Game Of Drones: Fun Things You Didn't Know You Could Do With Drones
Drones are undeniably cool, and it’s plenty of fun to just fly them around in a field over and over again. That said, if you’re getting a little tired of how you use your drone, this is just the OnBuy blog for you! We’ve come up with a little list of fun things you can do with your drone. You’ll find ideas that are suitable budget drones and premium drones alike here, so it doesn’t matter whether you pilot an inexpensive microdrone or one of the latest machines from DJI, Parrot or another top-tier manufacturer.
Although we’ll show you a bunch of interesting new ways to use your drone, it’s important that you’re still using your drones safely and legally. For example, we’ll be discussing follow me drones in this guide - drones that can follow you using a wireless transmitter signal or their camera. While it might be tempting to have these drones follow closely behind you, it must stay at least 50m away from you at all times, and you should enlist a friend to hold the follow me drone’s controller, ready to take over in case something happens. For more information about drone safety and UK drone law, make sure to read our blog on the do's and don’ts of flying drones.
Create your own drone light show
The words ‘drone light show’ have become one of the most popular drone-related internet searches in the last few years. It’s all thanks to some truly stunning displays that employ hundreds or thousands of drones working together to create unbelievable shapes in the night sky.
Sadly, the drones used in these world record holding displays aren’t the type of drones you can buy on the market. They’re a tiny, ultra-light model created exclusively for the purpose by companies like Intel. That said, you can still create your own drone light show! Almost all drones on the market today have LEDs located somewhere on their body so that they can be flown safely at night. They’re invisible during the day but can be seen for up to a mile away at night! You can also buy LED attachments for specific drone models as well. These are usually available in a series of cool colours that you can experiment with.
Hook up with your drone flying friends or a local drone enthusiasts club and you’ll soon have enough machines. With the help of commercially available software, you can choreograph a set of drones to fly in formation and around each other to create a complex, dazzling drone light show of your own!
Turn your drone into a flying camcorder
This is one of the best drone ideas if you also have a passion for half-pipes! A key part of skateboarding, mountain biking and other sports is chopping together a highlight reel of your coolest tricks and stunts. In the ‘90s and early 2000s, you’d have to rely on your friend’s skill with a camcorder to record your tricks, but thanks to follow me drones, you’ll never miss a shot!
If your drone has the follow me feature, you can set it up to track you from a distance as you complete your run. If you plan ahead, you can have the drone track you from above as you move. Combine it with first-person footage from an action camera strapped to your helmet and you can create the ultimate skating video!
Or perhaps you’re a budding amatuer filmmaker. Award-winning movies and TV shows like Mr Robot have made extensive use of drones to create camera angles that would be impossible to get with traditional cameras. Thanks to the high-quality 4K sensors available on top-of-the-range drones like the DJI Mavic Air 2, you can record professional videos with ease.
Duke it out in the skies with drone racing
This is the ultimate drone activity for those that feel the need for speed. There are two ways you can approach drone racing: the child-friendly style and the elite style. If your child is interested in drones, buy a pair of low-cost, wind-resistant drones like the Goplus X8HG, go to your nearest field and set up your own race. This type of drone racing is a great way to spend some quality time with your child and can help them learn more about this great hobby.
On the other hand, elite racing should probably be restricted to adults only. Many enthusiast clubs run their own drone racing competitions, and you’ll need to need to have access to some of the best drones on the market if you want to compete. These days, most of the drones used in semi-pro drone racing are FPV drones. FPV stands for ‘First Person View’, and it combines drones with a VR headset to give you more accurate control. FPV drones like the DJI Digital FPV System are too expensive to entrust to a child, but there’s nothing quite like the experience of swooping past your opponents in the sky like you’re in a William Gibson novel.
Wind your way through a drone obstacle course
Another drone idea that’s perfect for children is the drone obstacle course. Zipping around tricky terrain is great fun on its own, and it’ll improve your child’s piloting skills too. There are two ways to set up a drone obstacle course. The first is to use natural obstacles. Take a drive to your nearest forest and use the trees as a natural slalom course. Alternatively, you can use hula hoops or a set of tall slalom poles to create your own drone obstacle course.
Using a drone obstacle course is best suited for micro drones that weigh under 250g, like the JSF TY5903 Annihilator. This is because micro drones tend to be far cheaper than high-end drones made by the top companies, so if your child hits a tree and shatters one of the rotors, it’s not a complete disaster. The other reason is that drones weighing less than 250g are exempt from many of the rules that govern drones in the UK. A drone obstacle course that reaches over 50m simply isn’t practical, and you’ll need a micro drone to get any lower.
Take a crazy drone selfie
We’ve already mentioned how most of the best drones have exceptional cameras. This makes them the perfect tool for taking candid pictures of you and your loved ones. With careful piloting, a steady hover mode and a remote control, you’ll soon be snapping brilliant selfies and capturing show-stopping memories better than ever before. The distance of a drone means you can fit more people into the frame than you could otherwise, making drone selfies perfect for big celebrations like weddings. You’ll find it beats a selfie stick every time! You can get even more creative with follow me drones. Without the need for a controller in your hand, your exotic selfie can look all the more natural.
Take to the skies
We’ve reached the end of our blog, so we won’t drone on for too much longer (see what we did there?)... If you’ve already got a drone, you might be tempted to get out there, spin its rotors up and take off into the sky. Before you do though, we really recommend you read through the blog we mentioned earlier, the dos and don’ts of flying drones. It condenses all of the complex legislation that applies to drones in the UK in a way that’s easy to understand.
It’s also possible that you don’t own a drone yet, and this blog has just whetted your aeronautical appetite! If that’s the case, the ultimate guide to buying a drone is perfect for you. It explains everything you need to know about how drones work, how to fly them, and all of the different types you can purchase before showcasing a tempting selection of models to buy for every budget and need. You’ll be flying high in no time once you’ve read that buyer’s guide!
Please note: the information in this blog is correct at the time of publishing but may be subject to change.