Things to Know while Selecting a Drone: Drone Buying Guide
Do you need to inspect a potentially dangerous mine shaft? Or take an aerial view of the ground? Spray your field with pesticides? A one-stop solution is to have Drones with you. Drones or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) are vehicles where the pilot doesn't physically have to be in the craft. They can be manually driven using a remote control, or autopilot.
Commercial drones have a wide range of uses and may come with cameras allowing them to take birds-eye view images. There are many types of drones, some of which are mentioned below.
Types of Drones
Drones have taken the world by storm with a wide range of benefits. Specialized drones have been designed to perform particular tasks and differ from each other. Let's have a look!
Drones that are used to enhance the farm process are called agricultural drones. They can be used to increase yield, boost efficiency or just for monitoring by spraying pesticides, quite common in recent times.
Furthermore, they can be used to monitor the crops from an aerial viewpoint to check for infestations and sensors attached to the drone scans temperature, humidity, etc.
Advantages of Agricultural Drones
Agricultural drones get the same amount of work done in half the time and increase productivity.
Drones that come with sprinklers can travel longer distances, decreasing the need for workforce.
Drones can be used to monitor crop health with the help of color-coded image technology.
They have spatial memory, creating a store for maps. This reduces the effort to manage drones every day, as they can follow the routes themselves.
Drones that come with detectors or height sensors help in increasing the "spraying efficiency", by adjusting itself over the crop.
Initially, drones were used as a defense mechanism. They were used by the military mainly for reconnaissance and more recently also as an unmanned attack vehicle. Military drones are mostly manually handled using a remote control. They are also mounted with cameras and other sensors for visual aid. The drones could get to remote locations to scout out enemies. Adding up, opting for drones has drastically dropped the loss of human life.
Advantages of Military Drones
It decreases the loss of human lives. The military uses these drones for reconnaissance, so they can check for enemies before sending in troops to certain areas.
It can identify the location of the enemy for a more surgical approach to combat.
They are used to carry and dispatch weaponry for a less life-costing war. If the drones are shot down, no lives will be lost.
They help in carrying packages to inaccessible areas for troops. Drones can very quickly reach remote locations to deliver medical supplies, food or even ammunition.
They are cost-effective, easier to maintain and use than previously used airplanes. They also do not need a pilot to man them, but someone to control their position remotely.
They take less time to deploy than planes. Thus, saving a lot of time.
UAVs used in the transportation of packages are called delivery drones. They may be used to deliver medical parcels to inhospitable locations, food to millennials or packages without manual labour. Medical emergencies happen all the time, and in times of need, roadways can be congested. Here, empty airways are a more efficient mode of transport. Drones take airways to reach the patient in need.
Advantages Of Delivery Drones
Decreased human labor since drones can automatically find its way to the destination of the package by using GPS.
Faster than conventional methods, drones can reach destinations quickly. Due to traffic and intricate roadways, ground vehicles would take a long time to reach their destination. Instead, drones can cut a straight path to and from the destination through the air.
Drones take the airway instead of the road network, which is already congested. Delivery cars would just increase traffic.
Reaches areas that would be otherwise unreachable without using air travel.
Search And Rescue Drones
Drones are valuable assets when it comes to emergency services. Natural disasters can render some locations unreachable. People in disaster-stricken areas require the most assistance. Cameras can be attached to them to identify humans in distress. Accordingly, rescue operators can communicate with the victims and contact them. Food and water supplies can also be sent to these victims. Drones are a much better option rather than putting the time and effort into using heavy machinery into digging and hoping you find someone. Instead, send a small, manually controlled drone into the distressed locations to identify the victim.
Advantages of Search And Rescue Drones
Locations become inaccessible due to damaged roadways, broken bridges and even landslides. UAVs will not be disrupted by these, making the search and rescue operation very efficient.
Since drones are unmanned vehicles, the rescuers don't need to be put in harm's way trying to save those that are affected.
Smaller drones can quickly navigate through the rubble to locate buried people saving the effort of using heavy machinery to search through the debris.
Mines and quarries can be pretty hazardous. They can cave in, have toxic fumes and cause suffocation. Drones carrying specific sensors can be used in these cases to find the safe parts of the mine to send in miners. Also, large companies have massive warehouses containing millions of different parts. Manual inspection of these parts can be quite tedious. In this case, drones can be used.
Advantages Of Inspection Drones
These drones can reach small places where humans cannot reach.
They can be used in areas filled with hazardous gases, pipelines, drains underground areas.
They are quick to reach the target spots and reduce response time.
Terrain Mapping Drones
Geographic terrain mapping is essential. Drones carry distance sensors and fly over the region to be mapped. With the data collected, a detailed map of the terrain can be created. Understanding the ground can help us figure out what kind of settlement is best for that location. Terrain mapping also gives us an insight into what lies beneath.
Advantages of Terrain Mapping Drones
Drones can reduce the total cost to survey a field
It takes much lesser time for a drone to survey or map an area than doing it manually.
Drones also promote the safety of employees and surveyors by using in adverse situations, without putting the employees' lives in danger.
Terrain Mapping drones can provide numerous kinds of data at one time. Now, you no longer need multiple devices to do the job.
The other most advantageous aspect is they can easily travel inaccessible areas.
During the construction of a building, the layout of the land and the dimensions of the building are needed. These can be designed with the use of UAVs. The drone can have sensors to measure the height, length and width of the lot accurately. These measurements can be used to design the blueprint of the building.
