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Best Drones Under $100 0

Best Drones Under $100

Making the best choice of gadgets at a minimal cost is the desire of every consumer. In this post, we will highlight the best drones that are under $100. Depending on your little budget, you will acquire the best flying machines. But if you have limited resources, we’ve selected the fastest, long-lasting, smartest, and most stylish UAVs below the $100 benchmark. 

  1. Blade Nano QX: With a market price of around $89, this is one of the best flying machines under the $100 mark. It may not perform like the Phantom 4, but it outshines its own price. As its name implies, the Nano QX is quite small. Business Insider describes it as being small enough to fit into a palm; the minuscule nature of this flying robot makes it flyable indoor and outdoor. Due to its well-built frame and propeller guards, Nano QX doesn’t fall apart easily if crashed into an obstacle. If it is ripped apart, fixing it is quite easy as it has cheap spare parts. If you seek a cheap flying robot, this UAV is durable, affordable, and very easy to fly. 
  2. Hubsan 4X: This flying machine will always find its way into the list of every drone enthusiast. Acquirable for a paltry $47, Hubsan 4X is featured as one of flying gadget for a beginner as compiled by National Geographic Voices due to its comparison to the Phantom series. If you are still a learner with flying robots, this inexpensive robot is a “must have”. With its LED light and stability, Hubsan 4X is a step in the right direction to be a drone collector.
  3. Syma X5C: For a token of around $44, this a good deal considering the built-in features of the X5C. It is not child’s play to be rated 4.1 on Amazon, neither should several positive reviews of the Syma X5C from Gizmodo and CNET be treated with kid’s gloves. Stability and balancing issues, associated with some drones, are absent. In addition, its propellers can provide the insurance cover in anticipation of a crash. This flying machine has replaceable parts sold on Syma website; they also make it fixable with the assembly breakdown provided on the site. 
  4. Latrax Alias: Latrax Alias is an excellent way to start the drone fever. It is sold at around $97, and you can learn how to fly a drone manually with the Latrax Alias without bothering about crashing. MyFirstDrone regards it as a useful and durable flying object, especially with its manual flying capability. It has a 7-inch body and large propeller commands structure authority with which you can attempt pirouette maneuvers and bank turns without fear of steadiness. Even though durable, if it crashes, it has replaceable parts. This flying robot is not one of those drones that become useless after few weeks of usage. 

 

We all love good and quality gadgets, but our pocket size has always been the number one determining factor. This list has solved the limitation on quality placed by your purchasing power, as it has suggested the best priced flying machines under the $100 mark. So, never let your budget deprive you of this inexpensive but sophisticated gadgets. 

  • Alex R

Autel Robotics: X Star Premium Vs. X Star Drone 2

Autel Robotics: X Star Premium Vs. X Star Drone

Autel Intelligent Technology Company Limited ventured into the expanding drone technology market with their subsidiary, Autel Robotics. The top diagnostic equipment company set up the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) in 2014 but launched their first product – the X Star – a year later. The company leveraged on the growing industry to produce UAVs that have intelligent but affordable features. The X Star Premium is an upgrade in the series and compares well with other unmanned systems. We will compare both products in the series below.

Camera

Autel quadcopters are designed specifically to handle film and photography applications. The X Star series has the best video quality 4K cameras. The built-in camera can capture high definition pictures with its 12-megapixel resolution. The X Star Premium has the same camera like the X Star. The series has live view quality of 720p with 240 frames per second or 1080p at 120 frames per second. The live view frequency is 5.8 GHz, and the formats can be either in MOV or in MP4. 

The difference between both models in the series is the live view range. The X Star Premium has twice of the transmission reach of the X Star. X Star has control and video transmission distance range of 0.62 miles, while the upgraded version can cover 1.2 miles. Also, the images are stored on a 64 GB micro SD card compared to the images of the X Star stored on a 16 GB card.    

Winner: X Star Premium

Flight time

Flight time is the time the unmanned flying machine remains midair with no additional weight. The series lasts up to ten minutes more than the average UAV. Both models have up to 25 minutes flight time and batteries charged within the hour. An intelligent lightweight 4900mAh LiPo battery powers X Star and X Star Premium. The battery power gives it an edge in the civilian drone market. Aside the flight time, the series has an average flight speed of 36mph, giving it another slight edge in the market. 

No Winner  

 

Intelligent features 

X Star Premium and X Star use the GPS and GLONASS navigation system, like other modern unmanned systems. Autel employed the Starpoint Positioning System, which measures the height of the device to ensure compliance with altitude restrictions and tracks the position. Even with weak GPS signals, the X Star models perform well. 

