Drones were once part of fantasy but the modern technology has ensured that they are transformed from mere concepts to actual gizmos at an astonishing pace. The incredible development and revolution witnessed by the smartphone industry has a big role to play in the sudden advancement of the small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (sUAVs). There are numerous drone manufacturers worldwide who are vying to gain ascendancy in the drone consumer as well as commercial market.
In this post, we are going to discuss some of the leading drone manufacturers across the globe who are pushing the boundaries in terms of innovative drone creation. Our list contains entrenched market leaders as well as burgeoning startups who have come up with novel inventions and made the flourishing drone industry proud.
We bring to you a comprehensive list of drone manufacturers from around the world who are building top of the line drones and integrating them with cutting edge technology.
1 – Da-Jiang Innovations
DJI have their headquarters situated in Shenzhen which is also known as China’s Silicon Valley. Direct access to suppliers, raw materials and young, talented crop of engineers are the primary reason for DJI’s phenomenal success over the past few years. From a single small office in 2006 founded by Frank Wong, DJI have expanded into a massive workforce of over 6,000 employees as their offices are also located in the US, Germany, Holland, Japan, China and Hong Kong. Experts in cinematography, agriculture, energy conservation, search and rescue, infrastructure and other fields are highly dependent on DJI for redefining their work ethics.
2 – Yuneec
Yuneec started out by producing unmanned aerial vehicles for model-making junkies. They have always believed in developing user-friendly drones that are meant for beginners. Their drones are being used for search and rescue missions by the fire fighters, coast guards and other law enforcement agencies. Yuneec strongly envisages that a view from the sky is always an added advantage in case of emergency situations for the emergency response squads. The Typhoon Q500 was the first ready to fly unit to have hit the shelves and has been their most popular product ever since. Its upgraded version now includes 4K camera that is equipped with automatic panning and focusing features. They are being considered as a serious threat to the domination of DJI in the drone industry.
3 – Parrot
Well known for developing and promoting some of the most intricate wireless multimedia products, Parrot collaborates with some of the world’s most intelligent and smart minds. With Parrot AR. Drone as their flagship product, Parrot are endeavoring to take over the drone industry. AR. Drone is the first small unmanned aircraft system that uses a WiFi connection and augmented reality. With such innovations, Parrot is attempting to add new perspectives to the lives and work ethics of consumers and commercial enterprises around the globe. Their Bebop series is posing great threat to the entrenched market leaders such as DJI and Yuneec in the fields of aerial photography and cinematography. They are producing some of the most feature-rich and affordable drones around.
4 – EHang
EHang are one of the leading companies who have excelled in developing top quality smart drones and have their headquarters stationed in Guangzhou. They have developed one of the most user-friendly smart drones known as GhostDrone 2.0. The amazing GhostDrone 2.0 features controls by EHang Play app, AVATAR flight mode and an immersive digital aerial cinematography experience that has captured the imagination of people from all over the world. The beginning of the year 2016 saw EHang coming up with their innovative, safe, smart, intelligent and environment friendly drone known as EHang1848 that is being touted as an excellent solution for communication and transportation. The fact that their devices can be maneuvered by smartphones makes them really handy and a hit among drone fans.
5 – Hubsan
Hubsan came onto the drone landscape in 2010 and are producing drones for commercial as well as recreational purposes. They are considered a force to be reckoned with when it comes to developing drones for the novices, intermediate drone pilots as well as the professional ones. Weighing only 11.4g, Nano Q4 drone is the world’s smallest drone. At the Consumer Electronic Show 2015, they announced that they would be coming up with tons of new models and variants. They upgraded their X4 RC quadcopters.
The Hubsan X4 H107 includes propeller guards that ensures bolstered security and is available at an extremely realistic price. Their devices portray full directional control support and let their users control them without any hindrance with the mere flick of their fingers. The users can switch between their expert and beginner modes. LED lights allow for high visibility for nighttime excursions. The joystick is integrated with a LCD screen that is also fitted with a 2.4GHz transmitter.
Hubsan Hornet Quadcopter is one the best devices out there that has been designed to provide a stunning flying experience both indoors and outdoors. It features USB charging so you can charge your device right next to your computer. Moreover, the LED lights are available in four different colors while 6-axis gimbal ensures enhanced stability during flights. The user can attach or detach the HD camera as and when required which affects the payload and hence the flight duration of the device.
6 – 3D Robotics
3D Robotics are based in Berkeley, California and focus on developing smart drones such as their super-duper hit Solo. Solo, the first smart drone of the world, was introduced by 3DR in 2015. Solo employs cutting edge technology to ensure that aerial cinematography and photography becomes accessible to rookie drone enthusiasts and those with limited financial resources. And similar to the smartphone case study, Solo has been able to make a transition from the consumer drone industry to the commercial drone industry owing to its prolific success.
