Tech

[Discussion] [Tech With Furqaan Ep.1] Technology Behind Drones Explained!!

2017-03-18 10:42 AM

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Hey Mi Fans,


Many of you would be having questions in your minds that How is any specific technology or a gadget works? Is there any magic in the Gadget or something else? Well, I am here to clear all your doubts related to Technology! I will be explaining a Technology every week and you will get to know many more new things from this series of threads. And I am naming this series as Tech With Furqaan. Starting this week I will be focusing on DRONES! I will cover up things like what is a drone, how do drones work, what are their applications, etc in this thread. All your questions will be answered here in very easy to understand language. So let me start with defining a Drone!

What Is A Drone – UAV Technology

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A drone is an Unmanned Aircraft. Drones are more formally known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) or Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UASes). Essentially, a drone is a flying robot. The aircraft may be remotely controlled or can fly autonomously through software-controlled flight plans in their embedded systems working in conjunction with onboard sensors and GPS.

The Birth of Pilotless Aircraft!

Drones, formerly known as Unmanned Aircraft have been in use since 1849. It was the time when Austrians launched balloons mounted with bombs to attack the city of Venice.  Since then the use of drones has become increasingly more sophisticated. Also, by the invention of Elmer Sperry’s Automatic Gyroscopic Stabiliser controlling of the drone using Radio control was made possible.

Well after some years the Drone World was again revolutionised in the 1980’s by Abraham Karem, who built the “Albatross Drone" which managed to stay in the air for around 56 hours. And if we can go back in time then this was quite an outstanding improvement from previous drones, which often crashed on various missions. This success lead to funding from the military, which inevitably lead to better and better drones until the predator drone, which is currently in use, was built.

Since then drone activity has increased and the drones themselves have improved a lot nowadays. And now they have many other applications too which I will be explaining below. Thus Drone Technology has made a gigantic breakthrough in the world of Technology!

How Do Drones Work?

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Let's first start with the construction of a Drone. Any drone (more correctly, an 'unmanned aerial vehicle' or UAV) starts with a frame. It competes with the battery which is the 'heaviest component' in any UAV design but it has to be strong enough to handle all of the various forces involved in hurling it around the skies.

They can vary in extremes from 100-millimetres to several metres in diameter, but typically, they're roughly 300 to 800-millimetres in size. They are usually made from plastic or carbon fibre and support four, six or eight rotors. Many have dual shelves for various components and include extra mounting points for cameras.

Now comes the breakdown of the individual components seen in most drones.

  • Radar Positioning

The flight radar displays the current position and location of the drone. Exceeding the control range of the remote control will trigger ‘Return-to-Home’, in simple words that mean the Drone or UAV will automatically fly back to its takeoff point and land safely.

  • Flight Parameters

It keeps the track of current flight telemetry and sees what your drone sees on your mobile device.

  • Gyro Stabilization

Gyro stabilisation technology is one of the important components which gives the drone it’s smooth flying capabilities. The gyroscope needs to work almost instantly to the forces moving against the drone.  The gyroscope provides essential navigational information to the central flight controller.

  • Ready To Fly Mode

When the compass is calibrated, the drone then seeks the location of GPS satellites. When more than 6 are found, it allows the drone to fly in “Ready To Fly” Mode.

  • Failsafe Function

This function allows the UAV and remote control system to know exactly its flight location.  Calibration of the Compass is required to set a home point. The home point is the location where the drone will return to in case of loss of signal between the drone and the remote control system.  This is also known as “Fail-Safe function”.

  • Remote Control System

This is the wireless communication device which uses the 5.8 GHz frequency band. The drone and the remote control system should already be paired when it leaves the factory.

  • Remote Control Receiver

The location of the 5.8 GHz receiver technology link button is under the UAV.

  • Flight Indicators

Flight Indicators are found at the front side and the rear side of the drone. The front LEDs are for indicating where the nose of the drone is. The rear LEDs flight indicators light up to show the drones current flight status when the flight battery is turned on.

  • Range Extender

Range Extender is a wireless communication device which operates within the 2.4 GHz frequency. It is used to extend the range of communication between the smartphone or tablet and the drone in an open unobstructed area.  Its transmission distance can reach up to 700 meters.

  • High-Performance Camera

The camera includes a processor that calculates and compensates additional movements, and highly sensitive 3-axis gimbal stabilises up to 2000 vibrations per second, ± 0.02° accuracy.

  • No Fly Zone Drone Technology

In order to increase flight safety and prevent accidental flights in restricted areas, the firmware includes a “No Fly Zone feature”. When the Drone approaches a no-fly zone, it automatically stops, hovers, and sends out a smart alert to prevent any accidents from occurring.