Other smart flight features like the Follow Me, Orbit, and Waypoints help with flight control of the drone. The devices are beginner-friendly as a geofence fence feature limits the range and speed of the unit. There is a Starlink app (available only on Android and iOS) that receives the video feed from the camera. 

X Star and X Star Premium do not have the collision avoidance capability but incorporate most intelligent features available in the market. 

Summary

X Star Premium comes with a splash-proof protective carrying case worth almost $100, unlike the X Star model. X Star Premium goes for $899 on Amazon, and the edge is the increased SD card size and transmission range. X Star Premium uses radio link for video compared to X Star that which uses Wi-Fi. X Star Premium wins but comes with an extra cost of $200.   

  • Alex R

AERIAL DRONES FOR VIDEOS 1

AERIAL DRONES FOR VIDEOS

Photography and video are two primary reasons why drones have become so popular in recent times. Many years ago, shooting aerial videos was accessible to only those sitting in a helicopter seat or by attaching cameras to kites. The former was expensive while the latter was largely ineffective. The advent of drone technology for capturing aerial footage has improved cinematography as a craft. Nowadays, shooting HD footage of multitude of objects and natural features from different perspectives has become less costly, more accessible and more efficient, thanks to UAVs. They provide non-studio videographers an intriguing medium to capture aerial shots that were previously unattainable. 

Based on the need of a videographer, aerial drones are classified into professional and personal drones. A professional drone for capturing aerial videos typically contains large multi-propeller configuration, fast-flying feature, wind and rain control properties and the ability to land safely if one motor is lost during flight. To a professional cinematographer, a typical working drone has to be able to carry a camera that weighs up to five pounds over a period and must be able to capture still footage up to 6k resolution and use high-quality PL lenses. Thus, professional cinematographers employ the services of professional drone companies with custom-designed drones and skilled pilots who can safely execute a complex shot such as a chase scene. Professional drones are available in hexacopters (which contain six motors and propellers) and octocopters (which contain eight motors and propellers). A typical professional octocopter is the Freefly Systems Cinestar 8 ($6,250), while an example of hexacopter is the DJI S900 drone. The octocopters are more powerful in taking dynamic aerial shots. 

Personal drones for shooting videos usually contain four motors and propellers (quadcopters) and are mostly used by hobbyists for shooting 2k videos. They are low priced (as low as $90 for 720p camera), yet offer considerable level of standard. Examples of Personal drones include DJI Phantom 3 series (starting from $799) and the 3D Robotics Solo ($999). The Phantom 3 series provide easy accessibility for first-time cinematographers to capture still videos. The Solo, on the other hand, offers smooth and mistake-free aerial shots. 

For a starter, there are certain factors to consider in capturing an aerial video with a flying robot. These factors are as follows:

  • Selecting a vehicle – there are budget-friendly at under $500, while a typical remote-control drone cost between $500 and $1,000 (such as the DJI Phantom 2 vision+).
  • Selecting a camera – the GoPro Hero 3+ is capable of shooting video as high as 1440p at 48 frames per second. Other budget camera models use the equivalent of a cheap webcam to capture low-resolution videos (640×480p) to an internal memory card for later viewing. 
  • Selecting a control method – most aerial drones can be operated remotely by hand-held remote controllers or by computers or mobile apps. 
  • Setting a pre-defined flight path – preferably by using google maps. Flight plans used by other users can also be downloaded.  
  • Quality of camera and the motherboard carrying it.

Also, beginners have to be mindful of where to fly their drones, and the local laws regulating the flying of unmanned aircraft. This is to ensure safety during flight and to prevent the drones flying into a car or hitting a person. 

  • Alex R

WHAT IS GEOFENCING? 0

WHAT IS GEOFENCING?

Many of us would have come across the term “geofencing” in one way or the other. Perhaps in the news articles, product manuals, certain mobile applications, and so on. In explaining what geofencing means, we will split the complex word into its simple forms, i.e. geo and fencing. Geo simply means a geographical area, while fencing refers to the creation of virtual boundaries. Thus, geofencing simply refers to the creating virtual boundaries for a geographical area. However, in the technological world, geofencing refers to the use of the Global Positioning System (GPS) or radio frequency identification (RFID) to define geographical boundaries, thus creating a virtual barrier. It is a software program that set a geographical boundary defined by an administrator, thus allowing the administrator to be notified when there is an exit from or entry into the boundary. 

Geofencing has been applied in so many ways across various fields. One of the first commercial application of geofencing was in the livestock industry. It was applied by cattle ranchers in getting notified when the herd moved outside of their geographical boundaries in a ranch. This involved embedding GPS units on cattle. This enables the livestock farmer to optimize productivity in his cattle business. 

