Tech of the Week: Quadcopters “Drones”
A childhood toy that has grown up as we have, quad-copters, are now the new hot gadget to have for enthusiasts and casual flyers alike. Evolving from smaller dual rotor helicopters, quad-copters have four vertical propellers making them much more stable and easier to fly than a traditional helicopter. The way they work is by adjusting the speed of any of the four propellers and allowing the craft to tilt one way or the other due to the change in power. I will be giving a top 3 list of what you can do with a quad-copter.
If you are making a short video or movie, a quad-copter can be a great trick to get some amazing shots. You can purchase a quad-copter with a camera already installed or purchase kits to attach one. More expensive kits/quad-copters can also have a gyroscope camera that keeps the image stable regardless of what direction it is moved in. Here is a YouTube video of some drone shots and if you click and go to the YouTube page it will also list what drones they used!
Get some friends together and race some quad-copters! Quad-copters for leisure use can be very inexpensive and relatively small for casual use. You can buy kits to build and modify your own or get one fully assembled and ready to fly from any retailer. Making a flying path and facing friends can be a fun pass time for anyone willing to do so. For those who are more competitive there are national quad-copter racing teams who race quad-copters through a pre-made course and winners can win hundreds of dollars!
Video: FPV provo
If you haven’t heard yet Amazon is currently in the testing phase of package delivery using drones to those who are closer to their warehouses called Amazon Prime Air. The first delivery made was in the U.K. and it was an amazon TV device and a bag of popcorn. Although its not allowed in the U.S. for Amazon to deliver packages on a mass scale yet, you could do so in the comfort of your home or very short distances between friends as an added fun factor for giving or receiving items. The only obstacle to this is the battery life of the quad-copter and the distance the quad-copter can go away from the user.
As you can see quad-copters (man operated) and drones (autonomous) may be the future for many different uses where they can help save lives, make things more convenient, or just plain fun. Larger scale drones are already in use by the military to help reduce loss of life on the battlefield from unmanned planes and copters for surveillance to smaller ground vehicles operated by soldiers to defuse/detonate bombs. Below I have gone on amazon to find some well reviewed quad-copters in a low, medium, and high price range. Lastly in the U.S. there are some rules about the use of drones and one of them is that if your drone weighs more than .55 lbs or less than 55 lbs it will need to be registered online here. Other things to keep in mind is by law you cannot fly over 400 ft and do not fly near airports or heavily populated areas. Happy Flying!