How Is a Quadcopter Drone Different Than Other Drones?

Drones are becoming more popular in today’s era, especially for videographers and hobbyists. Videographers would usually want to have drones ready in their arsenal of gadgets so that they can have aerial views of wonderful landscapes, which are often needed to make short films or prenuptial shoots. For hobbyists, they simply want to enjoy how drones are able to fly so effortlessly with minimal control, and they can also have fun taking pictures or videos of stunning locations at wonderful views that aren’t possible with just a simple camera held by hand.

While the term “drone” is often used as a name for flying gadgets that have four rotors and a camera, the term wasn’t actually meant for those gadgets in the past. Today, in order to stay away from the “drone” name, many people would call the four-rotor flying camera gadget a “quadcopter.” What is a quadcopter? And how is it different from other drones? We will find out as we take a closer look at the description of both the drone and the quadcopter.

What is a Drone?

Before we get into what a quadcopter actually is, we must first talk about the definition of a drone and what features it should have. A drone, sometimes known as an unmanned aerial vehicle or UAV, is an aircraft that doesn’t have a human pilot on board. In addition, a drone should also not have passenger or crew members, which means that it could be as small as possible, but there are still some drones that are as big as or even bigger than fighter planes. So, as its alternate name suggests, the drone is basically unmanned, although it is usually still controlled by a human, although it is maneuvered from afar.

flying drone

Drones were originally created for military missions that are often deemed to be dangerous for humans to partake in. For example, if an aircraft needs to spy on specific areas of enemy territory, there is a very high risk that the aircraft will be spotted by the enemy and will get gunned down. 

For drones, there is less risk for humans since they can control the aircraft without the need to actually go to the territory of the enemies, and the drone would usually be much harder to spot or detect since it is much smaller than most types of aircraft. All in all, the benefits of drones in military missions are to lessen human casualties and provide a much more efficient way of conducting dangerous tasks.

In the past, drones would be very expensive for ordinary people to own, but as technology became more advanced and drone parts became more abundant, the prices of drones eventually became affordable for many. In today’s era, drones are now used for photography, agriculture (for monitoring crop production and spraying pesticides faster), product deliveries (for small items), surveillance, and inspections of infrastructure (which can be dangerous for humans to do in unfinished buildings). Drones have also become popular gadgets for recreational activities, like drone stunts and even drone racing.

What is a Quadcopter?

A quadcopter is classified as a type of drone and also a type of helicopter that has four rotors. Although it is essentially a drone, a quadcopter is widely different from other drones, specifically the ones that are designed to have wings like a fighter plane instead of propellers like a helicopter. Because of the four rotors that provide balance and ample power to stay in the air, quadcopters can be as small as possible even if it is carrying a relatively heavy piece of equipment like a camera.

drone with camera

The quadcopter layout has already been developed even before the abundance of drones on the market. The layout was only adopted in the 2000s when it became popular for small-scale drones or UAVs. Thanks to the four rotors, quadcopter drones have advantages over most types of drones in terms of maneuverability and hovering ability, as they can remain stable in one position and provide better shots for photography and videography, which requires stableness and accuracy.

By the mid-2000s, quadcopter drones became much more advanced than before, as manufacturers were able to install global positioning systems and accelerometers into their drones. The advancements would later become quintessential in the widespread popularity of the quadcopter drones in the 2010s and into the 2020s.

Another reason why quadcopters are quite popular today is because of their affordability, as they are significantly cheaper than other types of drones. One of the attributes that make quadcopter drones affordable is their simplicity, as their mechanisms are less and use fewer parts compared to other drones. Furthermore, the smaller blades in the rotors allow the drones to cause less damage and move quieter. 

Because of their simplicity, there are quadcopter DIY kits that are sold in toy stores and hobby shops that are quite easy for a lot of people to build. The kits would help children and adults learn about the mechanics of the quadcopter drone and how exactly they work. There are even quadcopter toys available, which are much smaller than camera drones and are meant to be played with instead of being used professionally. These toy quadcopter drones are played with by children and would often feature softer materials or parts so that they won’t hurt anyone playing with them.

However, one disadvantage that quadcopter drones have is that they will become more difficult to control when you increase their size, as the four rotors would struggle to move bigger blades. So, the size and the weight of the quadcopter drone should be optimized for better control and precision.

Through this simple article, we hope that we have helped you in figuring out what a quadcopter truly is and how it is different from other drones available on the market. If you are a beginner in drones and UAVs in general, a lot of experts would recommend that you start with a quadcopter first since it is easier to maneuver and it is much more affordable.