Despite having gone through certain setbacks in the recent past in the shape of staff reshuffling and layoffs, in the spring of 2016, 3DR came up with Site Scan which is a user-friendly and extremely powerful open aerial analytics platform that allows for seamless aerial data collection; thereby allowing virtually anyone to carry out physical asset management and analysis as and when required.
7 – Cybaero
Founded in 2003, Cybaero is based in Sweden and started off their operations by developing unmanned aerial helicopters. However, they have jumped into the realm of drones as well. They carried out the first public UAV flight demonstration in Sweden and have collaborated with Indra.
8 – Insitu
Insitu were partners with Boeing Aircraft and were later on bought as its own subsidiary by the tech giant. Insitu have been engaged in Pentagon Projects ever since they changed their paths from naval imaging surveillance for commercial fishing boats in the aftermath of the Iraq War. Their state of the art military products, the Boeing ScanEagle does not require a runway to be launched as they takeoff via pneumatic catapult and has been with the US Army since 2004. The US Navy and Marine Corp have also bought Insitu’s Integrator UAV for combat and surveillance purposes.
9 – Aeryon Labs
This is a Canadian manufacturer that specializes in developing Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) scout drones. These machines do not require any runway or launch pad to takeoff. Their flagship mini drone, Aeryon Scout, has the ability to capture high resolution images, thermal imaging and can be maneuvered through the tablet-PC interface without requiring a dedicated radio control transmitter. You just have to point to the Google Map interface connected to the GPS system and the device will follow the desired trajectory autonomously.
10 – Precision Hawk
Precision Hawk are specialists in developing drones for retrieving low altitude data, data analysis and management. They are basically information delivery experts and make use of UAVs to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of business operations by providing them with information collected from the sky. Lancaster Mark III, is their flagship device that is capable of capturing high resolution aerial shots and remote sensing data for business that are powered by Artificial Intelligence. The rise of the machines is a scary through against this backdrop!
11 – SenseFly
SenseFly have colloaborated with Parrot, one of their competitors. The technology developed by Parrot is employed in majority of SenseFly products including their eBee mapping drone that is capable of capturing stunning aerial images that can be converted into accurate aerial maps and three dimensional models.
12 – Extreme Fliers
Extreme Fliers are based in London and are gaining plenty of traction among consumers for their Micro Drone. This is a compact sized drone that is able to broadcast a real time video feed captured right from the drone’s eye. It is available at a reasonable price and is fitted with features that you would generally associate with larger sized drones. It fits easily in the palm of your hands and makes use of some of the most sophisticated sensor technology around.
13 – SquaDrone System
The famous Hexo+ drone has been developed by SquaDrone. It is an autonomous drone that comes with a 3D gimbal that is able to follow the user and capture images. Designed especially for the fans of action sports, it provides a great opportunity to the athletes to have themselves captured without requiring a person to control the imaging device. The company boasts more than two decades of film production and flight navigation experience and are based in San Francisco.
14 – Dronomy
Dronomy are headquartered in Tel Aviv, and claim to be specialists in sense and avoid technology. They have developed drones that are able to maneuver autonomously across hurdles. They received about $1.5 million because of their potential to develop drones that could navigate through cluttered environments. They are being touted as the next big thing in the drone industry.
15 – Onago Fly
This is one of the newest startups on our list and their new product is already becoming famous among drone enthusiasts. They are endeavoring to bridge the gap between nano-drones and the larger ones, OnagoFly, that bears the company name, features Follow Me, intelligent flight and collision detection and obstacle avoidance features. You could consider it a combination of machines from Dronomy, Lily, Hexo+ and Extreme Flies that could be controlled right from your smartphone.
16 – FotoKite
FotoKite is based in Zurich and are considered one of the best in versatile aerial photography. They have come up with Phi which is a drone one leash and boasts intelligent flight features. You simply have to attach a GoPro action camera to the drone and you can even cover protests, rallies and other heavily crowded events where flying a drone could be dangerous. It features low torque, soft plastic blades with guards that reduce the risk of injury.
17 – CyPhy Works
CyPhy are based in Danvers, Massachusetts and were able to secure $22 million in venture capital investment last year. They have come up with the innovative tethered drones that utilize a thin filament to enable unlimited flight durations, enhanced flight control and improved video processing. Their Persistent Aerial Reconnaissance and Communications (PARCs) vehicle systems have been designed for military as well as commercial purposes.
