What is the difference between a drone and a quadcopter?
Drones or quadcopters have become very popular. Many do not know what these devices are, how they work, and if there are any differences. Below we will understand what a quadrocopter and a drone are – what is the difference between them.
What is a drone?
To understand the difference between the two devices, you need to understand what they are. In terms of terminology, a drone is an unmanned device. It is both an aircraft and a ground vehicle. Even an ordinary robot vacuum cleaner is a drone. From English, this word is translated as a drone, why and by whom it was decided to call them so is unknown, but the name stuck in the world and often any drones are called drones. It should be said that this is not a mistake, in fact, it is the same thing. But it is important to understand that any quadcopter is a drone, but not vice versa.
Today, drones can be very different – they travel on the ground and fly in the air, plow the surfaces of the seas and descend into their depths. Drones are used for entertainment purposes (tanks and radio-controlled cars), they are often household appliances (the robots mentioned above), and are also used in the military (surveillance drones) and scientific purposes (underwater bathyscaphes, moon rovers). It is easy to understand that drone is the general name for a class of wireless devices. They have many subspecies.
A quadcopter is a drone, but the essential difference is that it must fly. That is, a quadcopter is an unmanned aerial vehicle. Moreover, this class is also wide enough. The apparatus in question is a device that has four motors and four screws. By creating a reverse thrust, they soar into the air, move at different distances, and remote control or smartphone is used for control. The RC four-bladed quadcopter can travel 3 km. This range is acceptable for expensive models.
How do quadrocopters differ from other drones?
The quad prefix says that this device has 4 blades. There are models with 2.6 and more blades. But quadrics have become more common due to better stabilization. It is believed that quadcopters have a better design that is more convenient in terms of control, making them easier to learn and pilot. Because of this, many drones are sold with a camera, which allows you to shoot interesting videos and take photos from high altitudes.
It may seem that copters are used solely for entertainment and video filming, but depending on the design, there are devices that can move non-heavy loads. It should be understood that the flight range is significantly limited by battery capacity. In 2019, models designed for domestic use flew a maximum of 30 minutes.
How to choose:
To choose a quadcopter, you need to pay attention to a number of characteristics.
- Before buying, you should decide what you need it for – play for a child, shoot a video, arrange races, or perform tricks. The price tag of the device largely depends on this.
- Airspeed is not a key parameter. It is important for those users who plan to arrange races, but for all other tasks, it will not be logical to choose a device based on speed.
- Ease of Control – All drones can be divided into two categories – amateur and professional. The first category has simple controls and allows you to learn how to operate the device. It has automatic landing and takeoff, automatic change of orientation (that is, the device has no front and back sides), there is an autopilot, and tricks can be performed by pressing one button. All these modes will allow you to learn how to operate the drone. Professional models are manual controls, but they have more interesting modes instead.
- The flight time of the copter can be up to 30 minutes. At the same time, preference should be given to models with a quick recharge or those that have the ability to quickly change the battery and continue flying.
- If the device is bought for video shooting, then it is worth evaluating the quality of video shooting. Resolution can be HD, FHD, and 4K. It all depends on the price of the device. Look at the angle of the image capture. But the most important point that will affect the video quality is the presence of stabilization.
- You can control the drone from the remote control via the radio channel, via a smartphone (the range will be shorter), or using first-person gestures. In the latter case, the copter must support work with branded or third-party VR glasses. The user sees the picture as if he himself is inside the device.
- We mentioned above the drone capabilities for ease of control, but there are modes that contribute to more convenient shooting. Following the setpoints will allow you to concentrate on shooting video, and the flight will be carried out in a predetermined mode. Tracking – the device will follow the specified object. Onsite scheduling – the machine freezes at a specified point. Remote control tracking – the user will be able to record his movements from a bird’s eye view.
- Household drones are fairly lightweight devices and wind can become an obstacle to their use. Some models provide modes in which the wind will not become a hindrance. However, their presence will reduce flight time.
- When buying a drone, you should expect in advance that it will be hit, dropped, and violent at first. For this reason, models with blade guard and optional blade kit should be considered.
When choosing a quadcopter for the first time, you should not chase an expensive model with a lot of features and a cool camera. Most likely, it will become unusable very quickly, and you will not have time to appreciate all its capabilities.