Imagine having the ability to fly or project yourself to anywhere of your choosing and observe certain proceedings without anyone been aware of your presence, what will you do?
While the US chose to spy on bizarre situations such as on the soccer training camp of the Germans, I believe most of us will use this ability to keep tabs on our elusive partners or destructive neighbors.
And although this is over simplifying the use of unmanned aerial vehicles otherwise known as drones, you have to admit it is quite a stimulating introduction to the topic of today—Drones!
Unmanned aerial vehicles
Drones: An Overview
The term ‘drone’ was coined when the first set of flying vehicles were introduce in the US and the unique ability of these vehicles to accomplish aerial movement without the assistance of human control, led the technicians and scientists working on such projects to nick name these aerial vehicles as drones.
Therefore, unmanned aerial vehicles or drones can simply be defined as robotic vehicles built with the ability to carry out aerial navigation using advanced GPS tracking systems and artificial intelligence to accomplish its purpose.
These unmanned aerial vehicles are generally equipped with certain tools and features such as on-board cameras, crash avoidance systems etc. depending on the functions the drone was designed to accomplish.
This means that the features of drones used in defense operations are usually different from those of domestic drones as will be shown below.
Types of Drones
As stated earlier, drone types are categorized by their use and functionalities but a broad categorization strategy can also be applied to create a nomenclature for drones and the below categories cover the different types of drones currently in use:
Combat Drones—our first awareness of the word drones will definitely be about its destructive abilities and use in scouting out enemy territory for the coordination of aerial attacks and the type of drones used in these situations are known as combat drones. These drones which are known for their combative nature come with attack features such as; dispersion of electromagnetic rays, thermal and kinetic forces and explosive capabilities. Examples of such drones is the Global Hawk which is equipped with advanced combative features.
Logistics and Reconnaissance Drones—drones with the necessary features—mapping, photography and video taking features—are used by both governmental and domestic departments/individuals to handle aerial research or gather information on a certain surrounding.
Civil and Commercial Drones—these drones are the vehicles used by the average individual for diverse purposes including; aerial photography, land scouting and other recreational purposes. Examples include the Storm Drone 6 GPS. It is also important to note that this article will pay more attention to drones listed under this category.
How Drones Function
The flight patterns of drones are initiated using two basic process which are:
Artificial Intelligence—were a drone will be equipped with a flight navigation system that includes GPS tracking features, crash avoidance and navigation features which provides the drone with the innate ability to function without being controlled.
Remote controlled—a done can also be controlled from a ground based station or on a control station situated on a vehicle. These drones are also equipped with diverse features such as night vision and video surveillance capabilities.
Getting Your Personal Drone
Now that we have a good understanding of what drones are and the difference between a combat drone and a commercial one, we can move to the next section of today which is purchasing your own drones but first it is important to note the regulations behind possessing a domestic drone.
In the United States, there are two major regulatory bodies that regulate the use of flying vehicles and they are the Federal Aviation Administration and the Academy of Modern Aeronautics.
These regulatory bodies set the safety standards for the use of drones as recreational vehicles. The Academy of Modern Aeronautics provides a set of standards—known as the voluntary safety standard—and some of the standards includes not flying a drone above 400 feet as well as obtaining the required permits required to purchase or use drones in domestic settings.
Adopt a Drone
The advancement in unmanned aerial vehicle technology has ensured that smaller sized drones with multiple functions have now been developed for sale on the market and some of these domestic drones which you can test drive include:
Parrot AR Drone v2.0
The parrot AR is popularly known as the starter pack for prospective drone connoisseurs and tech enthusiasts interested in using drones for recreational purposes. The Parrot AR which can be controlled using your android or iPhone comes with the following features:
A frontal high definition camera which allows you take pictures and record videos
An outdoor and indoor shell which are adapted for both outdoors and indoors flight
Remote controlled by either an Android or iOS based device
Storm Drone 6 GPS
The Storm Drone 6 is definitely more advanced than the Parrot and it comes equipped with its own starter pack, user manual and assembly instructions.
Added to its features and functions below is the fact that users will have to assemble its components and learn one or two tricks on using its advanced systems.
It spots a Go Pro camera for the taking of images and videos
It is equipped with extra batteries to prolong flight duration
It is controlled by a GPS module flight controller
It is built and designed to support the carrying of extra payload
It comes with a light weight hexacopter platforms with carbon fiber landings which aids the landing process
At the end of this course, you would have learnt the basic definitions of what a drone is, how they function and the different types and roles they play in commercial, recreational and governmental circles.
So in conclusion, we would like to state that before going online to purchase your private unmanned aerial vehicle, it is important that you know the rules and regulations of drone use in your locality in order to avoid afoul of the law.