Advantages Of Construction Drones
They can bring down the total time of surveying the construction site, taking high-resolution photos and videos.
They eliminate any risk of life as they can be operated remotely. Unstable structures or accident-prone situations can now be avoided simply by the use of drones which provide real-time data to the managers.
Drones can provide a 3D mapping of the construction site, doing the job of designing even easier and less time-consuming.
The work that required multiple hands can now be done single-handedly.
Drones also reduce the cost of surveying and data collection. The same task can be done numerous times with no extra charge.
Fire Fighting Drones
Aircrafts have often been used to help in fire fighting. Helicopters carry tanks or large buckets of water and drop them atop the engulfed region. Some are even mounted with foam cannons. Water bombers are gargantuan planes that carry gallons of water to be expelled. Drones are currently being used in place of these aircraft, making it much safer to put out fires.
Advantages Of Fire Fighting Drones
They can reach risky and inaccessible areas, saving many lives.
Firefighting drones come with infrared capability, which allows them to see through smoke.
With real-time video of the location, firefighters can assess the location and plan their entry accordingly.
Firefighting drones also come with heat sensors, giving more accurate data of the situation.
These drones are also used to deliver supplies.
Drones are no longer restricted only for government use but are commercially available to the public as well. These drones are used for entertainment. They can be used to take photos from a bird's eye view; they can come attached with light-emitting diodes and be used for lighting shows and can even be used for sporting events like drone racing.
Advantages Of Recreational Drones
They are smaller in size, have limited capabilities and can be easily maintained. Thus, their cost is much lower than other heavily-loaded drones.
They can provide high-resolution images and videos and be used to make movies or capture breathtaking scenes.
They do not come packed with features so that they can be modified according to the user's needs.
They are made of light material, portable, easy to use and need no training to fly them.
Drones all share some common features. They are:
● They are able to be controlled manually by remote control and can soar over congested traffic. ● In the case of firefighting drones, they need a container to store the fire retardant solution. ● Agricultural drones can be fitted with temperature or humidity sensors. ● Drones used for terrain mapping contain include distance measuring sensors. ● Reconnaissance drones may have different types of cameras (Infra-red, Heat vision). ● They can be weaponized to carry guns and missiles for combat use to provide real-time data. ● Drones come with an accelerometer to detect and inform the speed at which it is moving. ● GPS trackers enable the user and the drone to know its exact location. Without this, there is no way of finding where your drone is and the direction it is headed.
Cost Of Drones
Drones vary in price on the bases of uses, size and features. The cheapest variant of drones is the small toy drones which are used solely for recreational purposes. They come with merely a remote control and the vehicle.
Any drones with additional aspects will naturally be more expensive. For example, drones with cameras can leave quite a large dent in your pocket, while pesticide spraying drones are costly. Other factors like battery time, flight height and remote control range can also have an impact on the price. Look for the features you require while purchasing the drone you want.
Warranty And Lifespan
Drones need to face hostile environments, make inaccessible locations reachable and sometimes be able to carry heavy cargo. They need to be fairly robust vehicles. They are made up of a collection of different parts, each coming with their own warranty. The frame generally comes with no warranty, while the functioning parts come with 6 - 12 months.
How can you improve the lifespan of your drone? Here are some of the preventive measure to consider:
● Maintain a checklist of preflight actions. ● Manually check the condition of your drone- propellers, motors, any signs of cracks or wear and tear. ● Check the battery and controls before flying ● Clean the drone post flying sessions ● You should also perform routine checks for the overall performance of your device.
Tips And Precautions While Using Drones
Here are a few things to know before you buy your first drone. These tips will make you a safe flyer.
● Whether you are flying for the first time or buying an additional one, read the manual thoroughly before flying your drone. There are many shortcuts to controls and upgrades that you should know. Every drone is unique, and so are the ways of flying them. Make sure you know all about your device. ● The practice is the key to success- even when it comes to flying drones. The more you practice, the better you will get at controlling your device. ● Just like any controller, drone controllers come with direct commands and combination commands. You should be well-versed with the combinations to get the best out of your drone. ● Know the flying rules and laws that exist in your country or the area you wish to operate. Some states do not allow drones in crowded areas, public places and protected locations like sanctuaries. Be sure to know where you are allowed to fly, in order to stay away from trouble. ● It can be compelling to try your hands on the "manual" mode as soon as you get your device. But you are advised against it. Flying in this mode requires more grasp on the controls. So, unless you have had plenty of practice, do not use the manual mode. ● When practising, it is best to do so in remote locations and open areas, away from animals, birds and humans. Flying drones too close to them may cause accidents. Watch out for wires, ropes and poles. ● Always keep your drone within your visual range. This way, you can prevent accidents or collisions with birds, poles or any other obstacles. ● Keep spare batteries with you, if you plan on flying for long hours. You can also keep spare parts and a small repair tool kit whenever you are flying. ● It is also good to be doubly-sure when flying. Go through the flying checklist to ensure your drone is intact and in a condition to operating safely. ● Never take GPS signals for granted. For safe flying, ensure that your device has 4 bars (out of 5) on GPS signals. ● It may seem adventurous to fly when the weather has changed, but adverse weather can affect your device. Fog, strong winds, rain and snow can damage your equipment beyond repair.
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