When you first discovered your drone hobby, you probably enjoyed exploring local parks and maybe took your drone on international adventures. In uncertain times, those adventures may not feel safe anymore. Instead, you probably find yourself spending more time at home. Does that mean you can’t enjoy your drone hobby safely at home and still have fun?
As a drone hobbyist, your creativity, flying skills and hardware all matter. Certainly, exploring a new area with your drone is even more exciting! However, exploring your home and immediate surroundings still presents interesting challenges. It all comes back to thinking like an engineer.
Nearly every engineer in the world faces challenging constraints and limitations as they build world-changing projects. For example, an engineer designing a bridge has to consider how local weather will impact the bridge’s operation. Likewise, an engineer has to make the most of the materials and equipment they have in the budget. These constraints mean that engineers have to think of creative solutions.
As a drone hobbyist stuck at home, you can look at that situation from two perspectives. You can choose to be disappointed that international travel and exploring new areas are off the menu for now. Or you can view your extended time at home as an opportunity to sharpen your drone skills to a higher level. To get you started, we have a few drone quest ideas for you.
You know your drone hobby constraint – you are limited mainly to your home. Given that constraint, what drone activities can you dream up to improve your skills? To spark your imagination, consider these five drone quests
1) Drone Hobby Quest 1: Practice Precision Flight Control
Regardless of your space, you can practice precision drone flight control. For example, choose four landing zones in your backyard set apart a short distance. One landing zone could be on a table while another could be on the ground. Your quest is to fly and land on each of these landing zones safely as quickly as possible. By completing this quest, you will improve your landing and take-off skills
2) Drone Hobby Quest 2: Create A 3D Map Of Your Home
You are probably used to looking at your home from the ground. With your drone, you can create a much broader view. In this drone quest, you will collect images of your home from many different angles and then compile the photos into a 3D map. This quest has several components. First, you will need to study drone 3D mapping by reading our article: How To Get Started With 3D Mapping With Drones. Second, you need to take a photo of your home by drone from different heights and points of view. Third, you will need to produce a 3D map of your home.
3) Drone Hobby Quest 3: Practice Cargo Missions
Some drones can carry small amounts of cargo. That’s why companies like Uber Eats are experimenting with using drones for food delivery. Your mission, in this case, is to experiment with what you can safely deliver. Imagine you are a pilot bringing critical supplies to people in a disaster zone! In this case, you need to fly both quickly and safely.
The cargo you carry on this quest will depend on the carrying capacity of your drone. For example, start with carrying a bottle of water or an apple. Once you have transported those items, consider challenging yourself further. Can you transport a more delicate item like an egg or a letter? Keep repeating this quest until you can safely and quickly transport five different items around your home and backyard.
4) Drone Hobby Quest 4: Explore DIY Drone Electronics
This is an advanced quest for those who enjoy exploring electronics and drone flights. In this quest, you will build a drone and experiment with different capabilities. To guide you through this process, check out our article on Building DIY Drone from Scratch.
Once you have created an operational drone, your mission is to collect information like a scientist. For example, can you gather local temperature data by using a temperature sensor? Use this sensor to collect readings at various points around your home. For instance, take readings at ground level and 100 feet in the air. You can also test the temperature at your air conditioning unit and measure temperature next to windows to see if your windows have leaks.
In addition to drone flight activities, you can have plenty of fun with a drone hobby inside. The exact approach will depend on your electronics skills and equipment. For inspiration, take note of a few ideas:
As a drone hobbyist, there are many different ways to hone your flight skills. Take the suggested quests in this article as a starting point only. You can set yourself increasingly difficult challenges over time as your skills improve. You might decide to attempt landing on more delicate surfaces like a trash can or see if you can land in a newspaper without damaging it. After you complete those missions, you might focus on improving your DIY electronics skills by building your drone!
Now the choice is yours! How will you design your drone quests at home? The sky is the limit!