Good day,

I want to buy/build a UAV capable of mounting almost any camera with a minimum 2 kilogram payload capacity.  Quad/multi-copter.
It will be used for general aerial photography, but I would also like the option of thermal and 3D mapping.  So looking for a good all-rounder.
The problem is, although I am not new to photography, I am very new to robotics.
I have tried to study as much of the terminology as possible and will need:
Complete RTF drone with complete spare kit.
Extra battery (2 total)
GPS navigation
Return home function
Multi-camera gimbal
FPV system (attachable to most cameras, decent range (a few miles), live feedback to groundstation.
Onboard telemetry with live feedback (this tells me the status of various parts of the drone if I'm right?) 
Groundstation capable of processing and receiving live videos and images (have laptop)
Software needed for thermal and 3D mapping.
Full Autopilot
Remote Camera Control (start/stop record, snapshot)
Any advise you have on how I can go about obtaining what I need will be much appreciated.
Like I said, I am new to robotics, but I do have basic electrical skills.
Rudi Novem

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How much money do you have? Anything is possible but for what you want you'll probably not get much change back from R40 000.

Check out


I am busy working on something exactly as you describe. A copter that can be used for mapping and photography.

The R40 000.00 mark will be reached just to get it flying with descent equipment.

I think R40k will be spent on decent sensors alone. Lifting 2kg is not an easy task.

Before you spend money on large equipment, I recommend getting a simple Quad and learn how to fly. These robotic systems still need pilot skills. And yes you will crash quite bit before you get a good handle on flying.

Cannot agree more. I think we need to "enforce" people reading some FAQ's before posting things like "which UAV to buy to do complicated job with it and NO I do not have any experience - but lots of money".. :) I mean, "extra battery - 2 total" says it all :)

Thank you guys for the help!  I have managed to learn a lot and realize how newb my post was.  I have managed to build the setup I need. 

@Jaan Kronberg: nobody in this post mentions having "lots of money", and nobody forced you to read this post.  I read ALL the FAQ's, and I mentioned I am new to robotics.  I have experience flying RC, just not with building this kind of UAV setup.  I came to DIY drones to learn just that.  If I wanted to "buy a UAV to do a complicated job" and not learn a single thing I could have done that.  I don't know who you are, but your arrogance and condescension make me glad for that.  I mean, the fact that you want to "enforce people" to do anything says it all.

The rest of you, thanks again, and thanks DIY Drones!


i am really sorry that my post sounded arrogant, it wasn't meant to be. joke, poke - yes, but arrogance.. my apologies.

nevertheless i still believe Richard's comment is very valid and it makes lots of sense to start with something small and simple..

I respect your apology.  Thank you.  I hope to learn from you in the future and contribute in any way I can.

Hi Rudi

Could you tell me what setup you went for as I am looking for a simalar build.

Thanks in advance

Yes, same as Charlie. What did you end up going with? Something RTF or a custom job? It is an infinite labyrinth of possibilities out there.



good idea

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