A teenager boy programs a drone copter

What Are the Best Educational Drones?

Estimated reading time: 14 minutes

Drones are a technological marvel. They enable you to see the world from an entirely new perspective, with a unique birds-eye view that no other technology can provide.

Drones now have many practical uses in the field of education and here are the best educational drones

Some schools use drones as teaching tools, while others use them to explore natural habitats and environments. What’s more, drones make learning fun for students and encourage creativity by enabling learners to design their projects using drone technology. It has never been easier or more affordable to learn about aviation and other technologies than it is today!

This article will look at some of the best drones for education.

What to Look for When Buying Education Drones?

If you would like to buy a drone for educational purposes, there are a few things to check.

Safety:

When flying a drone or teaching people to fly one, safety is vital. Kids may attempt to catch them mid-flight, and you don’t want that. Some safety features include obstacle avoidance, altitude hold, propeller guards, etc.

Programmable:

Drone software is critical to their operation; therefore, possessing a programmable drone is a significant plus. You could wish to acquire a drone that you can program with block code on platforms like Blockly, depending on the children you have or teach. As the kids get older, you could wish to introduce them to STEM drones, which offer full-text scripting using Javascript and Python.

Cost:

Most educational drones are inexpensive, some costing even less than $100. Drones that you construct yourself and are not programmable can be even less expensive, making them a better alternative based on your funding for a school, for instance.

Flight abilities:

Most commercial drones can’t fly indoors. Educational drones, on the other hand, are more likely to do so. It is a handy trait to have because the weather is not always in your favor. Furthermore, if you are lecturing in a classroom, you might not have an option but to pilot the drones inside.

Buildability:

One of the most effective methods to learn about drones is to make them and then disassemble them. That will assist you in comprehending how all the components of a drone interact. That is why I have included a few drones that require assembly before use.

Skill Level:

Drones come in various levels of difficulty. So, the drone you choose has to match the skill level of your students. For total beginners, always look for a drone with altitude hold and flight stabilization. Beginners may not manage to assemble complex drones, so check that too.

What You Need It For?

Drones are applicable in several sectors. If you need to teach students how to fly a drone and use it to take photos, you probably don’t need a programmable drone. But if you want to teach the AI, programming, and other technologies, then a programmable drone is necessary.

Here are my favorite top 6 drones for education-

DJI Tello EDU: Buy Now

DJI Tello EDU is a one-of-a-kind programmable drone created exclusively for the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) system.

You can master programming languages like Swift, Scratch, and Python quickly and effortlessly with this.

Ryze Robotics collaborated with DJI to build the Tello drone, which explains its quality and high-end features such as obstacle avoidance, 720p resolution, 30 fps camera, auto-takeoff, hovering, electronic stabilization, and several flight modes.

DJI Tello Edu is the perfect drone for those who want to try swift, python, or scratch since it supports all of these languages.

Better yet, it comes with a development (SDK) for more control, which also gives you the ability to bring your imaginations to life.

You also have access to educator supervision, various learning apps, and educational materials, making it a cutting-edge educational tool for schools and other educational institutions and the best beginner’s programming drone.

Do you want to fly several drones together in a swam? You can do that with the DJI Tello. You have the option to take off, land, and accomplish other tasks through the mission pads.

Another fascinating feature about the Tello drone is the 13-minute flight time which is quite great if you compare to some drones in the same price range.

Pros:

  • In-built camera.
  • Good flight time.
  • Various coding options.

Cons:

  • The app experiences drag sometimes.
  • Lacks a controller.

Ryze Tello AKA DJI Tello: Review 2021

2 black colors DJI Tello Edu drones together.
Image Source: ryzerobotics.com

DJI Robomaster TT Tello Talent:

Introduced as an upgrade to the Tello Edu, the Robomaster is another excellent drone for teaching AI and other robotic technologies at a relatively affordable price.

I love buying education drones from DJI because they have a branch for Education, DJI Education, which offers tools and support in the STEAM sector. You can also use it with Tello compatible apps.

With the Robomaster TT, you get all the features you get in the Tello EDU and other new features. Robomaster TT utilizes open-source programming software such as ESP32, MicroPython, Arduino, or Scratch.

At first glance, you can see that it’s quite an appealing drone, with some LED lights on top.

You can use the coding to play around with the lights. For instance, you can write some letters in different colors. Its simplicity and cute design make it perfect for kids.

Better yet, you can also program several of them to fly in swam. Think of how cool it would look having drones with lights flying in coordination, something close to the drone display in the Tokyo Olympics.

You can also hold competitions through the inbuilt competition database.

Besides being programmable, this drone also features 2.4/5.8 GHz dual-band Wi-Fi, obstacle avoidance of up to 1.2 meters, and a 5MP HD camera. It’s got everything you need to teach your students how drones work, as well as how to program them.

Pros:

  • Easy to use.
  • Compatible with various open-source programming platforms.
  • Very affordable.
  • Obstacle avoidance for safety and indoor flying.

