Drones are the hottest toys today not only for kids but also for adults. No wonder kid have been asking for remote control toy drones.
There are hundreds of models in the market and obviously you will get confused which one to buy – each different features and at different price points. The biggest attraction of a drone is not only the fact that it can fly and can be controlled remotely but it can also take photographs (still and video according to the model which you choose).
My son has been asking for his toy drone and I started researching and subsequently put my research in this blog-post. To bring some clarity for first time buyers like me, I compiled my research in this blog-post.
1. What is your purpose of buying the toy drone
This means what are you and your kid are aiming to accomplish with the toy drone. Will you fly it indoors or outdoors? Would you like to fly it in your backyard or in the park. Would you like to take still photographs or take video footage or like to get live streaming? If you want the drone primarily for video, it is better to choose one which has its in-built camera as it weighs less. Besides you should also consider the camera specs like – How many megapixel it is, video resolution, the distance from which camera can capture and whether camera angle is controlled or not.
2. Be aware of the local laws and regulations governing drones
The proliferation of drones has taken the government and security agencies by surprise. There are new regulations being enacted both at provincial and federal level. Be aware of these laws before you buy the drone. For example the radio frequency of the drone might put you on the wrong side of the law; this usually is not a problem with low-end drones but can be an issue with heavier drones. You have to especially careful if you stay or fly it near airports.
3. What are your fly-time expectations (battery life)
Fly-time with a fully charged battery might be just 10-20. which will reduce if you record video. Once drained it can take up to an hour to charge the battery again. The flying time is also dependent on the weight of the payload, the weather and of course the flying skills of the pilot of the drone.
4. How will you maintain your toy drone
Your drone is a flying object and it will inevitably meet with accidents especially if you fly it in the open. So when the accident happens will you be able to repair it yourself. If you want to do a DIY repair you will need spare parts inventory like extra propellers. Plus you must buy propeller guards. For major repairs you might have to understand the circuitry, else send it to the manufacturer for repairs.
5. What is your budget
A wide spectrum of remote control toy drones are available ranging from $50 to $4000. There are one for beginners with easy to fly controls (which will have controls like auto hover, follow me, return to base)but which makes it expensive and there are the the very basic ones which are below $100. Once you choose your budget go for the best one and remember to buy the right accessories like the propeller guard, a good battery charger etc.
Beware it is not simple to operate a radio controlled flying object. It is better to get a micro drone because in case there is an accident the damages will be less and chances of getting you or a passerby getting hurt will be much lower. It is better to go for an easy to fly toy drone and one which requires minimal assembling when you unpack.
Make sure to watch the YouTube videos of the toy drones you short list. These video and the relevant forums if you visit will help you make up your mind.
Drones are making their mark in every day life and drone pilot schools are cropping up to train pilots who can navigate drones. The future of drones looks bright. Go get the first remote control toy drone for your child. Let him get a taste the drone future.