Geofencing is also used by store owners and marketers to engage their customers and local shoppers. Its application makes it possible for the targeted shoppers to receive discount coupons and promotional offers when they enter a mall or store. It is applied such that a marketer could easily send messages to smartphone users, when they enter a geographical area defined by him, such as his shopping mall. Geofencing helps the marketer to improve his customers' experience while also driving traffic to his location and activity on his promotions. Real estate agencies apply geofencing technology to reach out to possible buyers when such persons come near open houses.

Another application of geofencing is found in the online application building business. In the cyberspace, all builders use geofencing to push notifications to their users' device when they enter or exit a geofenced area. This gives the users the opportunity of getting informed about offers or special announcements that relate to the geofenced area, enabling them to act on them. Some of the apps that apply the geofencing technology include the following:

  • Life 360 app (available on Android and iOS)
  • Find My Friends app on Apple iOS
  • IFTTT (IF THIS THEN THAT) app on Android and iOS platforms
  • Skylark on iOS.

 

In the entertainment industry, geofencing is used by musical bands to send messages to fans. Geofencing also allows movie lovers to get notified when a film is available for viewing at the cinemas around their geographical location, thus bringing real-time fun to the public. 

Using geofencing helps companies in monitoring and safeguarding their vehicle fleet. A company manager, through geofencing technology, gets alerted when a company vehicle leaves the company’s boundary. This helps a company in ensuring proper evaluation of its activities, thereby reducing its risk of running into a loss. Geofencing has in no little way helped improve our world in many ways. It is believed by technologists that it can go a long way in proferring solutions to yet-to-be-solved issues in the technological world. 

  • Alex R

UAVs Used for Surveillance 1

UAVs Used for Surveillance

When a mission is regarded as dangerous, dirty, or tedious for humans, UAVs are preferable and deployed for such operations. Unmanned aerial vehicles have different usages, but one of its most useful purposes is monitoring and surveillance. Popularly known as drones, UAVs have become a gadget of importance to law enforcement agencies. Private individuals and actors are also seeking its usage for personal and private purposes. Surveillance drones are of different sizes and capabilities. Many of them can be launched by hands, whereas some are as large as an aircraft. 

Components of UAVs

While some surveillance drones are installed with facial recognition applications, heat sensors, infrared technology, motion detector, live feed cameras, GPS, license plate reader and speakers for listening to conversations. Tiny drones will easily go unnoticed when peering into a window or finding its way into a restricted area without the individuals noticing that someone is spying on them. The remarkable thing about UAVs is that it is very easy for anybody to fly it. In fact, a drone can be remotely controlled or purely automated depending on the objectives of the pilot. 

Usefulness of UAVs

Surveillance UAVs are often equipped with sophisticated imaging gadgets that can provide the flyer detailed photographs of people, terrain, vehicles, homes, and even minuscule objects. They are designed to undertake surveillance project that former methods of monitoring are unable to perform due to their limited capabilities. In supporting missions such as fugitive investigations, kidnappings, drug bust interdictions, search and rescue operations, UAVs have been deployed successfully. Since 2006, the FBI have used UAVs successfully in more than eight operations, two of which bothers on issues of national security. UAVs can be deployed for emergency and disaster management, national weather service tracking and traffic management, and crisis/crowd control management. Flying just one drone for surveillance is like having 20 police officers on patrol. Yes, that’s the fact.

Users of UAVs and Privacy Issue

Due to the virtue of their small size which makes them undetectable both in Urban and in rural areas, UAVs will continue to shape the functionality and efficiency of modern day police duties. UAVs are not just available for law enforcement authorities; it is also a big toy in the hands of companies and private individuals. But its use by entities, apart from government agencies, will undermine the privacy of individuals. Technology companies are developing paparazzi drones to monitor the movements of celebrities and government officials; they also take their pictures without their consent. Private investigation firms have also adopted the use of surveillance drones to monitor and trail their targets, thus waiting for “preys” to fall into their bait. Technology giants such as Google also make use of this surveillance drones to update the street view of the Google Earth and Maps. Elements of the underworld are not left out. The use the UAV gadgets to stalk and monitor their victims. 

Advantages of UAVs

The pros of UAVs for surveillance outnumbers the cons. With UAVs, trafficking, smuggling, robbery, and terrorism can be controlled and monitored closely. Natural phenomenon such as volcanic eruptions, tsunami, earthquakes, iceberg breakage and flooding can be monitored and humans evacuated to avert the loss of lives. Lastly, surveillance can be mounted on poaching, road traffic, and monitoring tree growth. Surveillance UAVs are here to stay, and according to predictions, by 2020 there will be a saturation of drones globally. Then, drones will be our new form of kite.

 

  • Alex R