18 – Fleye
If you are looking for a personal autonomous robot drone, Fleye might have something to offer to you. They have come up with, what is being called as, the $1,200 floating soccer ball equipped with a camera. They have made use of the sphere shape to encapsulate the drone’s propellers in a shell that ensures flight safety for the drone itself as well as the onlookers around. Owing to its flawless design and unique appeal, Fleye was able to meet its Kickstarter goal last year.
19 – Krossblade Aerospance Systems
This is a company that is headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona that have developed, Krossblade SkyCruiser that is a vertical takeoff and landing aircraft cum roadcraft. They have attempted to test the propulsion system and come up with SkyProwler that is a tremendous electric UAV and could be a great find for parcel delivery services. As soon as the aerospace regulations are made lenient and Amazon start with their drone delivery service, their products will be in for some real demand.
20 – UDI RC
UDI RC are making a name for themselves in the drone manufacturing industry because of their affordable and top quality hobby-grade devices. They were established in 2010 and have been producing decent quality drones, helicopters and vehicles ever since. Creativity and durability are the basic mantra of their devices that they have always strived to pursue.
UDI RC have a pool of talented and dexterous engineers in Shenzhen Research and Development Center and are always on the lookout for producing machines that have the ability to capture the imagination of consumers. With every passing year, they are producing top notch products dedicated to beginners who are still in the process of learning how to fly a drone.
21 – Syma
Located in Shantou, China, Syma are renowned for their unmanned aerial helicopters. However, they have also stepped into the world of drones and their prolific X5C along with the X5C-1 Explorer 2015 Version is Amazon’s best selling products. Syma X11 mini quadcopter is one of the most popular devices to have been manufactured by the company while the Syma X5SW Plus quadcopter drone is making ripples among the fans with their FPV equipped machines.
In addition to consumer drones and helicopters, Syma also manufactures quadcopters and remote controlled cars and quadcopters hybrid. The Syma X5C is one of the best drones for the beginners to have hit the shelves ever and is one of the very best for those who want to get themselves acquainted with the art and science of flying a drone.
22 – Walkera
Walkera Technology Co. Ltd was established way back in 1994 and have now become one of the fiercest forces in the drone production industry ever since. They are the market leaders when it comes to research and development, drone production, marketing and state of the art customer relationship.
In addition to research, Walkera excels in the development of affordable small-scale drones that are accessible among the masses. They offer an extensive range of solutions for a wide array of commercial enterprises including, but not limited to, agriculture, search and rescue, survey, land mapping, inspection, energy infrastructure etc.
They are the owners of two sub-brands and have also established completely owned subsidiaries in North America and Europe. Their products are exported to more than a 100 countries in the world and are a great source of providing exhilarating flight experience to millions of users across the globe.
They strongly believe that success is not possible without support and cooperation from their customers. So, they have always prioritized producing innovative and imaginative products that are in accordance with the individual preferences of their customers.
23 – Blade
The Blade range of quadcopters are primarily responsible for the massive success of this brand. Their drones are integrated with state of the art technology called as SAFE that ensures that flying drones is as easy and safe as it can get. Horizon Hobby are the owners of Blade and have their headquarters located in Champaign, Illinois. Blade Nano QX is a leading drone designed specifically for the beginners and is one of the most recent machines to have been introduced by the brand.
Customer experience is something that Blade have always given a tremendously high priority to. They always believe in providing top notch RC solutions that are based on high-end unmanned aerial vehicle stabilization, 2.4GHz control and ready to fly units that make this hobby accessible and affordable for people belonging to all walks of life.
They always want to repay loyalty with loyalty to their customers and claim that they never attempt to use their competitor products in order to gain monetary gains. They claim that all their products are manufactured by a team of dedicated, experienced and learned engineers who put in concerted efforts to bring up solutions that will blow the minds away of their customers.
In addition to providing top quality devices, Horizon Hobby are always concerned about the customer feedback and always offer warranty repairs, maintenance programs, and comprehensive online resources. They first started working in 1985 and despite the passage of a couple of decades, their zeal and motivation for the development of top quality products has not diminished.
24 – Cheerson
Cheerson Hobby Technology Company was founded in 2011 and are professional drone manufacturers. They have received worldwide acclamation for producing top quality small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS). Their CXHOBBY and SH drones have gained massive popularity among drone consumers from all over the world. The manufacturers have been consistently upgrading Cheerson CX drones which are well-known for their low cost and high reliability. Their products are especially recommended to beginners and intermediate users who are in the process of learning to fly quadcopters.
25 – DraganFly Innovations Inc.
