38 Different Types of Drones and Their Uses That You Didn’t Know

Different Types of Drones and Their Uses

Drones are unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), which means they are aircraft that are operated without a human pilot on board. They can be controlled remotely or they can be programmed to fly autonomously. Drones come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and they can be used for a variety of purposes. Some drones are small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, while others are much larger. Some drones are designed for aerial photography, while others are designed for military applications. Each type of drone has its own unique features and benefits.  Even though drones are becoming increasingly popular, there are still many people who are unsure of their different types and what they can be used for. In this blog post, we will explore the different types of drones and their uses.

Types of Drones Based On Design

1. Single-Rotor Drones

A single-rotor drone is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that uses a single rotary wing for lift. It is usually shaped like a helicopter with a tail to maneuver and stabilize the drone. They are not common in the consumer market but do find some use cases in enterprises and the military. Although they can carry heavy payloads, they are more expensive than other drone types available in the market.

2. Multi-Rotor Drones

Multi-rotor drones are drones with multiple rotors that work together to lift and stabilize the drone. These drones typically have two or more rotors, and they are commonly used for aerial photography and videography. Multi-rotor drones typically have longer flight times and can carry heavier payloads than single-rotor drones.

3. Fixed-wing Drones

Fixed-wing drones are unmanned aircraft that are propelled by a pair of wings that work in a similar fashion to those of a fixed-wing airplane. The wings provide lift and allow the drone to fly. Fixed-wing drones are typically larger and can stay in the air for longer periods of time, making them well-suited for long-range missions.

4. Hybrid Drones

A hybrid drone is a type of drone that combines the best features of both fixed-wing and rotary-wing drones. Hybrid drones are more versatile than either type of drone and can be used for a variety of tasks. For example, a hybrid drone can take off like a rotary-wing drone, then transition to flying like a fixed-wing drone. This makes hybrid drones ideal for applications where both vertical and horizontal flight are required, such as search and rescue or surveying.

5. Tethered Drones

Tethered drones are unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that are connected to a groundbased power source via a cable. They are typically used for surveillance and security purposes, as they can stay in the air for long periods of time. This cable provides power and data connectivity to the drone, allowing it to stay in the air for extended periods of time. Tethered drones are often used for surveillance and other mission-critical applications where reliability and long flight times are required.

Types of Drones Based On No. of Rotors

1. Double-Rotor Drones

Double rotor drones are unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that have two rotors, as opposed to single rotor drones we discussed above. They are essentially the entry point for multi-rotor drones and are more stable and easy to fly in difficult environments than their single rotor counterparts. Double rotor drones are popularly used for commercial or industrial applications, such as carrying packages or surveying large areas.

2. Tri-Rotor Drones

Tri-rotor drones are a type of drone that uses three rotors to lift and propel the drone through the air. The three rotors are arranged in a triangular configuration and each rotor provides lift and thrust. Tri-rotor drones are more stable and easier to control than double-rotor drones, making them a popular choice and entry point for aerial photography and videography in the direct consumer market.

3. Quadcopters

Quadcopters drones are unmanned aerial vehicles that are lifted and propelled by four rotors. They are relatively simple to fly and can be controlled by a remote, making them popular for a variety of applications, including photography, videography, and even package delivery. While quadcopter drones are often associated with recreational use, they are also used extensively in a number of industries, including law enforcement, search and rescue, and agriculture. Among all the different types of drones, quadcopters are the most popular drones in the market currently.

4. Hexacopters

Hexacopters are a class of drones that have six rotors. They are often used for aerial photography and videography, as well as for other applications such as search and rescue, mapping, and surveying. Hexacopter drones are typically more stable and easier to control than quadcopters, which have four rotors.

5. Octocopters

An octocopter drone is a type of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that is lifted and propelled by eight rotors. Octocopter drones are typically used for aerial photography and videography, as well as for carrying small payloads such as sensors or cameras. Octocopter drones are also more stable and easier to control than quadcopters and can stay in the air for longer periods of time.

Types of Drones Based On Controls

1. Radio-Controlled Drones

Radio-controlled drones are unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that are controlled by a remote control, typically via a radio frequency link. The remote control may be a dedicated remote, such as those used for model aircraft, or a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet. Radio-controlled drones are used for a variety of purposes, including photography, videography, recreation, and even warfare.

2. Autonomous Drones

An autonomous drone is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that is capable of flying and navigating without human intervention.  These drones are equipped with sensors and software that allow them to avoid obstacles, follow pre-determined routes, and even land safely on their own. Autonomous drones are becoming increasingly popular for both personal and commercial use, as they offer a convenient and cost-effective way to perform tasks that would otherwise be difficult or impossible for humans to do.

Types of Drones Based On Usage

1. FPV Drones

First person view drones, or FPV drones, are drones that are equipped with a camera and video transmitter that allows the pilot to see from the perspective of the drone. This gives the pilot a much more immersive experience and allows for greater control of the drone. FPV drones are becoming increasingly popular for both racing and freestyle flying.

2. Racing Drones

Racing drones are specially designed drones that are used to compete in drone racing competitions. These competitions are similar to auto racing, except that the drones are controlled by remote control instead of by the drivers. The drones are usually outfitted with cameras so that the pilots can see where they are going, and they are often equipped with special engines and propellers that allow them to reach speeds of up to 70 miles per hour.

