What are drones and how they work

The word drone identifies a small aircraft capable of making short trips and also carrying packages. It can be controlled remotely

Seeing a drone fly over our heads is becoming a common scene. Companies are working to use quadcopters even for shipping by controlling the aircraft remotely. But one question arises: what are drones and how do they work?

Given the recent, very rapid development and branching out into multiple sectors, for many experts drones are destined to take over our skies in no time. From deliveries to transportation, we need to get used to these drones. Let's start by saying that the word "drone" is the common name for the device and in some cases it is also inappropriate. This term is used to define an entire category of flying objects, namely APRs, remotely piloted aircraft. As almost everybody knows by now, drones were born for war reasons, and made their appearance already in the First World War. Their conversion from military to commercial use began in the mid-2000s, although there are still drones used for military purposes.

Three families of drones

There are mainly three families of drones. The first are those with a propeller structure. They are characterized by having one or more propellers mounted on the various removable arms. These propellers allow the drone to behave like a small helicopter. That is, they can remain stationary in position, fly at an angle and turn abruptly. Then there are the planar structure drones that are more similar to airplanes than helicopters, also because they are not equipped with propellers, but with large wings. They are especially useful for medium distance travel, because they can take advantage of air currents and flows. Then there are the hybrids. They are drones that often in addition to flying can also go on land and water. Very often these drones are inspired by the characteristics of certain animals.

Drones and regulations

The use of drones is subject to several limitations, to protect privacy and safety, as well as not to interfere with normal air traffic. The limitations were put in writing by a fairly recent document from Enac (Ente Nazionale per l'Aviazione Civile).

Where Drones Are Used

One of the main uses of drones is by Police for security and tracking. Monitoring drug trafficking or criminal activity with these systems is easier and less conspicuous. But drones are also used to check the condition of large parks and protected areas and to monitor the condition of earthquake-affected towns and monuments. And in some cases they have also been used in the search for the missing from a tragedy. Equipped with special sensors are used for the remote detection of crops in the fields, for the smog in the cities and for similar actions. Finally, the most famous use at the moment is that of video filming.

Everyone will have come across a drone on a beach or in the mountains. Maybe an amateur was taking a shot or a photo to be published on social networks or to be included in an artistic work. In addition to this "cinema" use, however, there are a number of new technologies that are currently revolutionizing the world of drones. For example, the ability to move following preset paths and without the help of a human pilot.