Once a technology reserved for the military, drones have come to the public and they have proved to be a gift most bountiful. Film enthusiasts can take camera shots formerly reserved for Hollywood directors. Nature enthusiasts can link their phones and fly through the woods like a bird. Farmers can plant seeds with laser precision after surveying their entire properties in a matter of hours with specialized software designed to show things like weeds and soil nitrogen levels. It’s nothing short of amazing but when it comes to getting your own piece of the action, where do you start? Today we are going to discuss the importance of making that decision carefully, as well as what you can do to protect your investment, and then we’ll point you to the Top 10 drone makers in the market today. That way when you make your choice you’ll know that you are going with the very best!
It is important to go with the best
When you are looking for a beginner drone (and especially when looking for a professional grade drone!) you want to be very picky about which vendor you select. Find out what kind of warranty comes with your purchase, for one thing. Insure your purchase afterwards (we’ll tell you how to do that), and lastly, find out what kind of support comes with your model. A good drone company is going to offer a strong support package, to make sure that if you have any questions about your expensive new technology that you aren’t simply told to ‘read the manual’.
For your business, a good company is just sending that manual for forms sake. They should be there for you with no excuses.
Why you should consider insurance
Before we go into the top companies which you should consider when purchasing your drone we should cover something very important.
While you are going to have a warranty, whether the drone is for personal use or for a business idea that you have cooked up, insurance should be purchased. It is inexpensive and it is WORTH it. You will want to check with your insurance provider, but we can tell you that a drone for personal use can be insured as property under your homeowner’s policy. A business drone can be insured too, quite easily, starting at around $500 per year for up to 1 million dollars worth of coverage. Get as broad a coverage plan as you can if you are getting a high end model and then you can enjoy it to the fullest without worry. After all, you don’t want to purchase a drone and end up never flying it for fear of a crash, do you? Get the insurance and proper coverage to protect your investment. It’s the smart thing to do.
Company #1 – DJI
Da Jiang Innovations, best known as DJI is the world’s leader when it comes to commercially available drones. Some of their models, such as the Phantom line, are equipped with cameras that make them desirable to cinema buffs who wish to do a little filmmaking on their own. How prevalent are they in the drone market? Well, recent market studies show that they have cornered around 70% of the drone market across the globe. It’s an impressive achievement and an excellent reason to do business with them. One of their models, the Mavic Mini, was lauded by Global Brands Magazine for packing the majority of the features of their more popular models into a smaller drone that weighs half a pound! If you want a drone for personal use or spectacular footage for film or other business ventures, DJI is the way to go.
Company #2 - Autel Robotics
Another heavy-hitter in the world of commercial and industrial drones, Autel Robotics was founded in 2014 with the goal of providing innovation in their quadcopter offerings and they are definitely pulling it off. Their Evo line, for instance, sports 4k resolution camera technology can prohotgraph at 60 frames per second, providing videos that will knock your socks off. EVO models also include features such as obstacle avoidance, rear-obstacle detection, and ranges of control up to 4.3 miles! Battery life on this line is typically around 30 minutes but with spare batteries around then the good times are guaranteed. So consider Autel if the DJI models don’t strike your fancy, they are definitely a worthy competitor.
Company #3 - Parrot
Formerly considered a maker of ‘toy’ drones, sources such as ‘The Verge’ advised in 2019 that French drone-manufacturer Parrot had shifted to producing drones for more commercial and industrial purposes. The results of this have proved to be quite successful. Take for instance, their popular ‘Anafi’ model. The Anafi is an affordable drone with some excellent features, such as a 4k camera like the more expensive models and they were the first to include a 180 tilt gimbal, allowing for impressive angled
“They were the first to include a 180 tilt gimbal”
shots from the camera when taking stills or video. Foldable for portability, this model is also extremely resistant to poor weather conditions and costs a little over half of some of the more expensive offerings. Take a look at their site sometime and do a little comparison shopping, there might just be a deal waiting for you.
Company #4 - Drone Volt
Our next entry on the list is Drone Volt, considered a leader in ‘commercial civilian drones’. Their drones are suited for many purposes, such as security, mapping, surveillance, construction, and more. One example of their offerings is the Hercules 10 quadcopter, which is built to resist the elements. Fabricated from carbon fiber and anodized aluminum, this unit is not only tough, but it is also capable of carrying a payload of 16.5 pounds (7.5 kilo). With applications such as land surveying, solar panel inspection, or even spray-cleaning the roof, this is a serious drone for the drone enthusiast that wants to feel like they have a high-tech toy, instead of a high-tech toy.
