sUAV technology is now on a plateau, anyone could build a drone to bid a contract, and fooling customer with flight time, or lowering price by incapable hardware. Lily fails, Parrot is cutting jobs, This market is NOT healthy.
Even worse, an average user still crash their DJIs a lot: flying a dji from balcony then flip vertically to the ground, racing drones still use analog modulation to acquire flickering video and crash into trees, false GPS lock for careless pilot and then fly away... although they are all “pilot error”.
Where to go to have fun? Depends how serious you are.
Now tesla has autopilot, mercedes has E class also doing L2 autopilot, but a $5000+ sedan is way too much comparing a DJI toy, or any rc toy including a turbine jet. Or you can join Udacity course to have a nano degree on this. Well, it depends how serious you want to go, and last but not least, put your ass in a car with a RESET button is not the flying a drone with RTL switch.
At least you can get a L2 autopilot kit to drive a honda with no hands. Take a look at http://comma.ai
But, the elixir for the future, really is deep learning?
Average model hobbyist don’t know what computer architecture is, nor what difference between linux kernel and distro. They want to FPV, thus, they will not have “fun of the future”.
YOU WILL NEVER KNOW UNTIL YOU HAVE DONE IT, RIGHT?
“For the future” you will need at least:
ROS capable SOC platform, a raspberry pi 3 is minimal for CPU, jetson from nVidia is de-facto
Lidar or TOF camera for depth point cloud, Hokuyo LIDAR, intel RealSense, or old Hokuyo LIDAR, or Garmine Lidar lite with a motor.
Machine Learning coding/training experience: depends how nerdy you are. Python based platform is popular, you don’t need to worry about stack overflow at least.
A good starting point will be: https://github.com/DJTobias/Cherry-Autonomous-Racecar
Putting this bunch of $2K hardware for a starter, it’s better to roll on wheels on the ground, and makes more sense for developing initial obstacle avoidance algorithm. Well, driving a car to avoid crash by itself, equals crash it purposely, is the future.
Now the stake has been raised. Are you ready?