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Posted on Nov 22, 2016 in Articles, Featured | 46 comments

Best Drone Ideas of 2016 (Year of the Drone)

Best Drone Ideas of 2016 (Year of the Drone)

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best drone ideas of 2016The idea of what a drone is and what drones are capable of has come a long way since we started this blog back in 2014. It was the same year that South Park introduced the DJI Phantom as a way to spy on your friends. And for a long time, many people thought it was one of the best “drone ideas” ever. It seemed as if that’s all commercial drones were good for!

Then the inevitable happened: people discovered that can do much more.

In the year 2016, giants are beginning to stand on top of giants and the results are pretty amazing. This year we have seen the invention of drones built out of Legos, 4K drones that can fit in your backpack, and even drones capable of sweeping minefields! It is once again the year of the drone. Let’s check out the best drone ideas of 2016:

Best Drone Ideas of 2016

1.) Mine Sweeping: The Mine Kafon Drone

best drone ideas of 2016

This is a new take on an old issue. According to the United Nations, over 15,000 to 20,000 people from landmines each year. The team behind the Mine Kafon Drone — a drone capable of clearing mines over 20 times faster than people — hopes to rid the world of most mines in 10 years.

How does the Mine Kafone Drone plan to do this exactly? First, the Mine Kafon Drone flies over an area and creates a 3D map. Then, with this elevation map in hand, the drone completes another pass to scan for mines and places a detonator on each mine it comes across. Once the area has been scanned the drone will detonate the mines from a safe distance.

The Mine Kafon Drone exceeded its fundraising goal on Kickstarter and raised $200,000 to pursue this awesome project.

2.) Lego Drones: FlyBrix

Well this is perhaps the best idea ever and why did we never think of this? FlyBrix combines everything a kid worth his salt would love: Legos, flying stuff, and tinkering with circuits. Soon these little buggers will be interested in aerodynamics, geometry, and electrical engineering. Yikes.

FlyBrix has taken all the right steps to make sure their Lego drones are youngster friendly. FyBrix drones don’t require any soldering so parents don’t have to worry about the house burning down and they are also designed to be crash friendly.

FlyBrix is perfect for beginners: “Snap On, Plug In, Take Off” is the Flybix motto. Yet, FlyBrix is also great for those looking to take their skills to the next level with access to sensor data and an open-source Arduino platform.

3.) The Karma Drone from GoPro

Karma isn’t just another drone…it’s a suite of individual products (a drone, a gimbal, and a camera) that can can combine into a single drone. The beauty of Karma is that you can use any one of these by themselves. Want to hop on your skateboard and film with just the camera and gimbal? Great! Simply unlatch these from the Karma drone and you are good to go.

We have been waiting for a solution like this for so long; it’s crazy that it took until 2016 to get here. But we are stoked that the versatility of something like the Karma is finally here.

4.) ESPN Drone Racing League

Drone racing has been around for years, but it’s taken until 2016 for the Drone Racing League (DRL) to make to the big leagues: ESPN. The monster cable network will be airing the first of its 10 episode season on Nov 20. We couldn’t be more excited to see what ESPN  and the DRL come up with.

DRL will feature elite pilots flying highly customized souped up quadcopters racing at speeds up to 120mph. Pilots race their flying vehicles from controllers that streams first-person video from the front of their quadcopters. If you’re unfamiliar with new up-and-coming sport, check out our beginner’s guide to drone racing for a great primer.

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46 Comments

  1. Are you dreaming about finding lost treasure under the sea? Now you have your chance, with the underwater drone called Trident, which can be pre-ordered from http://www.droneguru for around $1200. The drones creators are treasure hunters Eric Stackpole and David Lang, and they designed it to be able to search in a cave in California for lost gold.

  2. Far from science fiction, the ability to seemingly control things with your hands is no longer the fantasy that stories like Star Wars once imagined, thanks to a research team in Taiwan that has created technology akin to using The Force.

    The Taiwanese technology researchers at PVD+ have written an algorithm for the Apple Watch that renders it a remote controller that can pilot drones and manipulate lights using hand gestures. This will be a great improvement in the drone world.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/video/sciencetech/video-1241342/Taiwanese-researchers-unveil-Apple-Watch-controlled-drone.html

    • That’s pretty unreal… maybe one of the most innovative uses of an Apple Watch yet. May the force be with you.

  3. I present to you the greatest drone ever the DJI Mavic pro. What is the use of a drone you can’t easily carry and fold in your pocket. The DJI Mavic is the greatest idea this year in the drone world proving that drones could be smaller yet powerful.

