The world of drones: from handheld devices to anti-UAV

Drones no longer surprise anyone, but they did not manage to take a certain niche in our life. Perhaps the fact is that there are a great many ways to use drones. They become part of the extensive infrastructure of the Internet of Things, which you can manage through an application in a smartphone.

Communication applications and drones stronger than it seems. The phone is always at hand, but its capabilities are physically limited in size and functionality. Multicopters are expanding ways to use smartphones to the limits, which even science-fiction writers of the past could not think about.

An important trend that determines the appearance of a “winged” future lies in miniaturization. Giant drones, capable of lifting heavy loads and carrying them to heaven, are not as popular as mini-copters that fit in a pocket. All these factors make it possible to talk about a world in which flying devices will become an indispensable attribute of many people.

A quick look at the ocean of opportunity

Order delivery by Amazon Prime Air Dumpster. It is planned that the urgent delivery of goods to the door will take only 30 minutes

A few years ago it was difficult to think of why a person needs a copter. Take a selfie? Take off the sights from above? Not the richest choice of possibilities for the device, the cost of which exceeded the price of many other interesting things - the phone and laptop combined.

Today, UAVs constantly appear all new functions: we are talking about saving the world and scientific research. Drones can deliver humanitarian supplies, demining and even fighting smog (The unnamed drone project in China).

The second wave of interest in drones came along with an awareness of the advantages that drones give to representatives of various professions. Drones help zoologists study life in nature reserves. The exclusion zones around Chernobyl and Fukushima relieve anthropogenic pressure on the environment and create ideal conditions for the restoration of the animal and plant world. In such places, it is better for a person not to "shine" once again, so drones are used. Environmentalists use drones to track migrations, places of man-made disasters, monitor the population of rare animals. Numerous drones scare off poachers who hunt rhinos and elephants in Kenya, Zimbabwe and South Africa.

Employees of telecommunications companies use drones to monitor base stations - it is much more profitable than sending to the installer’s tower. Technical regulations on the safety of facilities require that, in direct contact with a person, the capacity of the plant should be significantly reduced (up to a complete shutdown). And when using a drone can not interfere with the station.

High-altitude objects, as well as construction sites, are well-suited for the use of UAVs. On some objects, drones can replace the brigadier . The software, developed by specialists at the University of Illinois, analyzes the video captured from drones and creates a 3D model of the construction site, after which it can be compared with the initially planned construction pace.

Another use is advertising. Drones are able to organize interesting promotions and show ads to people working in skyscrapers. Although it is now obvious that in the near future this area will be regulated, and it will not work out just to arrange your marketing campaign.

Drone concept for a journalist. He himself flies, he himself collects material for articles. So far, only he does not write.

DJI has not forgotten about the inhabitants of the countryside. Multigrater Agras MG 1 in a short time irrigates large areas of water. Using microwave radar (!), The drone maintains the necessary distance to crops to spray a sufficient amount of liquid.

Hover Camera Passport . The drone is gradually becoming our second everyday camera. It is convenient to get a portable copter from your pocket, throw it into the air, take a picture or photograph a landscape from a height in just a few seconds.

Compact ZeroTech Dobby . The quality of shooting is appropriate - like a budget phone.

AirSelfie - mini-drone for selfie, which is mounted on the cover of the smartphone. The drone, the meaning of which existence consists in fast photos, flies only 3 minutes and to a height of 20 meters. Camera resolution 5 megapixels.

Mini drones remain one of the most challenging markets. In early 2017, manufacturers of drone Lily Camera, which collected $ 34 million on Kickstarter, pre-orders and investors, closed the project. The investigation showed that the frames used by the GoPro camera, which was installed on the drone prototype, were used in the promo. And the built-in camera did not work at all. A year earlier, the Zano nano-drone “died”, having collected more than $ 3.5 million through crowdfunding.


To date, the only compact and popular drones are the models of the company DJI: quadcopter Mavic and Spark. At the same time, the advanced version of the first, Mavic Pro, has impressive characteristics: it weighs 734 grams and is equipped with a 12-megapixel camera, with a stabilizing suspension. Shoots 4K video (30 frames / second) and 1080p video (96 frames / second). In the air, the drone lasts up to 27 minutes and moves at a speed of up to 65 km / h.

Drones do not have to just fly. Underwater drone for fishing PowerRay plunges to a depth of 30 m, finds fish places with the help of a sonar, transmits a picture to a smartphone using the built-in 4K camera. The underwater drone is equipped with a lantern that attracts the attention of fish. It also has a compartment with a bait, thanks to which you can distribute the traps remotely in the right places.


