enthusiasts.
Best drones of 2015
It’s pretty difficult to choose the best drone right away because every drone has its strengths and weaknesses so you have to consider all the angles like why do you need a drone and what are your expectations. For example do you need a drone with a camera that can record videos and take photos from the sky which can be useful if you’re a farmer and need a better oversight of your crops, or perhaps you need a drone to deliver packages from one place to another like Amazon? Depending on your needs I have listed a couple of drones for you that have received the highest ratings on other tech related websites:
The Blade Nano QX RTF is durable and relatively cheap (about $60) without fancy equipment so it’s the perfect drone for newbies to learn how to fly. You wouldn’t want to crash your $2,000 USD drone on your first day, would you?
If you’re comfortable paying $300+ then the Nano QX FPV RTF includes a first person view headset that shows you the drone’s perspective of the world. The Blade Nano also has the best maneuverability among the cheaper class drones so it’s the perfect drone for beginners to learn flying.
The Axis Aerius Drone is the world’s smallest quadcopter according to the company that builds them. It’s no bigger than a quarter (3cm x 3cm x 2cm) and it looks incredibly cute. You can fly it about 5-7 minutes at a time and you can recharge it within 15 minutes via USB cable.
It has a 3.7v 80mAh Battery and 4 bright LED lights which make it ideal to fly even at night time. I wouldn’t give this as much credit as the Blade Nano, but it’s dirt cheap and so small it can be used indoors without having to worry about broken vases and things like that!
Apart from the upcoming “official” drone from GoPro that’s going to be released sometime in 2016 and will most likely be way overpriced, there are quite a few GoPro capable drones on the market today for the more price sensitive buyer. Take a look at some of the best GoPro drones sorted by price (cheapest first):
This relatively cheap GoPro drone has a battery life of just a little under 30 minutes and it costs less than $400 without the camera. The company that builds these, Walkera, is known for their high-end drones and the QR X350 is their simplest model yet. It comes with the standard Devo7 2.4Ghz Transmitter, GPS altitude hold, one key return home and the optional Wi-Fi control feature.
The IRIS+ with its most notable feature, the Pixhawk autopilot system which allows agile, autonomous flight, thanks to its two-axis gimbal, is another great performing GoPro capable drone for a reasonable price of just under $600. Like the drone above, it doesn’t ship with a GoPro camera, but it’s an additional option to choose from. Another notable feature for IRIS+ is the Automatic Mission Planning mode where you can chart a predetermined flight plan using an android app.
As you can see the world of drones has exploded in just a few years and new models are coming out all the time which of course lowers the price of the older and less advanced models that newbies (like me) can use to experiment with before going after some more advanced technology.
If you’re interested in learning more about drones and want to know how to mount a GoPro camera on your drone feel free to visit Drones For Dummies which is a great blog about everything drone related.