The world we live in is constantly changing and the latest gadget that is bound to take your breath away are drones. They are basically Unmanned Aerial Vehicles or UAVs, which can be operated through a remote control. The device has been used for defense purposes for years now, but recent years have seen the rise of its usage among civilians. Let’s find out a little more about them. You might also want to read 10 Gadgets to Look Forward to in 2017
What are they useful for?
Even though, drones are used for high-quality photography they can serve several other purposes too. A lot of courier companies want drones to be legalized for delivery of products, which seems like the way things will work in the future. Also, drones are used by the military to collect intelligence and even attack high-risk areas where it may be unsafe to send a real fighter pilot. They may also be used to carry passengers, and we won’t be surprised if a few generations from now entire aircraft will transport people.
For civilians though, drones are mostly used for photography. From taking high-quality wedding photographs to shooting landscapes that look beautiful, drones can allow you to take fascinating pictures.
You can also indulge in drone racing with your friend, but not many people do that. In fact, you’ll find that controlling your drone will be tougher than it looks. But rest assured, you’ll definitely get better with practice.
Are there any legal formalities one needs to complete before flying a drone?
Yes, indeed. Since drones can be dangerous, especially when they are flown at a very high altitude (you don’t want your drone to strike an aircraft) – the DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation) has laid down some rules for its usage and you must read its full circular before you start using one yourself.
Here are a few important excerpts from it:
- All unmanned aircraft intended to be operated in India will require an Unique Identification Number (UIN) issued from DGCA.
- All civil UA operations at or above 200 ft AGL in uncontrolled airspace for any purpose whatsoever will require UAOP (UA Operator Permit) from DGCA.
- Remote pilots shall undertake thorough practical training in the control of a UA in flight, which may consist of a proportion of simulated flight training.
Remote pilot should have attained 18 years of age and have thorough ground training equivalent to that undertaken by aircrew of manned aircraft or a PPL holder (aeroplane / helicopter) with FRTOL. The above training requirements for remote pilots are not applicable for micro category UA & recreational flying.
Which ones should you buy?
Here’s a list of the drones that are currently available to buy in India. But make sure you take all legal safeguards before you fly them.
FLYER’S BAY SCOUT QUADCOPTER 2.4G
This drone doesn’t come with a camera, but you can attach it externally. It has a range of 30 metres and costs an affordable Rs. 4,399. Another interesting feature is its ‘Throw Launch Capability’ which enables you to start flying the drone by simply throwing it into the air.
YUNEEC TYPHOON H
One of the things that we really like about the Yuneec Typhoon H is that it has a controller with a 7-inch touchscreen, which allows you to see your photos and videos in real time. It also has an above average battery life of 25 minutes and costs $1299, which is around Rs. 87,500.
DJI MAVIC PRO
If you have the money, the DJI Mavic Pro drone is a fantastic buy. It comes with a 12-megapixel camera and you can even live-stream your videos on YouTube and Facebook. The only catch is that it costs around Rs. 66,000.
This is an extremely easy to use and smart buy for beginners. The Karma drone was briefly taken off the market, as some models were losing power during flight, but GoPro has fixed that problem and are back in the mix. Costing $799 abroad, the Karma comes with a gamepad-like controller with a screen, a case and a stabiliser that can be removed and used separately by hand; the GoPro camera needs to be bought separately. It’s not available in India yet, so you’ll have to wait a while (or import it) to get your hands on it. Wearable Tech Under Rs 10k That You Need to Buy
HOVER CAMERA PASSPORT
This is a unique drone when it comes to appearance. What stands out about it is its ability to shoot perfect selfies. It can detect your face, follow you everywhere you go and you don’t need to control it all the time. It’s a bit on the pricey side though, at $599 which is approximately Rs. 40,000.
AZI SYMA X5SC 2.4G
Another great drone for its price (Rs. 6,359 on Amazon). You can fly it comfortably at a height of 25 metres. It also comes with a camera, and can take more than a few drops without getting damaged. Also, check out the Top Five Portable Gadgets!
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(Photo credits: Company websites)