Drones are autonomous vehicles, but for the sky. With improving technologies, drones can shift from being remotely piloted to being entirely autonomous. This allows several possibilities: drone delivery, air taxis, air ambulances, etc.

These services have not been commercialised just yet, however ARK predicts drone delivery will be fully operational within the next 5-10 years. The technology provides several advantages in both cost and convenience.

Types of Drones:

Drones are separated into different categories based on their hardware. These differences indicate that they have specific advantages to different industries.


These are likely the drones that most people have seen before. They have several fans above their compact body that create lift and give the pilot a lot of control. However, the more rotors you add makes the drone more difficult to control. This also drains power faster, meaning you won’t get much time in the air. You get less than an hour from most multi-rotor drones.

Multi-rotor drones are the cheapest to manufacture. They are easy control and manoeuvre since they have the ability to hover, can take off and land vertically and are very stable.

These types of drones have several uses:

  • Aerial photography
  • Filmmaking
  • Surveillance

Fixed-Wing Drone

These drones are more like small planes and thus they require a runway or a catapult to launch. They are a lot more efficient due to the improvement in aerodynamics created by static wings. This also creates longer operation time without stopping to charge or swap the batteries – all with the advantage of improved speed. These qualities make them perfect for covering longer distances, especially since they don’t have to be limited by batteries and limited battery storage – they can run on petrol engines.

Advantages include a flight time of 16 hours or more powered by fuel as well as the ability to fly in high altitudes and carry more weight. However, they require training to fly and can only move forward in the air. Due to all of these advantages, they also tend to be more expensive.

These types of drones have several uses:

  • Aerial mapping
  • Inspection
  • Agriculture
  • Construction
  • Security


Single rotor drones look similar to actual helicopters. They have one big rotor above like a helicopter alongside a small rotor on the tail for direction and stability. Their use of rotors allows them to hover and launch vertically, like a multi-rotor drone. Unlike the smaller multi-rotor, single-rotors are larger and can carry larger payloads. The lack of multiple motors makes them more efficient in terms of energy usage. They often use fuel rather than batteries, which also increases range.

These types of drones have several uses:

  • Research
  • Aerial LIDAR laser scan
  • Surveying

Photo by Miguel Ángel Hernández on Unsplash

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