Tell me what pains you about drones/UAVs. (VENT AT ME)

I've been fascinated by drones for quite some time, but have recently had the opportunity to join a university engineering team and we're looking to develop some sort of drone component. We've had a few great ideas so far, but we want to do some more research by asking actual thought leaders and seasoned hobbyists. 

I want to hear what really pains you about drones. What would make your life easier? How can we build something to fix your problems? Also, I'm very open to having a Skype call!

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  • The difficulty in programming drones. The Pixhawk doesn't have straightforward documentation on programming and other easy platforms are limited to cheap AR Drones.


    wish i didnt have to switch batteries every few minutes.

  • hellow, im nuwbie,, can u tell me whats best part to build ones uav plane? all i need to know is about controller parts, high resolutio vid & high transering vid data to the ground also the wings motor / controller.. its can fly above 20k km or less

  • Hi Robert,

    I would be interested in learning more about your work with drones. Maybe we can exchange some innovative ideas? 

    • Definitely! Send me a private message with your email.

  • Moderator

    I think the fact that we're still using radios to control drones seems to a facet of this technology that needs to change.  I built my first RC Plane in 1984 with a 4 Chanel AM Radio that cost about $300.  Fast forward 30 years, and we're still using the same basic technology, with a few more channels but the basically the same.

    I'd like to see more products like Drone Deploy that would offer control from a wider range with many more features.  The technology and infrastructure that's evolving today could make it possible to stream live data and video over 4G LTE networks, as well as provide virtually unlimited range.  

    We should be integrating things like Android tablets as part of the telemetry and control system.  Imagine a tablet with two joysticks attached that would replace today's traditional two stick radios.   

    Another improvement would be to apply wider use of new materials like carbon fiber.  When I started in this hobby when you bought and airplane you basically got a box of balsa sticks and sheets that you had to glue together and covered with plastic film.  When you had a bad, you basically ended up with a plastic bag of balsa wood chips.   

    Those same built up balsa models could be re-kitted as carbon fiber / balsa hybrids that could be just as light as their balsa wood ancestors, but many times stronger.  It would be expensive for early adopters, but if carbon fiber parts were more widely used the economies of scale would push prices down.

    Today everyone wants instant gratification, and foam has replaced balsa, especially for airplanes.  Foam can also be used in conjunction with carbon fiber materials to make super light weight and rigid airframes.  I have been experimenting with carbon tissue and cloth, but its kind of expensive and the knowledge base isn't very big.  

    • You can't rely on the cell network.  They're not for critical things like this.  They can shut down a tower at any point for any reason, or get jammed up on capacity.  The antennas are also pointed at the ground, so they don't work well for aircraft.

      We just need digital radios already!  2014 and EVERY radio controller on the market is still using analog signals! WTF!

    • @Bill

      We should be integrating things like Android tablets as part of the telemetry and control system.  Imagine a tablet with two joysticks attached that would replace today's traditional two stick radios.   

      Something like this:

      3702533168?profile=originalHave a look here: Link

      and here: Link

      • I like the idea. Need to start by finding a tablet that you can read when outdoors in the sun, my Nexus 7 certainly isn't it.

        I would also like to see a Tx with a more easlily remembered means of flight mode selection such as a push button array with LEDs. Increase from 6 would be easier.

      • Moderator

        Exactly what I was thinking.  The user can attach whatever tablet they want,  Does anyone have one of these working ? 

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