Cons:

  • It could use a better camera.
Red color DJI Robomaster TT Tello drone
DJI Robomaster TT Tello drone designed for educational purposes

Makeblock Airblock:

Makeblock Airblock is a STEAM education drone that was expressly designed and made for educational purposes. Even among beginners, this programmable drone is simple to use.

It consists of one module and six power modules. Airblock is exclusively for students and innovators in the field of new technology.

This is thanks to the easy-to-use interface for new computer programming students, allowing students of all skill levels to design and code their Airblock creations.

Airblock consists of six hexagonal-shaped modules and a centerpiece to which they converge. These units are fitted with blades that can be positioned vertically or horizontally.

When positioned vertically, the kit may be transformed into a flying drone; and when placed horizontally, it can function as a hovercraft that travels on water. How cool is that?

Because of the Bluetooth connection, this drone version enables the users to engage in the drone’s building and coding and fly through a smartphone.

The Makeblock drone is not only modular but also programmable due to the app’s pictorial programming language. The language is provided as a series of instructions and icon “bricks.”

The motion and starting keys also are present, but you may add more with a simple drag and drop. Engaging this quadcopter will help students build creativity, innovation, problem-solving, and cooperation abilities.

Pros:

  • You can experiment with various propeller positions.
  • Easy to use.

Cons:

  • It is expensive.
Credit: Makeblock

Robolink is an excellent place to start looking for educational resources. Additionally, it is a terrific alternative for first-time drone builders and coders or youngsters still learning the basics.

When finished, it will be a compact and sturdy drone capable of withstanding the hardships of flight.

The Robolink CoDrone Lite Educational drone and the Robolink CoDrone Pro drone are available separately or in school packages. In either instance, students will learn both how to construct the drone and how to program it.

The CoDrone unit, together with a BLE control board, extra propellers, and a battery with a charger, are included in this set.

Six separate sensors are built inside the drone, allowing for various programmable actions and responsive control while in flight. Snap! by Robolink is also included in the kit.

The company created that coding environment exclusively for people mastering the fundamentals.

The drone is thin and light, yet it comes equipped with auto hovering, infrared detectors for instructional activities, and a barometer sensor for height control.

While it doesn’t have much to offer in terms of flight range (160 feet) or flight time (8 minutes), it’s still a good way to learn how to build a drone from scratch.

Pros:

  • Affordable kits.
  • Good build quality.
  • Many coding options.
  • Free online tutorials.
  • Programmable actions.

Cons:

  • Short flight time.
  • Essential for anyone with experience.
Credit: Robolink Inc

Holybro S500 SV2 + Pixhawk 4 Build:

This is a more advanced education drone and great for those who’ve learned basic principles of assembling and programming drones.

The manufacturer provides all the drone components in pieces, and it’s your job to assemble them and configure them until you can fly them from the legs, propellers, the frame, controller (Pixhawk 4), GPS module, ESCs, Telemetry, and everything that makes up a drone.

Thankfully, the manufacturer provides a detailed guide on how to assemble it. They promise that assembling can take at least 90 minutes, but don’t be surprised if it takes longer.

Better yet, Pixhawk builds works on other drones, such as the DJI F450, Matrice 100, QUAV250, and other toys too. Once you learn it on the Holybro drone, it becomes easier with other drone models.

Pros:

  • A great way to build a drone from scratch.
  • Learning materials are readily available.
  • Pixhawk build works on other devices too.

Cons

  • It’s a bit complex for beginners.
S500 Quad build with Pixhawk

Eachine E58:

This is another drone that doesn’t offer much in terms of coding, but it is easy to use, even among newbies, making it great for instructional purposes.

Eachine E58 is an excellent entry-level quadcopter for those who want to get into drone flying and drone photography but do not want to invest much money.

The battery is charged using the provided USB cable, which has one end attached to the battery and another to a USB port.

When the battery is connected, a red LED illuminates the battery, signaling that the charging process has started. The red LED will continue until the battery fully charges.

The E58 quadcopter can be fitted with two different cameras, depending on the configuration: 0.3MP and 2MP.

The top-of-the-line camera has a 120-degree extremely wide FOV, making it ideal for FPV flying. The 2.4GHz ensures a standard transmission from the camera to the screen, though at a short-range.

Pros:

  • Beginner friendly.
  • One key return and 3D flip.
  • Easy to fly.
  • Strong headlights.
  • Stable altitude hold.

Cons:

  • No storage device included.
Eachine E58 drone with it controller.
Eachine E58 is an excellent entry-level drone

More Education Drones:

Below are more drones for education. Some may be discontinued, but you can still find some used ones in good shape.

Parrot Mambo Fly:

Parrot, one of the most popular and reputable drone manufacturers, designed this modular drone for those who would love to fly, as well as have fun.

Learners can construct various drones for different purposes, from canons, grabbers, or drones with high-quality cameras.