  4. I present to you the greatest drone ever the DJI Mavic pro. What is the use of a drone you can’t easily carry and fold in your pocket. The DJI Mavic is the greatest idea this year in the drone world proving that drones could be smaller yet powerful.
    http://www.dji.com/mobile/mavic

  5. All too often you see an opportunity to capture an amazing scene, but the photo or video you capture never seems to do the moment justice. The Plan.et™ drone has a smaller body frame, light weight, 4k Camera, and can fit inside a Ziploc bag. The beauty of the Plan.et is that it has ability to continously recharge when within range of wireless charger stations (http://energous.com/ and early principle https://www.ted.com/talks/eric_giler_demos_wireless_electricity?language=en#t-453823). With this new technology you can use a drone to capture wide and aerial shots and video of your moments. The drone’s continuous recharging allows you to have unlimited flight time so long as your drone is within range of a wireless charging station. This technology in it’s early stages had a range of 5 meters (16.4 ft). Early testing showed the technology could achieve a range of a football field or 300ft. As this wireless charging technology continues to roll out this drone will be able to reach greater distances for longer periods of time. The best part is if you were out of range and were finished using your drone it would instantly begin charging without a need to be plugged in.

    • I wanted to provide a video example of the drone I had in mind as visuals always help the reader. Granted thisdrone does not have any batteries where as my design does. They use similar technology, however their range is much less due to a lab/research scale wireless power transmitter as well as the way they are sending the power. http://www.thedronefiles.net/2016/09/30/this-drone-can-fly-without-batteries/

  6. My idea that I had this year 2016 is that drones should have a basket so I started to look at making a basket that’s big and that will fit things on it with the drone to take it too the person and so this idea was so then people thats Handicap could just call a person and then you’ll be able to take them the package with a drone. So then while I was thinking about this I was also picturing it so the things I’ll have to do I have a drone make it too where its can go really far and still connect to the remote but from a really far away and also have it to where it can hold a basket and the Weight that will be in it so thats the idea that I have and hope fully we will be able to do it even if I don’t win I just want to help out the handicap bit if I do win thank you.

  7. There are lots of places in the world, Central & South America specifically with undiscovered Maya Archaeological sites. Imagine if there was a drone that can go to look for these sites and immediately relay high quality footage back to the headquarter of the research using satellite or cellular antennas. How will the drone be powered? Well it will use the “Lithium-air breathing batteries”; air means using oxygen as the oxidizer, rather than a material the result is batteries that can be a fifth of the price and a fifth as light as lithium-ion, plus they could make phones and cars last five times longer. If this can be done which I believe can we can find new archaeological sites which can generate more income for that country.

    *This battery is not out yet but is in testing at the Dallas University it may take five to ten years become a reality.

  8. What if you could use a solar powered battery to improve battery life.The drone has a certain temperature in which you can fly and it is mostly warm weathers so why not use that at your advantage and boost battery life by the power of heat energy.And if the weather is too cold to use that energy you could design the drone in a way in which it will use solar powered battery and the electric powered battery being used now.Also what about trying to extend WiFi using a router booster or amplifier extending the range of the drone.

    I think solar power is a good option because it keeps the drone from draining battery power while it is in use.If the range is boosted it could help the user of the drone to have better flights with the battery extended by using solar energy.

  9. the flybrix drone is an amazing drone as it would teach kids how to fly drones and would let them get a feel for ariel photography and would also bring there imagination alive

  10. i think the pokedrone by TRND Labs is the best idea of 2016 as it would help pokemon go players get a pokemon that is out of reach or in the middle of a lake.

  11. the go pro karma is by far the best drone of 2016 as it is small can travel at a whooping 35 miles per hour and has a connection radius of 3,000 meters and that is why it is the best drone of 2016.

  12. the mine kafon drone is the best drone of 2016 as it can defuse bombs and therefore saving peoples lives and that is the best use of drones sofar.

  13. fishing drone with attached fishing lure and line

  14. Oh my gosh. I think DJI Mavic pro is great. I can see it in service for dangerous land survey like cliffs, rough terrain like swamp, hostile temperature like near volcano, etc. Thank you for the awesomeness, the contest, and generosity. 🙂 Pick me .

  15. Do you realize how important this would help during deer bow season? I so could have used this 2 weeks back.I bet we walked over mile up and following a blood trail.

  16. My idea for a drone is the dog park watch drone. It could fly over the dog park, keep an eye on your doggie and deliver a bone. Put a favorite toy and let your furry friend chase the ball or flag. Put an external speaker on the drone and give your pet commands from far away. What a great drone for the animal lover. Dual purpose is a hunting dron cam. Keep an eye on the shot, the kill and your retriever.

