Our current post is dedicated for young drone enthusiasts. They, as many of the adults around them, also deserve to fly drones and have fun. We are going to bring to you a comprehensive drone guide for parents. The drone technology is evolving at a rapid pace and these incredible machines are able to creep into places and access locations that cannot be accessed by human beings. They can be used for capturing aerial videos and photographs. In contrast to a common belief, drones have not been designed for commercial purposes only. People of all ages, classes and backgrounds can get to fly drones, record videos, capture images, take selfies and perform stunning aerial tricks. Moreover, a drone also brings with it multitudes of additional utilities. Our current topic is meant for the younger drone fans and their parents. So, we will be attributing lots of importance to the safety aspects involved in the usage of drones.
We believe that parents should have knowledge about the best drones available on the market so that they are able to buy the perfect drone for their kids. Do not be worried whether your drones will be able to control and maneuver drones. They are far easier to control than you can imagine ever. By going through our guide, you will be able to get relevant knowledge about drones as parents and know how to react to different situations.
Keep in mind that all the drones that require registration with the Federal Aviation Administration are prohibited for kids.
Important things to keep in mind before purchasing a drone
1 – Search for a toy grade drone
Ensure that the drone you get for your kids is a toy grade drone. There are machines such as the DJI Phantom series and the Parrot Bebop that boast autonomous flight features and make flying easier even for the rookies. However, these are much more powerful, bulky and heavier drones and are not fit for kids. Go for a simple toy grade drone with protective frames so that even it gets crashed, you do not have to lose a lot in terms of your investment.
2 – Drone’s suitability for indoor or outdoor flight
Drones are not always fit for indoor as well as outdoor flight simultaneously. There are numerous drones that are suitable for either indoor flight or outdoor flight at one time. A drone good enough for indoor flight should be able to stable over a certain location steadily, boasts responsive control and does not have to be sturdy enough to be resilient in the face of gusty conditions. Having said that, there are tons of drones that can fly indoors as well as outdoors. If you want your kid to fly a drone indoors, then go for the one that offers a stable hover and comes with protective frames around the motors and propellers. The size of the drone can vary depending on the area in which the drone will be flown. Keep in mind that a larger drone will wreak havoc indoors and a drone with faster rotation of motors and hence the propellers will be tougher to maneuver indoors as well. If you want a drone for outdoor flights, then opt for the one that is powerful enough to be stable in the face of strong winds.
3 – Steady hover
If the drone is not stable enough, it will be hard to maneuver. A drone with unsteady hovering will require more command input by the pilot to ensure that the drone remains steady in the air. A good drone that is fit for learning and practice purposes, should have a steady hover even when there is some wind around. Such a drone will require less command input from the pilot. To make sure that a drone is stable and does not become out of control, drones come with a gyroscope system. There are some drones that offer a robust gyroscope system that makes them ideal for learning and practice purposes. The stability of a drone is greatly affected by the efficiency of the gyroscope system. If you are going to fly your drone outdoors, it should be stable enough.
4 – Durability and reliability
Your kids will definitely crash their drone. We all do this! That is why we learn how to fly a drone and spend hours practicing. So your kids will also crash their drones down a number of times. This is all part of a fun. As parents, we do not want that your money goes to waste owing to your damaged drone. Obviously, you along with your kid would want to fly your drone as much as possible before it gets damaged or completely destroyed. So, it is important that your drone boasts a durable frame. Most of the drones are made of ABS plastic which is low cost and lightweight material. This is the same plastic that is used in LEGOS. In case of crashes, this material does not get damaged easily and is resistant to crashes. Having said that, it is important that you fly your drone with utmost care. You should not immerse it into water, fly it in rain or even fly it near heavy traffic.
5 – Radio Controller or Smartphone Operated
Generally, a drone controlled by a 2.4GHz or 5.8GHz radio controller is preferable. But if your kids has a smartphone or you do not mind lending your smartphone to them, you can go for a drone that gets connected to the mobile handheld device via WiFi using an app powered by Android or iOS. I believe that for learning, a 2.4GHz controller operated drone is a better choice but if your kid is at home with the smartphone, these toy grade drones will work just fine. More often than not, the drones that can be controlled with a smartphone are low cost since the manufacturer is not compelled to furnish a dedicated controller with the drone.
6 – Features and specifications
Features tend to make controlling the drone easier while there are some which enhance the fun that one can get from flying them. Headless mode is a feature that makes flying a drone, a whole lot easier. We will discuss this more in detail in our upcoming sections. If you purchase a drone equipped with the Headless mode feature, be rest assured that you have bought a device that is easy to maneuver.
Before your kids start flying
Adult supervision is mandatory whether your kids are flying drones indoors or outdoors. If your kids are lesser than 14 years of age, ensure that you are always keeping an eye at them while they are busy flying drones. Even if your drones are harmless and user-friendly, safety precautions are a must.
Keep an eye at surroundings
If your kids are flying drones indoors, ensure that there is sufficient space for the machine to fly around. A drone with a stable hover and of a compact size, flying a drone even in the living room or the bedroom is of no issue. Try and avoid flying drones closer to areas which cannot be accessed in case the drone ends up crashing or getting lost. Objects that are easily broken should be removed from the flying zone. If you own a larger drone, ensure that the flying zone is large enough and the probability of collisions is reduced as much as possible. Make sure that you do not let your kids fly drones near bodies of water, in crowded local parks or near traffic.
Bind the drone
It is important that you bind the drone to the controller. Switch on the controller, place the drone on a flat surface and then push the throttle up, down and then up again. The drone is now bound with the controller and you are now ready to fly the drone.
Features and Specifications
This feature lets the drone’s camera broadcast a real time video stream of the video captured to a LCD monitor or a smartphone screen. There are drones that transmit video feed via 5.8GHz frequency directly to a LCD monitor that is commonly included in the original packaging. Other drones transmit the video through an app directly to the user’s handheld mobile device. Though with some latency, the user is able to view the captured video in real time.
Let’s first discuss how the orientation of a drone works actually. Drone has a front as well as a rear which is not easy to identify because of the symmetrical design of drones. In order to get rid of this issue, manufacturers design their drones with differently colored propellers so that the pilot is able to identify the front. However, when the drone flies too far, it becomes very difficult for the pilot to identify the exact orientation of the drone. The headless mode makes the orientation irrelevant. With the headless mode triggered on, and the drone facing you, if you push the stick in the forward direction, the drone will fly towards you. However, when in headless mode, you need to ensure that before launching your drone, the front of the drone is your front as well. It is mandatory to activate the headless mode before flight and never mid-flight.
360 degrees spin
A drone does a 360 degrees in any direction. Drones with smaller size and higher agility are able to accomplish the 360 degrees spin efficiently without losing any elevation. On the other hand, drones that are of larger size, do not boast high agility and tend to lose elevation. Nevertheless, this feature can be switched on simply by pressing a button on the radio controller. This is a nice little aerial stunt that is fun and will definitely impress the onlookers.