Assembling your drone and flying it might seem complicated. After all, why would you do everything yourself when you can just buy a drone instead? There are two common answers. First, if you are a newbie, there is a decent chance you will crash the drone. Second, it is the feeling of a job well done. When you see it getting off the ground and you know it is you who made it happen, this whole venture feels much better.
Drones programming is not impossible, but it might take time and involve some frustration. What are the steps to do it properly then?
The first step involves getting the programming software. There are a few drones programming kits out there, but some of them stand out in the crowd. Each of them has both pros and cons. There are also a few smaller companies coming from behind.
The most advanced kits are designed for both newbies and more experienced users. You can usually start programming straight away, with close to no setup. Such kits are not really expensive. As for the setup, you just need to get all the parts together in order to run the app.
The second step implies getting a drone. You can purchase any quadcopter on the market, as long as it is not a really basic model designed for kids. Most of the above mentioned softwares are compatible with quadcopters that have a frame, brushless DC motors, ESCs, a lip battery, a control board with GPS and sensors, a power supply board and radio control.
Most configurations run with Android, but you can find some of them that are compatible with other operating system as well. If yours run with Android, you will need sensors, GPS, 3G, Wi-Fi, 100Hz or higher sensor refresh rate and Android 4.2 or newer.
When it comes to sensor, you should have a gyroscope, an accelerometer and a compass. A barometer is not always a must, but it will help.
What should you be aware of when using your smartphone with a drone? Make sure it is properly attached to it and points at the forward direction. It should not run any apps in the background, as it will slow down. Other disturbing services should be locked too – calls, push notifications and others. Make sure it is not in debut mode.
You do not necessarily need to program your drone, unless it actually gives you a satisfaction. Generally speaking, being able to code is a good skill. You have the ability to use your imagination and generate ideas. At the same time, this is how you communicate with machines.
Moreover, there is nothing more exciting than seeing your drone perform the actions you set. It is a rewarding feeling. Plus, you get instant feedback by watching its behavior.
In the end, drones programming is an exciting activity that will open the door to new challenges. While you can achieve a lot with a regular done anyway, programming it yourself will give you access to new opportunities and a better understanding of its operating principles.