The drone industry has become commonplace, with every sector of the industry adopting them. Drones, also known as unnamed aerial vehicles (UAVs), are mostly used in videography, search and rescue missions and journalism, among others. However, it is not just the hardware and the technology introducing new opportunities but the software too.
The Development of Drones
What drones do is purely defined by the data inclined within the software. The developers, in this case, are left with the task of transforming the technology into something useful for the industries. Not only will the developers be tasked with the duty of designing software that can track, manage and analyse data but also ensure that the gadgets operate safely.
C and C++ are the most common programming languages used by developers in the design of drones because they are considered flexible. In the future, however, the developers may employ Python for higher-level functions. They will also work with the new sensors, including infrared sensors, gyroscopes, thermal cameras, Lidar, barometers, sonar, spectrometers and chronometers.
AI and Machine Learning
Machine learning and computer vision have been adopted in the software industry. These techniques can also be applicable to the development of drones. Developers will need to incorporate AI and machine learning to ensure that that the system is fully autonomous. There is, however, the fear of interfering with the controller, something that could cause the drone to fall as soon as it takes off. The manufacturers, in this case, must work to ensure that the developer does not crash the drone.
A good drone has everything needed to build and code the UAV and does not have to cost a fortune. Alongside being fun to code, programmable drones are terrific to fly and do so with high stability. Below, we shall highlight the most programmable drones for developers. Most programmable drones are not the best but are easy to access, allowing the developer to change the settings.
The Tello Quadcopter is a beginner drone that can be used by anyone with an understanding of programming languages to program and take great photos and videos. With this drone, developers can reprogram all features and gain access to its inner settings. It comes with mobile scratch programming features that can be used by junior developers, move-based control and a programming simulator. Modules in this drone are separated, meaning that if a developer tampers with one, the rest will not be affected. It has two antennas that sharpen the stability of transmission and also comes with a high-capacity battery.
Tello has excellent long flight times, a 100M flight distance, 720P HD transmission for easy camera navigation and smart switching. Developers only need to have enough details to make flight plans with the SDK. Tello is extremely lightweight, excellent for training drone flying techniques and is highly programmable. However, it also comes with its share of downsides. This drone does not have a very robust scratch programming language and can hardly be used in low-light.
Sky Viper e1700
The Sky Viper e1700 developer drone has high agility and comes with a ViperFlight 5 control firmware. The stunt builder app has everything needed to develop the drone, giving a clear structure of all features and how they can be made to work. A skilled developer will only need to tap into the system and make the drone work in different ways. Given that the drone features can be reassembled, modules can be added to the core as long as they are not heavy.
The Parrot Anafi has easy to access settings which can be reprogrammed. A developer can also use extra physical modules. With its agility, the Anafi comes with a robust motor and auto-pilot options which ease the flight and landing of the drone. Software developers can take advantage of this drone and create an app to code it into undertaking a specific action.
The Anafi is fast, taking off at an impressive speed of 33 miles per hour and is also quieter than most alternatives. This is an element that will make your testing a lot easy. It also accommodates 21-megapixel RAW DNG files. Although Parrot is highly portable with excellent GPS features, a long-range and superior camera, it is delicate, meaning you need to have prior experience with drones before handling it.
Purchasing a Programmable Drone
The market today is flooded with all types of drones. When making your purchase, it is advisable to buy a drone based on your technical skills. If you are in college looking to learn more about the aerial vehicle, look for a drone with many features. The reason is that it will allow you to learn about different aspects of the gadget and how each works. A programmable drone will allow you to change every feature, including the commands and the logic, to alter its activities in different situations. Adding certain features could enable a developer to create new commands, which the manufacturer never thought existed.
The coded features such as the agility and the speed will determine the strength of the processor, meaning that this will be the guiding factor of what can and can’t be installed to the command. Whichever drone you opt to walk away with, there will always be assistance from the manufacturer in terms of data and mechanics. Using advanced hardware could also mean rebuilding the drone’s AI, causing it to work autonomously. Software development, particularly in drones, can be fascinating and a factor that could result in the creation of endless learning opportunities.
Drones can be fun to fly and work with. For the ordinary person, it can be exciting to take photos and capture footage on the outside, while on the inside, the gadget is made of science, engineering and math, only interesting to a programming student or expert. People with the knowledge of programming languages both starters and full-stack will be excited about drones designed purely for developers, where they can test their skill limits. For learners, there are many beginner drones out there, which can help in gaining knowledge towards the expert group. For every other person, there is always a drone created to fly, spark interest and bring endless fun.