  17. I have to say I am pretty impressed on what I have seen here in the comments, well ‘ I didn’t read them all but a few LOL ,, I think if I could build my own drone, I think I would find a solution to having one that isn’t so noticeable to the naked eye. So yes it would have to be micro and I don’t think we should stay with just the ordinary look of a drone, I think you should expand your mind and bring it a step further.. ever here of ‘ oh I wish I was a fly on the wall ‘ ya me too,,, LOL
    @tisonlyme143

  18. I really like the Piccolissimo developed at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Engineering and Applied Science. There are two versions, one that is approx. 2.5cm and weighs 2.5 grams,as well as a slightly larger steerable version that’s 3.5cm and 4.5 grams. The inventors plan to fit them with sensors and operate swarms of them to aid in disaster relief.

    I think it would be very informative to use swarms of them to study nature. They could be used in places like rain forests to explore every nook and cranny of the tree canopy to discover new species and learn more about known species.

    To see more visit: http://www.upenn.edu/spotlights/meet-piccolissimo-worlds-smallest-self-powered-controllable-flying-vehicle

  19. After watching battle bots, it would be interesting to take it to the next level and add laser tag for competition drone dog fighting. While adding several target spots that would need to be “hit” to “wound” the drone. Most hits in a time period would win.

  20. I think the land mine detection drone is the best idea of 2016. It will help rid the world of landmines that kill thousands every year in a cheap and safe manner!

  21. drone to walk my dog & transport & feed the dog, entry pls

  22. I am a photographer and I just read an article on putting LED lights on Drones to do landscape photography at night. What does this mean? You can pick up the backlight of the stars by opening up the lens, but if you flood light on a certain area then that area would light up too. Historically, we would use a lantern, car, or some light source. These two guys here have came up with something pretty exciting to the world of photography. If you love beautiful art and amazing pics check out this video on how it’s done. https://vimeo.com/182751756 and here is the article that was posted on their work. https://fstoppers.com/diy/highlight-drone-lighting-nightscapes-paul-heran-and-ryland-west-152231. Taking photographs and videos with drones is not really a 2016 concept, but using LED lights to flood and strobe light is quite a new feat for night time photography.

  23. MY IDEA WOULD BE TO CREAT RETRACTABLE CLAWS SO DRONES CAN FLY DOWN AND GRAB THINGS AND CARRY THEM AWAY I WOULD LOVE FOR MY DRONE TO GO GET ME A SLICE OF PIZZA AND BRING IT TO ME

  24. Traffic analytics software add to a drone to help cities understand traffic jams and how to better manage traffic congested intersections. I would love to be able to get home from work sooner so I had more time to fly drones instead of sitting in traffic. Many times I thought it would be great to have my drone fly ahead of me and let me see what traffic conditions looked like. A more advanced version of what Uber did in mexico: http://www.theverge.com/2016/10/17/13308014/uber-drone-advertising-mexico-city-carpool-dystopia

  25. My idea would just be a tiny tiny tiny little one, shaped like a ladybug or dragonfly, that you could fly over animals and gardens and take really cool videos of nature.

  26. In 2016 the world witnessed what was previously the domain of fairy tales and flying fiction. This past fall, Intel’s world record setting flight employing 500 drones simultaneously (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aOd4-T_p5fA) set a new standard in multi-drone operations, and in my humble opinion, opened a whole new category of coordinated UAV flights to perform previously unthinkable tasks. Flying LED billboards and environmentally-friendly fireworks are just the beginning. Imagine if other companies such as DJI (my personal favourite) were able to release a multi-drone coordination system so that amazing camera angles could be captured, light shows performed and various tasks automated! All performed with several (or several hundred) of your closest friends! 😉

  27. Although I am a huge fan of fireworks displays I often think of the consequences that comes with the celebratory displays. I’ve seen first hands what happens to some of our feathered friends and to our four-legged fur friends which breaks my heart. But what hits my heart the hardest is the effects it has on some of our wounded warriors with PTSD. My idea would involve a group of drone enthusiasts to work together and present a drone light display. By attaching LED lights to each drone and performing a coordinated show accompanied by music over a sound system or a timed music app that the audience can play on their cell phones or tablets. It would be magically to see our veterans enjoying a day that they normally would hide from.

