Purchasing the right commercial drones is essential to maximize both your drone budget and the results generated for your business. Here at Wispr Systems, we talk to customers every day who want to ensure they’re prioritizing the right commercial drone features when making a purchase.
In this post, we’ll walk you through the most important features when choosing between commercial drones.
You’ll Probably Start Here When Prioritizing Features of Commercial Drones
To start, here are some of the most common features you’re sure to prioritize or consider when choosing a commercial drone:
Your needs are unique, and so are the payloads you offer. Of course, it is essential that your commercial drone be able to carry the weight of your payload, and if you have control of that payload during flight.
Payload is often one of, if not the first, elements you’ll want to consider when prioritizing features of commercial drones.
Here at Wispr, we understand that payloads can vary based on your needs and your clients’ needs. That’s why we designed and built versatile commercial drones to handle a range of payloads -- our Scout 1000 drone, for example, can handle 2lb payloads while the Ranger Series drone handles 4lb payloads. Our drone has I/O ports such as USB, ethernet, serial and PWM ports built on the drone that allow you to integrate the payload of your choice. There are ports available for powering your payloads as well such as 24V Power Over Ethernet (POE) port or one of our 5V USB or Serial Ports. We’ll touch more on our drones flight app below, but with Wispr Air OS, you can also configure and control the payload you need!
This is such an important feature to prioritize when spending thousands of dollars on commercial drones, but it can be one of the hardest to verify. Here are some questions to consider when thinking about commercial drone quality:
- Is the drone capable of carrying my payload and flying stable while doing so?
- Is your drone rugged enough to fly and reach your more difficult areas?
- Will your drone safely fly far enough to complete its necessary application?
- What is the typical lifespan of the drone?
Not all manufacturer’s properly prioritize quality, so it’s important to not only read online reviews, but speak to a representative from prospective drone manufacturers. At Wispr, we are happy to answer questions about our drones, and to provide you with the information you need for peace of mind when making a purchasing decision. For example, our drones are tested with various payloads and 1000s of flight hours have been put into the development of our drones to ensure they will handle all that you can throw at them. Our drones are built tough and designed to be rugged and live up to whatever you have to throw at them. When designing our drones we made sure to address the three main issues that cause drone crashes in mind; Vibrations on the frame, Magnetic Interference, and motor health. Our drone has a carbon fiber body that is tightly put together to allow the drone to fly in winds over 30MPH+ with very low vibrations and with relative ease! Our drones electronics are all shielded by aircraft grade shielding which helps protect your drones magnetic sensors when flying around areas with strong magnetic fields such as towers, power lines and metal structures. Aircraft grade shielding is made up of Nickel and Ferrite that allows the shielding to absorb the magnetic interference and dissipate it slowly rather than trying to reflect the magnetic interference, which causes even more problems.
And we are so confident that our drones are built to the highest quality, we offer maintenance plans to extend the life of your drone. Instead of buying a brand new drone each year or waiting till your drone crashes to buy a new one we offer maintenance plans to extend the life of your drone to prevent it from crashing and maintenancing the parts that are likely to wear down over time. We have found that most drones crash due to either motor failure, magnetic interference or vibrations on the airframe so we kept that in mind when designing our maintenance plans! Your motors need to be replaced at minimum every 100 hours to ensure the health of your drone is 100%. We have our basic tune up that allows you to send your drone back to Wispr and we replace your motors with new motors and tune the aircraft and we access the vibrations on your drone to determine if there is anything that is off, then after we finish making the adjustments we send the drone right back to you! This is just one of the maintenance plans we have keeping your drone in good working order.
When you fly your drone to complete its application you want to ensure you have a good connection to your drone while maintaining line of sight to the drone. To do that we incorporated a dual channel (2x2) radio with multiple input multiple output (MIMO) on each channel using 2.4GHz WiMAX antenna to ensure you maintain a strong connection 1.5miles away from your ground station. To maintain your drone's safety when flying a great distance from the ground station we have incorporated a battery RTL that will engage once the battery has reached a certain threshold depending on the distance from the drone to the ground station. Collision avoidance LiDAR sensors are located on the drone to help prevent the drone from hitting obstacles while flying.
In addition to weight capabilities, it’s also essential to research whether the drones you’re considering will capture data correctly. When you’re taking thermal or RGB pictures, for example, it’s important to ensure that any drone you purchase will correctly capture and attribute metadata like altitude and GPS coordinates.
Over the years, we noticed that many drone manufacturers simply didn’t have the infrastructure and platform to appropriately support the needs of commercial drone users. That’s why we developed our proprietary flight platform, Wispr Air OS, which allows us to take pictures/videos and control camera settings like ISO, aperture, EVO, focus and Zoom in flight.
Purchasing a commercial drone requires an investment from your business. Strong support is essential to maximize not only your ROI, but the results you are able to generate with your commercial drones.
When considering potential commercial drones, it’s important to understand just what sort of support -- if any -- is provided. Once you’ve verified there is support, understanding what that encompasses is essential (including any warranties). Is support offshore, or here in the US? To what lengths can support go to help you? These are all important questions to ask.
At Wispr, our team includes in-house Customer Success Managers who work directly with our customers to solve issues and answer questions. Plus, our 1-year warranty will cover any defects, providing peace of mind, and for the extended life of your commercial drones, our service plans and tune-ups keep everything running smoothly.
Although all of the features we’ve mentioned are critical, we understand that for many businesses, price is going to be an extremely important consideration. We’re all looking for ways to maximize our results within a budget, afterall!
There is an incredibly wide range of pricing for commercial drones -- in many instances, you could expect to pay between $9,000 and $20,000 for a commercial drone that checks all the boxes we’ve walked through so far in this post.
It’s exciting to share, though, that WISPr drones offer all of the important features mentioned above, but at a fraction of that cost. In fact, our drones are priced in the range of $4,000 to $6,000. Because we design, build, and support our commercial drones, we’re able to deliver exceptional quality at an extremely reasonable price.