Like any object that quickly becomes fashionable, drones have not escaped falling into the millstones of postmodernism.

Propel drones in the style of Star Wars.

A machine gun was installed on the drone (another gun, a chainsaw and a flamethrower were installed).

Turned into a festive attribute on Halloween.

And they simply made a robotic bird, collecting the necessary amount on IndieGogo .

An individual personal transport was made of a multicopter - and this is not the most useless use of the device.

There was an idea to assemble a pet walking device on the basis of a copter. With robots already obtained.

Two Belgian developers presented absolutely silent drone.

Where drones fly to Russia

"Is under the supervision of drones." Future road sign concept.

In Russia, you can buy and use the drone without any problems if it weighs up to 30 kg. In the future , all unmanned aerial vehicles are planned to be equipped with additional equipment for tracking them. All data will be transmitted to the UAV traffic control and management system, processing information about the location, route and flight parameters of thousands of drones over the territory of the country. The prototype will be ready by the end of 2017 and tested in the Republic of Bashkortostan.

The territory, which is more than 1000 kilometers from Moscow, was not chosen by chance. Bashkortostan is one of the most advanced subjects of Russia in terms of development: in 2014, it was recognized by Expert RA as a region with minimal economic risks, and the capital of the region, Ufa, according to Forbes rating, is one of the best cities in Russia for doing business. In the near future, it is planned to launch a project to monitor the road infrastructure using UAVs.

According to the authors of the draft regulation of drones, the UAV market can now be compared with the car market at an early stage of development. Similarly, it is necessary to build roads, introduce traffic rules and management licenses. The flight control system should, in theory, prevent flights over airports and military facilities. Data exchange in it, at the first stage, will occur over cellular networks, and then - via LPWAN.

What is LPWAN and how will it help drones? It stands for Low-power Wide-area Network - energy-efficient wireless wide-area network. This technology is designed to transfer small data for a distance of up to 15 km. Pyramid Research researchers claim that by 2020 the number of connections using LPWAN will reach 860 million.

Fighting drones

Typical type of anti-drone weapons.

What will happen to unregistered drones? After all, any copter can always be modified independently ...

Already, many manufacturers have attended to the creation of professional anti-drone weapons.

Airbus is developing a drone killer system that automatically controls airspace. The system not only detects the drone and silences the signal, but also calculates the location of the drone operator. The authors did not show how the system will look like, but perhaps it will look like a device with an illustration - so it seems you can land a spaceship.

Battelle DroneDefender - the first in the world (released in 2015) rifle to neutralize UAVs with a range of up to 400 meters. It generates a signal at the frequencies of satellite navigation systems, as well as at frequencies of the unlicensed IMS range (industrial, scientific and medical range). After exposure to radio interference, the drone activates a security protocol (depending on the settings: it sits down, flies to the base or just hangs in place until the battery is completely discharged).

In Tokyo, the police are so harsh that the drones violate their air safety with the help of a detachment of their own UAVs armed with a network.

A startup from Belarus showed the ultimate weapon “ Groza-R ”: a Cyma CM.011 airsoft air corps and a jammer with a battery. Three antennas jam radio signals at a distance of up to 2 kilometers, and satellite signals (GPS, GLONASS, Galileo and BeiDou) at a distance of up to 5 kilometers.

Another attack involves the use of a gyroscope in the overwhelming number of copters. Researchers evaluated 15 types of gyroscopes and found that seven are vulnerable to failures using intentional sound noise. It is enough to use a conventional loudspeaker with an audio amplifier. The sound pressure level of 140 decibels is enough to shoot down some drones at a distance of up to 40 meters.

Also, the task of dealing with drones is solved at home with the help of Raspberry Pi and a tin can (works only with Wi-Fi and open access points without authentication or encryption)

Your drone for everyone?

According to the Association AUVSI (Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International), by 2025 more than 100 thousand jobs for drone pilots will appear, and the market for civilian UAVs will reach $ 127 billion by 2020. In the US, colleges and institutes are already preparing drone pilots.

Will drones become what smartphones are now? Quite possible! They have more chances for success than smart watches. In the world of an open future, the close and native “eye” in the sky, which controls the movement of your car, a dog's walk, or children's games, will be in the order of things. Drones may well be a logical continuation of the trend in home video surveillance. Perhaps the camera will not only control the security of the house, but will also start to follow the owner everywhere.


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