What's the difference between drones and quadcopters?
People tend to confuse these two because most drones out there are quadcopters. The difference between a drone and a quadcopter is that the quadcopter HAS to have 4 motors. In contrast, "drone" refers mainly to any category of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, even if it has 3, 4, 6 or however many motors.
How do drones work?
If we talk about standard motorized drones like quadcopters that you can frequently find in the sky (ex DJI), then you need to know that it is propelled by fast spinning rotors that push air under the drone and lift it up.
You require a pilot to fly the drone and control it through a transmitter that sends the signals to a mainboard, which controls each motor's speed.
For example, if the motors in front spin slower than the ones in the back, the quadcopter(in this case) tilts forward and, therefore, advances forward.
The more a drone is tilted, the less power is used for helping it stay in the air and the more it is used for propelling it forward (or laterally).
Certain drones come with a camera that can livestream video directly on a controller screen or even your smartphone. Some examples of these drones are the DJI drones which offer a simple way of live streaming.
What is the difference between brushed and Brushless motors?
I know I talked about things like Brushless motors and 3-axis what? There's the glossary with the terms in the description, but let's go over them quickly.
Brushless motors are superior to Brushed motors in every way but are also more expensive.
Brushes inside electric motors are used to deliver current to the motor; brushless motors don't have these commutators. Unfortunately, this means that the Brushed motors are in perpetual physical contact with the shaft and brushes, and they wear out. This also makes them noisier.
You can usually find brushed motors in cheaper beginner drones, under $100, while brushless motors are found in more expensive drones.
What's a 3 axis gimbal?
Gimbals are usually found in professional camera drones and are a series of motors that help stabilize the camera, independent of how the drone moves or vibrates. This is what creates those silky-smooth videos you see on youtube.
A 3 axis gimbal has 3 motors that stabilize the image in all the 3 axis; a 2 axis gimbal doesn't usually have side stabilization and tends to be slightly cheaper.
Because this is quite a sophisticated system, they're not that cheap, so expect to add at least $100 to $200 to the drone price if it has one of these (especially good ones).
What is electronic image stabilization?
Electronic image stabilization is an alternative or addition to the 3 axis gimbal stabilization and means that the image is stabilized through software inside the drone. This is usually a compromise, as it has to cut down from the final image size, to compensate for all the movement.
Although EIS has made colossal progress lately, nothing can compare with a good 3 axis gimbal.
What is obstacle Avoidance System?
Another term used more recently is obstacle avoidance system, thanks to the largest drone manufacturing company, DJI.
They have included cameras on their drones to provide alerts for objects in proximity and even calculate a new trajectory for the drone.
Drones usually have these either in front of them or, lately in the back, sides, up and down.
What is RTF(Ready to Fly) and BNF (Bind to Fly)?
The term Ready To Fly mainly comes from hobby drone enthusiasts and makes a difference in how a drone can be bought from the store.
You can get it fully functional from the box, like most commercial drones (DJI, for example)
What is a LiPo battery?
A type of battery technology that is favored by many drone manufacturers because of its lightweight and high-capacity charging. While it is generally safe, LiPo's can burst in flames when overcharged or the polymer case is broken.
I tried to cover the most critical aspects of a drone as much as possible, but there's only as much as I can cover in a video. If you want to check out dozens of terms that will make you understand things better, check the description.
You'll learn what things like throttle, jello and Geofencing are and much more.
How far can drones fly?
There is a wide range of drones and flight distances depending on price, transmission technology, etc.
A drone can fly anywhere between 50m to 10km or more. I have made a list of my top long-range drones this year and more about the range and what you should know about it.
Keep in mind that you should follow drone regulations in your country, which usually means flying in line of sight.
Conclusion: why are drone terms important?
Drone terms are essential because they help us understand the capabilities and risks associated with drone technology. Drones can be incredibly powerful tools, but if we don't understand the terms used to describe them, we can find ourselves in dangerous territory. With a better grasp of these keywords, we can make wiser decisions when using drones for our benefit—whether that's for fun, work or something else entirely. Plus, it's just plain cool to know your stuff!
To sum it all up, you don't have to feel lost in the dark when it comes to drones and the terminology associated with them. With this article's breakdown of the many terms used for drones, you can rest assured that you won't be flying blind anymore! So now go out there and show off your new drone wisdom.