If a Quadcopter is to remain stable then the thrust generated by each of the four propellers must be adjusted to be in sync with each other. The only way to achieve this is by speeding them up or slowing them down. The very fact that the propellers are connected directly to the motors makes these craft very cost effective to manufacture. A helicopter on the other hand needs a complex cyclic-pitch mechanism to drive a single propeller.
If you think Quadcopters are inherently more stable than RC Helicopters you would be wrong. If an RC Helicopter was equipped with the same electronic gyroscopic stabilization system as a Quadcopter then it would be far more stable. “Blade” a popular RC Helicopter Brand owned by Horizon Hobby is experimenting with Quadcopter stabilization systems in their latest model the 200 SR X Ready to Fly model. Blade’s trademarked SAFE technology enables pilots to simple press a button if they feel they are losing control of the unmanned aerial vehicle and it will automatically stabilize and return to steady flight.
The small Micro Quadcopter propeller blades spin extremely fast but on larger models the slower spinning bigger propellers are far more aerodynamically efficient. A new breed of mid-sized inexpensive Drones has recently appeared using a simple gear system connected to each individual motor to rotate the larger propellers. WLtoys a Chinese producer of Radio Controlled Toys and Syma another Chinese RC company with their bestselling X5C Explorer have had considerable success with models using this type of set up. Multi-Rotors in this genre are remarkable robust, durable and face far less challenges when attempting repairs than a traditional Radio Controlled Helicopters.
Technology Packed Drones
The technology packed into the smallest Nano Quadcopters is outstanding. For under $20 you can buy a tiny flying aerial robot that when connected to a four channel radio controlled transmitter will be simple to fly, hover and perform intricate aerobatics. Anyone who wishes to learn to fly one of these remarkable unmanned aerial vehicles can do so and it is this low cost entry that is fueling the demand for the Toy/Hobby Grade Quadcopters. Many of the first time Drone Flyers, gadget lovers, wannabe hobbyist, children as young as 10, will start small with micro drones, Hubsan X4’s, Walkera Ladybirds, Wltoys V series or similar, get addicted to the fun of flying and will move on to more expensive advance models. Tech savvy media guys especially those with creative photography skills will often bypass this initial step and buy a DJI Phantom Quadcopter. Any photographer who loves to shoot action videos will have a versatile GoPro action camera as part of their kit. They can buy the DJI Phantom 2 New with Zenmuse H3-3D GoPro Gimbal Combo for under $1000 attach a Hero3+ and add another income stream to their businesses.
Drone Hobbyists Rewarded
The dedicated American hobbyists are monetizing their knowledge of remote controlled aircraft many through affiliate marketing and they deserve every dollar they earn. They publish excellent first hand impartial reviews on all the latest models, they don’t lie (they would be exposed by irate buyers); they tell it like it is and save the buying public fortunes. They work hard at something they are passionate about; they are proud and happy to share their knowledge with others and should be duly rewarded. There is unfortunately a lot of crap out there and they act as an avoidance system.
Drone Avoidance Systems
The latest software development race in the unmanned aerial systems market is avoidance systems. Once you have loads of these UAVs flying through the skies you don’t want them crashing into each other, buildings or people. The current contender for the Zuckerberg of the Commercial Drone Industry is Frank Wang of DJI Innovations but he is only as good as his next model. Expect challenges from software developers that can write complex algorithms for avoidance/safety systems and adapt them for commercial purposes.
Alan is serial entrepreneur, active angel investor, and a drone enthusiast. He co-founded DRONELIFE.com to address the emerging commercial market for drones and drone technology. Prior to DRONELIFE.com, Alan co-founded Where.com, ThinkingScreen Media, and Nurse.com. Recently, Alan has co-founded Crowditz.com, a leader in Equity Crowdfunding Data, Analytics, and Insights. Alan can be reached at alan(at)dronelife.com