… and multicopters, incidentally.
Using quads and multirotors for security work is fairly new, but seeing that even the commercial hobby versions of these things are becoming more and more advanced, the barrier to use them in even low budget security applications is diminishing. Fast. So we thought we’d take a look at some of the best, biggest and baddest quads and multicopters that we’ve seen, at least with a mind to security applications.
DJI is perhaps the most well known and reputable of all the “drone” manufacturers these days, and there’s good reason for that. But, their ready-to-fly models don’t really give security operations the freedom they need to customize and build their own functionality. While drones like the Inspire 1 and the Phantom 3 are extremely advanced and probably the very best for their target groups, DJI has something else up their sleeves for people like us…
Meet the Matrice 100 – or the M100, if you will:
According to DJI, the M100 is a “flight platform”, and that means two things. You’ve got a good news/bad news kind of situation. The good news is that you can make this thing do pretty much anything. The bad news is that this isn’t any kind of plug-and-play flyer. You need both coding skills and technical skills to make this do what you want. The soft- and firmware is all open source, and the M100 can accomodate anything from cameras of all kinds to proximity sensors and a lot other stuff. Take a look at Tested’s video to get a fleeting glimplse of what the M100 can do with some Oculus Rift upgrades and proximity sensors:
Those of us who aren’t all that into programming flight controllers and whatnot, and would rather have something almost ready for duty, right out of the box, should perhaps check out the next item on our wish list for Christmas:
Some of the biggest multorotors out there are Dronera’s bunch of workhorses. Though at a whopping $20k, they’re best suited for bigger budget operations… one thing to keep in mind, though is that the Dronera 8HL, for example, has a payload capacity of 12 kg… which means a lot of cameras, sensors and whatever else you might need to airlift… and yes, we know that an M16 or quite a few Glocks weigh less than 12 kg…
So if you really need the heavy lifter, go for the Dronera.
Maybe not amongst the most well known operators out there, but these guys build some serious sturdy aircrafts. The XP2, for example, is an excellent camera platform, with almost an unlimited amount of options. Retractable landing gear, second operator, FPV, GPS and whatever else your little heart desires. If you can sacrifice a little weight, then a bigger battery than standard will easily give you all the flight tie you need, it seems… and at 10% of the Dronera’s price tag, that isn’t a bad offer.
Since there are a lot more options out there, we thought we’d take the time to see if we can’t test some out for you. The heavy lifters are one thing, but what about the smaller, more nimble ones, the ones that can take a peek where you might not else be able to go? We’ll get to those too. So stay tuned, and check back soon!