Market Survey/ What is needed?

3689631287?profile=originalLooking for feedback from the community. We currently build unmanned vehicle for military and commercial applications in the USA. Our current commercial units are obviously very similar to the consumer drones.

What if any features are community members looking for in a RTF consumer drone?

We currently develop our systems under IRAD funds so this is not a Kickstarter type program.


Multi-Rotor: Longer Endurance, Installed Video Links, Foldable, More payload capability, Ethernet based? Most of these examples are givens.

Fixed Wing: Larger payload capability, longer endurance, etc? We're getting ready to release a fixed wing system with up to 3lbs. of belly and nose mount payload capability.

Maybe the answer is the market is already flooded and there isn't a need.

Any feedback would be appreciated


Bill D.

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  • I have to agree with Felipe.

    I'm enjoying the learning curve associated with getting to grips with multicopters and Pixhawk, but I'm quite a techie person.

    For the majority a very simple switch on & go is the core requirement.  Much easier said than done I would thinK

  • There is a need to make meteorological measurements - initially in the 1000m or so above the ground. They could be used to feed numerical models predicting the evolution of local conditions, conduct air pollution surveys, support generic research etc.

    The bird should probably be somewhat bigger than current recreational 'copters to lift about 3 to 5 lbs, be waterproof, and especially be able to work in awkward met conditions, including high winds. Cameras are not needed.

    For many aspects of their mission, they just climb vertically at or around their release point, to some target height and then descend to their release point - sometimes repeating as fast as their battery can be changed and posible data/samples removed. Another possibility is to have the 'copter hover into the wind to say make turbulence measurements.

    I am working on a prototype that straps 2 props on facing 'forward' so it has more thrust to resist strong (say 50mph) winds. No wings are needed, and to be avoid as to remove drag against the vertical rotors.

    I have written up my thoughts in more detail. They are over at RC Groups.


    I welcome comments and constructive feedback.



    meteorologist's blog - RC Groups
    RC Groups - the most active Radio Control model community: electric and fuel rc airplanes,rc helis,rc boats and rc cars. Features discussion forums,…
  • Make a drone that intercepts and destroys murder drones, accomplice to murder drones, and spy drones?

    It kinda sucks about all the people getting murdered by drones, it seems to be a real problem in recent times.

  • gsm modem as secondary method / failsafe for retasking the uav midflight.

    more rugged components. 

    obstacle sense and avoidance as an add on module

  • Just to put my bit in as well using previous posts and wishes, I'm not specifically making any uav for any special purpose like mapping, measurements stock control, rescue and so on the list seems to be endless for ideas on what to use them for and not to be a sad sack but I see a lot of ideas that will work but just are not practical and a lot of uav's that are all basically the same just different looks and slightly different payloads flight times ect. as said before you don't have to reinvent the wheel just fix some of its overall flaws , A list of important things that would be well worth improving on from my basic view would

    Reliability of both product and Manufacture

    Availability of spare parts (affected by above)

    Service from manufacture and sellers

    flight times increased

    Weather capability (no point in having a waterproof uav if it cant handle wind, they generally go together)likewise if im stranded somewhere your rescue uav is not much use to me if it can not fly in wind or rain or at night

    Cost there are several tiers throughout the uav scene ranging from reasonable to obscene to absurd so there are plenty of markets that you could choose to market to as im sure you are well aware.



  • Interesting to see the contrast in responses. Also gives you an idea of the cross section of users on DIY Drones. Seems to be a good mix of DIY individuals as well as  professionals (based on requests).

    Hopefully other manufactures and DIYrs can use this Blog for their next product or project. Keep the ideas coming

  • Laser/Lidar scanning for SLAM with landmark recognition

  • From my perspective - please, please, do nothing. Keep with army stuff and keep away from end customer market. We have enough "nice" video captures from Phantoms on YT and all of them went to more and more regulations.

    Doesn't matter if you live in US or Europe, on all places we can see regulations against us. 

    BTW : One reason why I using open source hw - you can always re-program it for something else like autonomous boat or small car (at least till them ban them also).

  • In my dreams...

    Fixed wing : 

    • Autopilot reliability (100 identical waypoints missions, 100 almost identical results)
    • Illimited waypoints
    • Reliable auto-landing
    • Local ground elevation consideration 
    • Dumb-proof OSD
    • Dumb proof cable connections
    • Waterproof electronics
    • 50km telemetry range
    • Enough battery life for 100 km flight range with payload
    • Geo-Fencing and Parachute for formal gvt registration
    • Full size sensor camera with GPS based auto-trigger pictures
    • 4K movie
    • Night lights
    • Wind proof up to 30mph
    • Removable wing for easy transportation
    • Resistant to medium quality landing
    • Gliding style
    • Price tag below 700 USD
  • How about a semi-autonomous vehicle that utilizes this country's biggest assets, the cell phone networks and the power grid? The cell networks could provide continuous or infrequent telemetry and command between ground station and vehicle. The power grid would provide unlimited power for recharging the vehicle's batteries using induction coupling. Such a vehicle could potentially travel across the country taking hops between power lines, transmission towers, transformers, etc. clinging to them to rest while planning its next route. 

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