Free Drones for 2015!

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I thought that might get your attention, I see a couple of things in the crystal ball that might shake 2015 up a bit.

If rumors are to be believed GoPro will enter the multirotor market. They join a crowded field in which its very difficult to create something original. A quadcopter is little more than two sticks, four motors, and a battery. So other than styling or a clever trick there is very little difference between models.
If you think your quadcopter is much better much better than others please send one along for us to give an honest review.

Right now $300-400 will get you everything you need to lift a GoPro you might already own and guide along a GPS path. What would make a stand out platform? For GoPro to make their offering better they need to either improve the camera, by adding on-board

quantomnovabarestabilization. Just like the Parrot Bebop. Or make the price of the platform very close to the price of the GoPro Camera itself so there is little point in going elsewhere.

Perhaps they will team with one of the Opensource projects out there? They might have already built things like Ground Control Stations and sorted firmware glitches out. Creating these things for a market that expects so much more from their RPAS than they did just a couple of years ago would be a very expensive exercise.

I’m being cheeky trying to guess the price and specs of something that like many unmanned aircraft only exists in press releases and conjecture. Renderings in 3D from the world of impossible are the stuff of legend in the unmanned industry now.

There are markets that I think might be giving drones away in 2015.

GIS and Agriculture

Advances in autopilot technology coupled with electric propulsion has made creating flying wings cheap and trivial. They still enjoy a premium price but for how much longer.

Enough folks have entered the market in 2014 that don’t care about the platform only having eyes on the data.

Extracting data from thousands of images and turning it into something useful is hard. Computer intensive and often confusing. There are no simple Opensource alternatives (yet)

So farmers and surveyors are comparing and contrasting software that might be used to map crops or model and measure quarries. They are fast discovering it is often worth spending a little extra to get the best and make life easier. Its a hidden cost of serious RPAS operation.

Really good software costs much more than most UAVs. Why not chuck in a free aircraft or two and cameras to clinch the sale of your photogrammetry products.