With this drone, you can fly both indoors and outside. A set of advanced stability sensors keep this simple mini-drone smooth and level during flight.

You may even let go of the controls, and the Mambo will hover in position thanks to the autopilot.

Block coding languages like Tinkler and Blockly and more complicated platforms like Javascript and Python are supported by Parrot educational drones.

Apple Swift playgrounds are also supported. Access to the development forums is another excellent benefit of getting a parrot educational drone.

Take photos of yourself and your pals. The Parrot Mambo will accompany you on all of your trips and will enable you to save keepsakes courtesy of the images shot by its built-in vertical camera.

They will be stored on your phone automatically after that. Your creativity is the only constraint!

Everything in the FreeFlight Mini app aims to improve your flying experience, including a consumer-friendly UI, streamlined drone connectivity, and automated detection of your linked Mambo and accessories.

You can change the visual modes, check the battery level, and more by customizing the settings.

Pros:

  • Various coding options.
  • Modular design.
  • Good camera.

Cons:

  • Costly.

Parrot SA: The Number One DJI Competitor

Parrot Mambo Fly Drone with all its accessories.
Parrot Mambo Fly

Sky Viper e1700:

If you’re looking for a hands-on drone that you can build from the ground until it performs stunts, then you’ll love the Sky Viper e1700.

Another aspect that helps make it a lot of fun while being informative is that it can fly at up to 25 mph. Enjoy the delight of putting together a high-performance drone personally.

You have access to both a manual mode and an auto-hover mode. As a beginner, you can start with auto-hover. But once you advance, test your hands-on, coordination, and concentration skills with the manual modes.

Despite the low price, it comes with many parts, including spares, ideal if several novice pilots will use the unit.

With step-by-step graphical instructions, the Sky Viper Drone Builder app makes construction simple.

You can now release the left thumb stick until the following command is issued, thanks to improved Auto Hover.

You can adjust the sensitivity of your controls depending on your skill set via flight sensitivity.

ViperFlight 5, a cutting-edge control firmware depending on systems typically used in racing-class drones, is pre-programmed on the Flight Controller board. Dual Flight Mode lets you choose between automatic and manual flight.

For animated step-by-step guidelines and a thorough, educational look at the inner workings of a drone, download the free Drone Builder app.

The fully completed E1700 drone is ideal for soaring rapidly outside, but it is also light and safe enough to use indoors.

Pros

  • Affordable.
  • Has many tricks.
  • Manual control mode.

Cons

  • Limited coding options.
Sky Viper e1700 drone on the floor.
Sky Viper e1700 (halfchrome.com)

Hubsan H111D:

Not every educational drone has to be about coding. Sometimes, all you need is a simple drone to practice before advancing to more complex ones. And the Hubsan H111D offers that.

Hubsan H111D is one of the most adaptable micro quadcopters on the market. At first glance, the altitude hold feature is the only feature that this small drone lacks. For first-time pilots, this would be pretty beneficial.

You get a complete 5.8G FPV system, 0.3MP camera for aerial videos, headless flight mode suitable for both indoor and outdoor flights, LED lights for improved orientation at night, and an average of 6 minutes flight time.

It includes a USB charging cord, one pair of spare blades, and an instruction booklet, in addition to the small aircraft and its large transmitter. Regrettably, no memory card comes with the camera, so you will have to buy one individually. A micro SD card with a little capacity (4GB – 8GB) will work perfectly.

The provided reference manual is the first in this price category to be helpful, as it contains information on how to set up for a flight and handle the aircraft.

There is also a section describing the accessible replacement parts and an exploded-view schematic if you have to fix it.

Everything is installed on the mainboard, including the motors. A robust and lightweight ABS casing protects the internal components (camera, battery, and receiver board).

The 0614 coreless engines are simple to replace. However, minimal soldering skills are required.

You can choose between “Normal” and “Expert” flight modes depending on your flying ability. Normal mode is recommended for beginners and indoor flights.

The big 4.3′′ FPV LCD screen in the upper section allows you to see recording time, trim levels, and the camera’s live video feed. The transmitter features an integrated DVR that enables you to record your flight’s adventure. There is also a playback tool that lets you look back at your fly right on the field.

Pros

  • Stable.
  • Excellent price-performance ratio.
  • Has a remote controller.

Cons

  • Sub-par camera.

Conclusion

That wraps up my guide on some of the best drones for education. They are all excellent and will do a great job in any educational setting, from elementary schools to universities.

You not only learn how to assemble them, but you also learn how to program and even learn drone photography, which is in demand nowadays, without spending too much.

But if you’re a teacher or instructor, they are the best to help your learners gain the basics of using drones. So, go ahead and select one and explore the drone world.

Happy Droning!

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What Are the Best Educational Drones?
Article Name
What Are the Best Educational Drones?
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In this blog, we talk about my favorite drones which are very useful for education for all age groups.
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Remoteflyer
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