Multicopters are a lot of fun, and the best, cheapest, and safest place for every member of the family to experience them—especially for the first time—is in the home.
Accessibly priced drones have been made possible because their stability system shares so much in common with mobile phones. The same gyro that makes the screen and camera switch orientation when you turn your phone is used to keep your drone stable, and the same magnetometer (compass) that your phone uses to determine the direction it is pointed in is equally useful to some drones (although others rely on the pilot). The development of tiny, powerful, and fast-charging batteries also owes a lot to mobile phone technology, although the cells found in these minidrones are typically even smaller.
A big advantage in designing minidrones is that the pilot will certainly be very near to the craft, so video relay is less essential and long distance RC systems can be dispensed with. Instead, manufacturers pick from a variety of established, cheap, light, and low-power alternatives, such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and even Infrared control (much like your TV commander).
This is great news if you’re starting out flying because it means you can pick something up that doesn’t cost too much. More importantly, the same basic control system is found on most of these devices, so the skills you develop for avoiding obstacles in your hallway will also apply when you’ve invested more money in something a little more rugged and moved outdoors.
The Complete Guide to Drones is Adam Juniper’s comprehensive introduction if you’re thinking of dipping your toe into the world of drones. This book will show you everything you could need to know. What types you can buy (or build), how they work, how to fly them, all the relevant rules and how to keep ahead of the weather.