Drone pilots have been enjoying the thrilling experience of First Person View, commonly known as FPV, for quite some time. It is an essential part of drone racing, and is also becoming a must have technology for toy drones. What is so unique about it?
The idea is simple, you are seeing a live video-feed from an onboard camera whilst operating the drone with a separate radio controller, or in some cases a smartphone.
Once your flying skills have improved and you are confident to try it, you will be overwhelmed by the sensation of seeing your environment from a bird’s eye view. Some of the smaller drones include a set of different speed modes so you can gradually challenge yourself with your flying skills (Micro Drone 3.0 has three different modes). Put on the fastest, most aggressive mode to try stunts and high-speed flying whilst having the goggles on and you will be hooked on the experience.
There are two ways in which this technology works. Usually the video transmission is sent to a dedicated FPV screen, tablet, smartphone or goggles via radio or wi-fi signal. Remote Controlled (RC) fliers have been experimenting with this for years, and independently integrating an FPV system into a drone is still a popular hobby for many. This, however, is changing due to the popularity of ready-to-fly drones that are harder to crash and can be operated by anyone with little or no previous experience.
One of the more demanding tasks for the future of FPV is transmitting a high resolution view from the drone. Currently, full HD video downlinks are expensive, but the technology is constantly evolving so that over time it will become smaller and more affordable.
Flying even a small toy drone comes with responsibilities and it’s always important to consider safety. Due to the popularity of drones the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in the UK has set a number of regulation for drone users according to the drone's weight. Embarking on the journey to become an expert pilot is therefore easier if you start with a small drone when the risk of hurting anyone is minimal. Many toy drones like the Micro Drone 3.0 come with propeller guards which reduce the risk of being hurt by the spinning blades.
You should think about where you choose to fly especially when in open public spaces. Irresponsible pilots of larger quadcopters have been giving drones a bad press. If we all enjoy smaller drones responsibly, there is less chance of increased flying restrictions in the future”.
Sara is a pilot and video creator of Droneminds.com and a freelance writer with an interest in drones.