3. Mapping Drones

Mapping drones are specially equipped drones that are used to create high-resolution maps. These maps can be used for a variety of enterprise purposes, such as planning infrastructure projects, monitoring agricultural land, and managing natural resources. Mapping drones are equipped with high-resolution cameras and sensors that allow them to capture detailed data about an area. This data is then processed and used to create a map.

4. Surveillance Drones

A surveillance drone is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that is used to collect information about an area of interest. The data collected by a surveillance drone can be used for reconnaissance, target identification, and battle damage assessment. Surveillance drones are typically equipped with cameras and other sensors that allow them to collect a variety of information about an area of interest. These drones are commonly used in the defense, military, and security sectors.

5. Delivery Drones

A delivery drone is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that is used to deliver packages, food, or other items. Delivery drones are becoming increasingly popular as a way to reduce delivery times and costs. Delivery drones are typically smaller than other types of drones and are equipped with GPS systems and cameras to help them navigate. Most delivery drones are able to carry a weight of up to 10 pounds. Delivery drones are currently being used by a limited companies only like Amazon.

6. Agricultural Drones

Agricultural drones are unmanned aerial vehicles that are used to help with agricultural tasks such as crop mapping, crop spraying, and crop monitoring. They can be used to gather data about crops, soil, and water conditions, as well as to help with crop planning and management. Farmers can use agricultural drones to get a bird’s-eye view of their crops, which can help them to identify problems early on and take corrective action. Agricultural drones not only help to improve the efficiency of farming operations and increase crop yields they also reduce the use of the harmful effect of manual spraying of pesticides.

7. Search and Rescue Drones

Search and rescue drones are unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that are specifically designed and deployed for the purpose of search and rescue missions. These drones are equipped with a variety of sensors and cameras that allow them to cover large areas quickly and efficiently, while also providing live feedback to ground personnel. In many cases, search and rescue drones are able to reach areas that would otherwise be inaccessible or too dangerous for human searchers.

8. Recreational Drones

A recreational drone is a small unmanned aircraft that is flown for fun by amateur people and kids. They are typically controlled with remote control and can vary in size. Some recreational drones are equipped with cameras, which allow the user to take photos and videos from the air. Drones can be flown indoors or outdoors, and many people use them to capture aerial footage of their surroundings.

9. Camera Drones

Camera drones are becoming increasingly popular for both personal and professional use. Drones with cameras can range in price and quality, so it’s important to consider what you need before making a purchase. If you’re just looking to take casual photos and videos, a lower-end drone with a basic camera may be all you need. However, if you’re looking to capture high-quality video and photos, you’ll need to invest in a more expensive drone with a better camera. Camera drones can be used for a variety of purposes, from taking aerial photos and videos to capturing unique perspectives of landmarks or events.

10. GPS Drones

GPS drones are drones that use GPS to navigate. They are equipped with GPS receivers that allow them to receive GPS signals from satellites. This enables them to determine their position and track their movements. GPS drones are becoming increasingly popular for a variety of applications, such as mapping, surveying, and delivery.

11. Military Drone

A military drone is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that is controlled by a military pilot or by a computer program (autonomous). These drones are used for reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition and may also be armed with missiles, bombs, or other weapons. Drones are increasingly being used by the military to carry out missions that are considered too dangerous for piloted aircraft. They are also being used more and more for surveillance and intelligence gathering. Such drones are usually smaller and quieter than piloted aircraft, and they can stay in the air for long periods of time.

Types of Drones Based On Size

1. Nano Drones

Nano drones are very small in size, measuring just a few centimeters in length and width and usually up to 250gm They are incredibly lightweight, and useful for various purposes, including surveillance, reconnaissance, and target acquisition. Despite their small size, nano drones can be equipped with small powerful cameras and sensors that allow them to capture highquality images and video. They are becoming increasingly popular due to their small size, which allows them to be deployed in a variety of challenging environments.

2. Micro Drones

Micro drones are larger than nano drones and may weigh between 250gm and 1kg. Just like nano drones, micro drones are also useful for the purposes of surveillance, reconnaissance, and target acquisition. Micro drones are typically less expensive and easier to operate than larger drones, making them attractive to both government and civilian users.

3. Small Drones

Small drones may weigh anywhere between 2kgs to 25kgs. The functioning of these drones may be as simple as that of  Nana and Micro drones and may also become complex depending on their size and purpose. These drones are also capable of carrying some payload and have sophisticated uses in areas of delivery, videography, surveillance, military, etc.

4. Medium Drones

Medium drones are approximately the size of a large bird or small plane typically having a wingspan of 3 to 6 meters (10 to 20 feet) and can carry payloads of up to 100 kilograms. They are used for a variety of purposes, including surveillance, target practice, and delivery. Such drones are mostly targeted for segments of agricultural, enterprise, and military uses. Medium drones are generally more expensive than small drones, but they offer more features and better performance

5. Large Drones

Large drones may weigh several hundred Kgs and are as good as a medium-sized unmanned planes. They have powerful engines and are capable of carrying huge payloads. Besides, such drones can also fly for longer duration and at higher altitudes.  These drones have the main market in the commercial and military segments.


Featured Image by david henrichs on Unsplash

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