  28. i may be far off on this but the drones has two limitations one being power storage or battery life and range from controller. with drones today u can use head sets and just like ur in cockpit. i think if companies set up and send up satellites that could run controls via diff wave other than rc type u could send it to far diff ranges and if could do some kinda self power deal like a car generator that keep batteries full as motor is running, wel this would take the chains off the drones and they be no limitations. i think like shipping stuff over sea’s . ppl could start private companies taking small packages back in forth. or be a brand new way to rush delivery. place order, companies receives order and sends it instantly via drone. like on electric cars. standard cars has the alternator. it doesn’t run constantly . this means it could be set to do more. instead trying to power entire car just place small engine on each tire and have tire set as a alternator. and a solar to help with back up. srry for spacing, spelling and rest of junk. woke up at 3 am and seen this so i wrote real fast and back to bed. peace out

  29. The new Air Dog is a pretty sweet idea. It follows you with only a watch type controller. This means you don’t need some expert videographer or pilot. This allows sports people to act naturally in their habitat and kick some pretty cool tricks while getting it all on film. I reckon this is the future of drones. It kinda takes something and simplifies it into a product that anyone can use. Like the IPhone did. I am sure other manufacturers will be watching this company and including its features into new models.

  30. Ok…now I just saw that Domino’s Pizza delivered the first pizza by a drone yesterday. OMG. This has got to be the best idea ever. Now I don’t have to wait forever for the pizza guy to get the wrong address and screech his tires through the neighborhood trying to get the next order delivered on time. It gets pretty cold in the winter here, so I’m not sure how practical this is, but if they can make pizza fly, I’m sure they’ll figure out a way to keep it hot, too!

  31. I really think that future drones will have really good object avoidance technology and along with that will come better battery life. Although I don’t think we’re quite ready for graphene batteries, moving towards more powerful lithium polymer cells will allow drones to fly longer. I believe you’ll be able to click a button and have a drone follow you and record an entire clip without you having to control it. I imagine car chases being shot for movies this way. The drone will have the ability to see what’s in front of it and take that into account in getting the best shot of the action.

  32. My own idea, although I am a layman at best, is to utilize the most durable drone with an onboard camera for contractors such as roofers, architects of houses/buildings and other jobs that require labour and a ladder. This way the contractor can get a good picture, literally, on Mr. Jones roof, and Mr. Jones is assured he does indeed need new shingles and repairs. Seems like we are all being transported to the future of tech very quickly! Did anyone mention bird watching and weather reports?

    • Please delete this submission. Thank you kindly.

  33. I would love to see a drove you could fly tellakineticly just through your thoughts

  34. Burger King tray flying with the meal
    The drone makes it fly

  35. My idea would be a communication drone. During a natural disaster where power lines and possibly cell service is interrupted; a communications drone could be launched giving emergency crews immediate communication to disaster survivors and other first-responders. The benefit of this over using a helium balloon or other inflatable set-up, is the drone could be flown immediately with very little set up time, AND with GPS will keep it’s position.

  36. My own idea is to utilize the 2.7K HD Video Camera on the Phantom drone for contractors such as roofers, architects of houses/buildings and other jobs that require labour and a ladder. This way the contractor can get a good picture, literally, on Mr. Jones roof, and Mr. Jones is assured he does indeed need new shingles and repairs. Seems like we are all being transported to the future of tech very quickly and the drone can help us in many ways!

  37. I have four rescue dogs and live on a river. While they get periodic, supervised river time, they escape a lot and run the river. I have to go upriver/downriver to find them. A drone with an optional, small speaker (so I could make noises) would be great. Otherwise, I’ll have to buy a Phantom and, as a former engineer, retrofit it with small deices which can fire a few bottle rockets. Of course, if shoddy engineering is at hand and a rocket misfires, painting “Hindenburg” on it will be appropriate. Does homeowners’ insurance cover drone catastrophes?

  38. According to me, the best idea for 2016 is that DJI, the world’s leading maker of unmanned aerial vehicles, and DroneSAR, the Irish tech start-up revolutionizing the search and rescue industry, announced a new search and rescue app that seamlessly integrates a drone’s unique aerial perspective on life-and-death searches into incident management software, ensuring rescue crews can use drones effectively to save lives.

    DroneSAR can stream live images and video, from a regular or thermal imaging camera, to an incident command center as well as other rescue teams on the ground. The software can tag the GPS coordinates of a victim and automatically transmit them by email or SMS, enabling ground crews to reach victims more quickly. Completed search patterns are all recorded and logged for easy handover to oncoming rescue crews.

  39. Technology is becoming more advanced and with it progressing comes a great price. I believe that drone should serve more purpose other than its function of shooting drone footage. The transformer drone, transforms a drone into many other formations. The first one is to transform into a smartphone or a tablet, the propellers will fold together and attach to the controller which will serve as a screen. The effect of this one is it will make the drone smaller, but more ability to carry around. The second transformation is the ability to transform into a handheld action camera, since it will have more mobility, I believe that holding the drone using your hand as an action camera will serve as a useful tool for vloggers. It should have a stabilizer to have smooth effect on sports and commute on skateboard like Casey Neistat.

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