Drones are fun. Drones are cool. And, for now, drones are legal. Here are a few great commercial/entry-level drones that can take to the air right now and a few that might make it into stores – and the air – later this year.
Consumer drone use is a hot topic right now. Policies have been complicated by factors like the FAA’s struggle to regulate unmanned aircrafts. Some are in strong opposition to their existence, as seen in one angry woman’s assault on a teen operating a drone for hobbyist purposes at a Connecticut state park. Flickr | David Rodriguez Martin
Drones have a lot of potential to grow in the tech world, and drone technology is being embraced by numerous startups and gadget creators. Plus, they’re pretty darn cool. So, in defense of the drones, we give you 5 drones designed for consumer use that you could actually own. Flickr | Bit Boy
Parrot has released two new minidrones, the Jumping Sumo and the Rolling Spider. Both drones can be controlled through a smartphone app and were primarily designed to be fun toys for drone newbies, or those who are interested in drones but don’t want to shell out thousands to own one. The Jumping Sumo can be optimized to launch itself horizontally or vertically through the air. The Rolling Spider can fly, scale walls indoors, and is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand.
The DJI Phantom 2 Vision plus Quadcopter is a prosumer device that boasts a built-in GPS unit and a built-in camera you can remotely control through your phone. The camera works within nearly a 1,000-foot range with extended Wi-Fi. What sets this particular drone apart is the direct video downlink from the camera that shows up on your smartphone, along with a HUD detailing important flight information.
Researchers at MIT have developed a drone that could be a photographer’s new best friend. The robot is designed like a mini helicopter equipped with a light source. The machine can adapt to changes in a subjects posture, so the photographer can achieve the desired effect without having to adjust external light sources.