Company #5 – Versadrones
Irish drone designer and manufacturer Versadrones is another strong supplier in the global market. With drones which may be outfitted for search and rescue, mapping, and more, this vendor is well worth a few moments of your time. One of their models is a Heavy Lift Octocopter, takes advantage of its 8 blades to lift up to 26 pounds (12 kilo)! It is constructed from carbon fibres and comes with a number of features, such as semi automatic liftoff and landing, return to base, and has a 3 axis gimbal as well. Versadrones specializes in multi-rotor drones so if 4 propellors or a fixed wing are not your style, check out Versadrones for something with a lot more lift.
Company #6 – Delair
GPS World talked about one of our entries in an article this year. Thus far quadcopters and octocopters have been hogging all the attention, so let’s learn a little about fixed-wing drones from Delair. With offices in Singapore, Paris, and California, Delair has been doing some brisk business with their fixed wing drones. It’s understandable when you consider some of their features. For instance, the Delair D26E LiDAR is a dream when it comes to mapping large territories. Travelling at 37 miles per hour (60 kilometers), these drones are not only able to collect a lot of data but they can do it very quickly. These units are of composite construction, made of Kevlar, carbon, fiberglass, and EPP foam, and can fly for an impression 110 minutes per go. If hovering is not your style, Delair might have something a little more up your alley.
Company #7 – Kespry
When it comes to aerial intelligence, Kespry is considered THE leading provider and say what you will, they are doing pretty well this year. According to Cision PR Newswire Kespry reported that 270 companies are now using their aerial intelligence platform. So, what is their drone’s primary focus? Surveys, property insurance claims, mining inventory… they’ve got a little bit for everyone. They have a wide range of drones, including the sensefly eBee, which has multispectral cameras that can be used in Agriculture and mapping, though you will also find some industry standards such as the DJI phantom models which can get you high resolution shots of jobsites for inventory or more. The technology is integrated with the proprietary Kespry Cloud and you can work with some of their partners for controlled deployments depending on your needs. If you are considering drones for your business then Kespry is worth taking a look at.
Company #8 – Yuneec
In business for over 15 years, Yneec offers quadcopters and more for both the drone enthusiast and for those with more industrial uses in mind. Take, for instance, their Typhoon H model. It is a hexacopter, so you’ve got 6 propellers helping to ensure a more stable flight than you would get with a quad. This is especially useful for photography and with that in mind, the camera the Typhoon is equipped with is capable of producing 4k resolution video and 20 megapixel stills. It’s also pretty fast, moving along at about 30 miles per hour (48 kph). It also comes with its own controller so you won’t have to burn up your phone battery to use it and includes features like follow me, orbit me, and point of interest. As we mentioned, they do have business models too, so don’t forget Yuneec when you are looking for the perfect drone for your needs.
Company #9 – GDU Drones
GDU (formerly known as Powerdrone) is another commercial drone provider that’s got the goods. Their Byrd Premium, for instance, has a 4k camera like many of the more expensive models, along with a 29 minute flight time and a transmission distance of a little over a mile (2 kilometers). With a quick charge time of 2 -3 hours, with a few spare batteries if you keep swapping to a charge pad then you can get a very full day of flying and filming done. Their extremely portable O2 model is a treat as well, with a horizontal speed of about almost 34 miles per hour (54kph) and a vertical ascent speed of 11 miles per hour (17kph), it’s a drone that’s small and swift. The O2 also packs a 4k camera so it’s definitely worth a look. Take a peek at their site during your search and see the O2 for yourself!
Company #10 – Insitu
Last but not least we have Insitu, a subsidiary of Boeing just in case you were wondering where their aviation ‘cred’ comes from. As it turns out, the apple really doesn’t fall far from the tree, and Insitu has definitely contributed some fine hardware to the drone market which is available for commercial use. Take their famous Scaneagle, for instance. Designed for aerial reconnaissance, this technology was originally only used by the United States Navy and laterthe United States Coast Guard was catching smugglers with the same technology. Capable of over 20 hours of sustained flight, the commercial applications are staggering, and these units are capable of carrying a wide variety of payloads so that they may be customized for your own purposes. If you’ve got big business needs, this might be what you are looking for. It’s hard to beat anything related to Boeing when it comes to aviation.
In today’s article we’ve talked about the Top 10 drone companies that you can find worldwide when it comes for meeting your needs. Be it for agriculture, surveillance, planting, inventory, or more, these companies offer a wide range of industrial and personal use drones which are built to last and very, very good at what they do. So, the next time that you are shopping for a drone, why not take a peek at a few of these industry leaders to see what they have to offer? You deserve the best!
Global Brands Magazine; “Top 10 drone companies in the world”
The Verge; "Parrot exits the toy drone market"
GPS World; “Delair Drones Mine For Data”
Cision PR Newswire” ; “Kespry Announces 270 Companies Now Use Its Drone-Based Aerial Intelligence Platform”