Drones and Multirotor UAV Information and Community

There is an increasing amount of information about quadcopters online and in many cases RC quadcopters are incorrectly referred to as drones. I can tell you now that not all quadcopters are drones and I will explain why.

A Drone Quadcopter or RC Quadcopter

A drone by definition is a automated system which can fly without human involvement.

A drone can:

- Follow a programed path.
- Make decisions based on information from on board sensors.

We often refer to these as Unmanned Arial Vehicles (UAV). This means the quadcopter must have sensors on board to allow it to fly unmanned to qualify as a true drone. Many drones have a GPS and other devices to measure their height and location.

True RC Quadcopters

The toy quadcopters you can buy from your local hobby store and online do not all have the sophistication and on board sensors that a drone will have which makes them RC quadcopters and not drones. They must be controlled all all times by a human and do not make flight decisions on their own.

The most popular methods to control an RC quadcopter are:

- A hand help transmitter which sends out a frequency to the quadcopters to allow you to control it.
- A tablet of smart phone app that gives you the ability to fly the quadcopter using your preferred portable device such as your android phone or iPhone. This has been adopted my many manufactures.

Quadcopters which require a human to control them at all times are not drones.

RC Quadcopter v Drone Conclusion

Now you know that a drone will not require very much human assistance to fly and if it does require you to control it when flying it is actually an RC quadcopter and not a drone.

Drone is also a popular and accepted term associated with quadcopters used in the media and other printed and online presentations and for the purpose of marketing the word drone makes sense although it is not always used correctly.