Quadcopter / August 10, 2018 / Sanni Pekkarinen
The main function that makes these UAVs different from the ones available off-the-shelf is their ability to fly autonomously. This means that the vehicle is able to make decisions depending on its flight to change direction capture images or return to ground. These machines come equipped with various sensors and in order to make a decision the input from different sensors is merged. They are also able to communicate with other UAVs flying around as well as with ground stations and satellites. They are capable of determining the ideal course for achieving a mission. These powerful capabilities make them extremely sensitive and sophisticated devices and these operations are not available in quadcopters used for the purpose of fun and entertainment.
Fourth you will need a battery to power all the electronics. Lithium Polymer (LiPo) batteries are the most popular batteries for the RC hobby. LiPo batteries are characterized by their number of cells (voltage) and capacity (mAh). Each LiPo cell has 3.7V so a 1S (1 cell) battery will be 3.7V a 2S battery will be 7.4V 3S 11.1 V and so forth. Capacity is rated in milliamp hours (mAh). The higher the number of mAh the longer the battery can power the quadcopter. Lastly you will need a frame to put all this onto. There are many commercially available quadcopter frames. Some are in the + configuration which means one of the arms acts as the "forward" orientation. Some are in the X configuration which means that "forward" is between two of the arms. There is also the H frame where forward is on the flat side of the H. H frame is great for FPV and aerial photography since the rotors are out of the way.
There are a lot of quadcopters out there for beginners. The Smya X1 is one of the most popular. I like it because it has a 2.4GHz transmitter is very durable and very easy to fly. You can also make it do flips at the touch of a button to impress your friends. But recently I just got the Blade mQX and I must say I am quite impressed. It is actually similar in size to the Syma X1 but it boasts better performance with 4 brushed 8.5 mm motors 5.5 inch blades and a 4-in-1 receiver/ESCs/mixer/sensor that acts as flight control board. The built in DSM2 receiver is one thing I really like about the Blade mQX a lot of quadcopters come with proprietary transmitters and receivers and it can be difficult without hacking the hardware to make it compatible with your existing transmitter. With the Blade mQX you are able to bind it with any DSM2 compatible radio such as Spektrum radios.