  • Smartphone App Featuring Function

Smartphone App from Google Play or the Apple Store. The app allows for full control of the drone. This allows for flight missions by placing location waypoints and setting waypoint altitude and overall speed.  The Drone should the be able to execute the flight mission automatically.

  • Gimbals & Tilt Control

Gimbal technology is vital to capture quality aerial photos, film or 3D imagery.  The gimbal allows for any vibration from the drone to not reach the camera.  The gimbal allows you to tilt the camera while in flight, creating unique angles.  It uses a 3 axial stabilised gimbal and has 2 working modes. No-FPV mode and FPV mode.

Let's have a look at a video introducing Mi Drone!


Let's come to the areas where Drones are usually used!

Areas of Application of Drones
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  • Search and Rescue

In search and rescue operations call in a micro drone as air support! When firefighting, for example, you can determine the proportion of a particular gas present using sophisticated measuring equipment and react appropriately.

  • Inspections

Save on the high cost of inspections with a microdrone. Wind turbines, power lines, pipelines, etc. can be inspected using a drone! No need to engage an external contractor.

  • Security

Protect the public with microdrones! Many authorities worldwide are already using our aerial platforms – for example, to help coordinate security operations or preserve evidence.

  • Surveillance

Keep watch over everything from high in the sky! A microdrone allows you to monitor illegal money hand-overs, protests, public events, etc. without being seen or heard.

  • Science and Research

With a micro drone, you can break through barriers into areas which previously would scarcely have been within reach. Observe a volcanic eruption from the sky or document an archaeological excavation.

  • Aerial Photography

Create fascinating photography out of thin air! You won’t need to charter a plane or hire a helicopter. With a UAV you can do your own aerial photography.

  • Aerial Videography

Do it like the professionals do! Film from a bird’s eye view or create videos from unusual perspectives – it’s all possible with a microdrone.

  • Surveying

Create maps and grids with ease! Thanks to payloads such as laser scanners or multi-spectral cameras and the microdrone’s Waypoint technology, a drone can deliver this with ease.

  • Unmanned Cargo System

We are focusing on building the industry standards for delivering parcels around the globe in a future of safe, fast and environmentally friendly transportation of goods involving a fraction of the cost compared to former standards. Drones can help in delivering cargo easily and efficiently.


So this was all about Drones and lastly, I would like to conclude that Drones have always risen to the occasion whenever they were needed. They are truly an engineering spectacle, containing the best of Mechanical, Electronics and Software Technology. There just might be a day where today's generation will tell their grandchildren that aircraft were manned by human pilots!

Drone technology continues to evolve much more quickly than any single organisation can track. These days Drones are getting cheaper and more capable by the month, and more and more manned military craft are being replaced by enormous, powerful and deadly drones that can scour the skies far longer than any traditional craft.

If you were waiting for the day of the drones to arrive, realise this — that day has already come. Drones, for good or bad, will be soon a part of our culture.

Sources of Information - 1, 2. 3

So What Technology you want me to explain next week? Post your answers below!

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2017-03-18 10:42 AM
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Master Bunny

Aziz,rahman. | from Redmi Note 4

#1

very nice info, nice thread , thanks for sharing...!!
2017-03-18 10:50 AM
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Techie Team

Praful Prajapati | from Redmi 3S

#2

Its awesome ...and For next week i would like to see tech behind Wifi extender

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aripanda + 1 Interesting!

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2017-03-18 10:53 AM
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Advanced Bunny

rehan7213 | from Redmi Note 3

#3

Your Xiaomi Drone is best
2017-03-18 10:58 AM
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MIUI beta testers

max_maurya | from MI MAX

#4

Very well explained @Furqaan. Thanks for sharing info with us.
2017-03-18 11:07 AM
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MIUI beta testers

max_maurya | from MI MAX

#5

Next week "Mi Box"
2017-03-18 11:07 AM
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Grand Master Bunny

Prashant101 | from Redmi Note 3

#6

Resolved all queries
2017-03-18 11:12 AM
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Thanks & regards
PRASHANT 101

Pro Bunny

Jinay Patel | from app

#7

It is awesome....you have resolved my queries about drones
2017-03-18 11:23 AM
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Advanced Bunny

1618600212 | from Redmi Note 3

#8

Mi drone is the best
2017-03-18 11:25 AM
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Pro Bunny

Bharath_ | from Redmi 3S

#9

that's really amazing
2017-03-18 11:41 AM
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Pro Bunny

Rohan750 | from mobile

#10

@furqaan All remote control (4ch,6ch,9ch) transmitters and receivers work on 5.4ghz frequency not 5.8ghz. Only video transmitters on fpv work on 5.8ghz.
2017-03-18 12:08 PM
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