Established in 1998, the DraganFly Innovations Inc. are headquartered in California and claim to be the proud producers of the world’s first civilian drone. Their products are showcased by Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. They have been bought by Trace Live Networks which is a broadcasting network and aims to bolster its aerial imaging and data collection prowess. Their drones can be employed in agriculture, industry, inspection, surveillance, aerial photography and videography and search and rescue.
26 – Matternet
This enterprise was established in 2011 as part of a team project at Singularity University, Silicon Valley. The company has set out in a bid to bring about a revolution in the field of medical technology. They are developing drones that are able to deliver vaccines in crowded and congested locations. They own two sub-brands and have recently founded two wholly-owned subsidiaries in North America and Europe. Their products are exported to more than 100 countries and provide a perfect foil to beef up the inefficient transport network in least developed countries.
27 – JJRC
This company is also headquartered in China’s Silicon Valley, Guangzhong. They consider themselves masters in developing First Person View drones and have attracted millions of consumers worldwide. The company also develops good quality toy-grade drones which has helped expand their customer base. According to the UAV Systems International, JJRC drones are the ideal devices for novices as they are being used by a number of drone training schools all over the world. Moreover, the manufacturer has also come up with smaller quadcopters designed specifically for experienced drone pilots.
28 – Ascending Technologies
Intel Capital, a US based Software Company recently acquired Ascending Technologies in a bid to integrate its processors and RealSense imaging technology. Ascending Technologies have attracted numerous software development firms owing to its impeccable skill and dexterity in producing top quality hardware and software for drones. Their drones are being employed to enhance geo-mapping and air transportation services.
29 – Dedrone GMBH
This company is based in Kassel and specialize in developing software for detecting drones. Their signature product, Drone Tracker, aids in tracking down civilian drones that may be involved in carrying out illicit activities such as smuggling of contrabands and weapons. The software works in tandem with high-end sensors, video and audio hardware. This equipment is attached to rooftops, buildings and masts and assists in detecting drones in the vicinity. The company, established in 2014, is playing a vital role in its fight against crimes and illicit surveillance.
30 – Drone XBV-WL Toys
This company is headquartered in Amsterdam and is a manufacturer and distributor of toys since 2011. It claims to be the market leader in producing toy drones at reasonable price. In addition, their products are integrated with cameras to facilitate aerial videos and photographs. They have also shipped their products to Netherland’s law enforcement and security agencies to assist them in surveillance.
31 – Action Drones
This manufacturer is based in California and develops drones for sports, commercial purposes and industrial applications. Its customer base comes from Australia, Asia and New Zealand. Moreover, drone training courses are also offered by Action Drones to drone enthusiasts and commercial parties in addition to latest products. Their signature product, Y-6 rotor is a fire copter and can be equipped with a fire-extinguisher to fight fires from the air.
32 – AMIMON
The enterprise has come up with CONNEX, a small unmanned aircraft system that allows professional drone users to attach any rig with long range complete high definition video transmission features with zero latency. It is a private enterprise and started its operations in 2004. Its distribution network is found in California, Israel, Tokyo, Taipei and Shenzhen. They are one of the top drone manufacturers in China.
33 – DroneSmith
DroneSmith technologies are one of the entrenched market leaders in America, well-known for developing drones of the highest quality. Based in Nevada, DroneSmith have come up with an advanced drone operating system designed especially for drone developers and innovators. It is called Luci and assists in flight management and application development. QKII, an underground UAV platform is another innovative product that aims at optimizing algorithm development. DroneSmith Suite also offers cloud connected back-end service for drone application creation.
34 – UAV Solutions Inc.
UAV Solutions are a developing bunch that have been contacted by top of the line manufacturing and engineering firms to develop drones in order to cater to their security and surveillance. In the summer of 2016, UAV Solutions integrated 4G LTE modems in their drones, thereby facilitating drone pilots to maneuver their devices via the cellular network from anywhere on the earth with the assistance of a technician on the ground.
35 – GoPro
GoPro produces drones that are used in action movie photography. They are popular for manufacturing top of the line lightweight cameras and have collaborated with the mighty DJI. Their cameras can be attached to DJI drones and allow for better photo-shooting angles for cinematographers. GoPro has also partnered with YouTube to create omni-directional panoramic videos and have also hired Hulu’s former head of Original Series to carve out collaboration with Hollywood Studio.
Drone manufacturers, around the world, are adding a new dimension to the world economy. Rules and regulations are being made more and more stringent by countries all across the globe to deal with the menace of illicit drone usage.
In 2016, DJI, 3DR, Parrot and GoPro formed Drone Manufacturers Alliance as a representative for the drone industry and drone consumers including commercial enterprises. The alliance endeavors to raise its voice for policies that promote innovation and safety for all users of drones.