Modern drones are mainly seen as something used by filmmakers and technology geeks. UAVs are often considered elitist, hard to fly, and require exceptional hand-eye coordination as well as considerable technical skills. Despite the technology in modern UAVs, radio-controlled flying has become easier and more accessible than ever before.
In case you’re contemplating buying a quadcopter but are worried that it will simply become a fad at the back of the spare room, here are a few fun things you can do with a UAV that will keep you entertained and out of boredom.
The entire family can fly
In the past, the best you could expect from radio-controlled flying devices was a scale model helicopter. They may be almost as difficult to fly as a full-sized helicopter but without the benefit of reference points and perspective of actually sitting at the controls, not to mention the most convenient way to get to work.
When the plane flew away from you, it was possible to control it. However, everything reverses when you bank around to return, and it is even more challenging to control. If you add in their lack of computer stability, you can spend hours and hours crashing and repairing your computer.
The modern UAV is very different from its predecessors. Having multiple rotors allows them to counteract engine torque without the use of complicated tail rotors. They often include first-person-view cameras that put you inside the machine. Moreover, they have incredibly complex stability control systems that enable them to hover at a single point in space without the continuous inputs you would typically need from a conventional scale model helicopter.
Almost anyone can now operate today’s drones, allowing a more comprehensive range of people to enjoy this type of activity. The drone is safe to use by the smallest children to the oldest family members without fear of serious injury.
It is possible to hold a competition to find the best drone pilot in your family. It will not take long for your children to become the ones doing the teaching as you ask them how that impressive drone moved the way they just demonstrated.
There are some great family exercises we’re going to share with you. It is an excellent way to teach everyone how to safely fly a drone, along with some reminders of how to be safe as a complete beginner.
Then make sure GPS mode is on for maximum protection so that it returns to the base. It is important to remember that there is no option for gentle take-offs. Drones are intentionally hovered at a safe height by doing this. Don’t hover close to the ground; it only makes for a great day of family fun with a drone-flying harder than is necessary at first. Ensure that the propeller guards are always fitted, especially if everyone else in the family is watching.
Begin with ‘tail in’ moves. Essentially, this means that the drone is facing away from you. Everything becomes much easier, as your left is the drone’s left, and so forth. Make a contest to see who can hover with their tail the longest, followed by a series of practice landings. As you build on this, you can add “side-on” maneuvers where everyone looks at the drone from the side. Make sure nobody turns sideways to match the drone’s orientation.
This way, all skills required for operating the equipment from all angles can be developed. Hover with your nose in the air. It will sort out the winners since it is the most challenging to master.
Becoming a collector of drones
The UAV-flying passion will soon engulf you, and you won’t be satisfied with just one quadcopter. You will soon be scouting for more drones as your skills grow and accomplishments grow. Although technology has advanced in the last few years, it is still a rapidly developing field. This is where it can become addictive.
According to many industry experts, drone ownership will explode within the next decade, just as mobile phone ownership has. These are our favorite ways to develop your UAV army; here are our favorite ways to expand your drone collection.
Look first at the areas you aren’t currently doing in drone flying, and look into getting specialized drones to perform each task, then became an expert in that field. There’s a good chance you have a DJI Phantom product. The bestselling drone in the world is being followed closely by new models that are hitting the market.
Consider purchasing drones at different price points for different projects. Drones, for instance, are available at very low prices and could almost be considered disposable. Filmmakers refer to them as ‘suicide cameras’ because they aren’t expected to survive. Whatever is recovered from the cameras is all that matters.
If you have such a drone, you will feel empowered to send your quadcopter into areas where your more expensive drone model may not be comfortable.
Drone racing is a new but rapidly growing sport that appeals to those who enjoy competition. There’s no doubt that you’ll need to add to your drone collection for this one, and you’ll almost certainly need to build some components yourself.
Be involved in drone development
You may be fascinated by drone technology and want to learn more. Although you can learn a great deal by building your own drone from a kit, there is a limit to what you can learn from existing technology. You can participate in the development of new drones as they arrive all the time.
Kickstarter and other crowdfunding platforms are great places to get a heads-up on drone innovation so that you might learn about the next breakthrough in UAV development. To compete with industry giants like DJI, many startups use crowdfunding platforms to generate enough resources to get their projects off the ground.
Crowd-funding can be hard to understand sometimes, so it pays to do some research. Developers often seek small amounts of money from each ‘backer.’ When the design is completed, you will receive one of the very first UAVs in exchange for an up-front payment. Several leading filmmakers actively support crowdfunding drone projects, so it is worthwhile to learn their views.
Several successful UAV projects have been crowd-sourced by film producers such as Philip Bloom. You should check out his blog on what goes into doing a successful project.
For example, the Zano nano drone began as a crowdfunding project and is now ready to ship. A crowdfunding drone project can be an exciting way to become involved in a new UAV’s development. Before making a decision, read the small print of each project carefully.
You will learn a great deal, not just about quadcopter technology, but also about bringing a new product to market and watching the developers strive for success.
You will feel proud when you receive your first crowdfunded drone because you not only on the latest drone technology but also helped launch a new business and product.
Become a UAV aerobatic pilot
You’ll want to realize the full potential of your drone when you’ve reached a high level of expertise. Limits are exciting places for pilots, just like full-scale aviation. The world of drone aerobatics awaits you.
Aerobatic and acrobatic moves by drones are similar to those of conventional aircraft. How-to videos on drone aeros can be found online, where you can learn everything you need to know. You can start by watching a video demonstrating each maneuver provided by experts.
Drones with smaller, more agile bodies are capable of performing obvious maneuvers like loops and rolls. However, once you learn these techniques, you realize that quadcopters can do much more than this. Acrobatic drones are fast-moving, aerial gymnasts capable of performing backflips on the spot, upside-down flips, and many others.
If you are interested in an acro-drone, there are currently drones in development that will achieve even more stunning moves. Maybe we’ll add smoke to them at some point and start the very first formation drone airshow team. What a great project!