We will tell you right off the bat that, as of early 2017, 3D Robotics (3DR)…
In recent years there have been a few monumental advancements in drone technology, one of them being the drone with follow me mode. It allows the drone to track close behind you, which offers a chance for spectacular footage and is changing the game for many industries, especially in sports. You don’t have to spend a lot of money for a drone that’s equipped with this functionality either. Below is a list of some of the cheapest and best Follow Me drones on the market today.
What is the cheapest drone with follow me mode? The Holy Stone HS110D is the cheapest Follow Me drone you’ll find that doesn’t compromise on quality. Holy Stone makes quality drones for nearly every price point, so you can trust your money is going to the right place when you invest in their HS110D. The app includes Gestures Control as well as the Voice Control and Gravity Sensor Control features.
Learning about the best and cheapest Follow Me Drones isn’t enough. To make the best-informed decision for your needs, you must be aware of how the technology works. There are two types of Follow Me technology on the market today. Continue reading to learn more about them, along with other, frequently asked questions.
What Are the Best and Cheapest Drones With Follow Me Mode?
1. Holy Stone HS110D
The Holy Stone HS110D is the perfect drone with follow me mode for beginners. It is conveniently priced under $100, so you don’t have to stress about making a huge investment. Not only that but just because it is priced so low doesn’t mean it compromises on features. Holy Stone has somehow managed to capture professional-level quality at a price point matched for beginners. It’s equipped with the Follow Me feature as well as other smart features, including Altitude Hold, Headless Mode, Gravity Sensor Control, and Voice Control.
• Made with ABS plastic
• Nice camera stability
• Multiple speed modes for easy flying
• Short battery life
• The camera quality isn’t the best
• 50-meter transmitting distance for the controller
2. Potensic T25
The Potensic T25 is considered the elite drone that’s built for the novice. It might cost a little more than the previously mentioned drone, but you also get a better camera and longer flight time. It is arguably the best mid-range to professional drone on the market for less than $200. It even is compatible with a VR Headset. You might notice its design is awfully similar to that of the DJI Phantom 4, aside from the obvious size difference. The Potensic T25 is perfect for those that can’t afford the Phantom 4, but still want quality and durability they can depend on.
• 9 Axis Gyroscope
• Intelligent flight modes
• The landing legs keep the camera safe
• It has to be calibrated every time it’s turned on
• GPS signal isn’t very strong
• Set up is difficult
3. Hubsan H501S
The Hubsan H501S is priced under $200, as well as is packed with advanced features that would make you think it’s easily a high-end professional drone. The follow me mode feature barely scratches the surface of what this drone is capable of. For starters, you don’t have to use your smartphone as an FPV screen like many other drones at this price point because the controller has a 4.3 inch LCD screen built right in. Another great feature this drone has is the Automatic Low Battery Return Home feature, so you don’t have to worry about losing control of your drone when the battery runs low.
• 20 minute flight time
• Dual GPS
• 1080p Camera
• Grainy video quality
• Controller screen loses connection
• Power loss issues
4. Holy Stone HS100
Say hello to professional quality photos and a 120-degree wide-angle lens with the Holy Stone HS100. Aside from the camera and drone with follow me mode functionality, it also has one-key takeoff and landing as well as Automatic Low Battery Return to Home feature to ensure you don’t lose your drone. The drone is a few years old, which probably explains why you can now get it for under $200, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that it is still a quality drone with the ability to follow you through the toughest areas with ease.
• Wind resistant
• 18 minute flight time
• Easy to use
• Return home feature doesn’t work as well as hoped
• Propeller assembly is a pain
• Not as durable as it seems
All four of the above drones are great choices regardless of your skillset as a drone pilot. If you are looking to invest in a Follow Me drone, but you are still a little unsure of what a Follow Me drone is and how it works, continue reading below for more information.
What You Need to Know About Drones With Follow Me Mode Technology
Essentially, the Follow Me technology is a smart feature now available in most drones on the market. It is a GPS technology that is either built-in to the drone or reached via an app on your smartphone, but it allows your drone to lock in and follow an object as it’s recording. It basically is your one hands-free camera crew in the sky.
There are now two types of Follow Me technologies to choose from. They include a Ground Station Controller (GSC) that has the Follow Me transmitter built-in or a recognition software. Perhaps one of the most popular recognition software on the market is the DJI ActiveTrack.
This technology uses a GPS enabled device like a smartphone, or controller paired with a transmitter. The drone is then programmed to follow the transmission, all while keeping the subject in the frame. The transmitter acts as the virtual leash that ties the drone to you as if you were holding a kite as a flies behind you.
This Follow Me method is the newest form of technology that has been developed. The drones that use this technology use vision sensors. These vision sensors, along with the software’s algorithms and recognition technology, equip the drone with the ability to recognize and follow a moving object or person. It is a deep learning technology that allows the drone to follow you without the use of a separate GPS tracker.
DJI is the leading manufacturer of drones with this type of technology, and it is likely to cause the price of the drone to increase. If you are looking for a cheap Follow Me drone, you likely will not find a drone in your price range with this type of technology, at least not yet.
As for the range and distance that your drone with follow me mode can access, it all depends on the manufacturer and the drone design itself. Some of the cheapest drones won’t let you be any further away than 10 or 20 meters from the drone without losing signal, while others can still access a strong signal while much further away.
It is always the safest option to test the limits of your drone in an open field with no other people or obstacles around. Doing so will reduce the chances of your drone crashing and breaking or hurting someone. You can also test how far your Follow Me drone technology works in this type of environment.
It is also recommended to ensure the battery of the drone is strong enough to handle the transmission while still powering the drone. It takes a lot of battery life to power a drone, not to mention run the Follow Me technology. If your drone is low on battery life, it won’t be able to pick up on the signal of the GPS transmitter very well, and you will likely end up with a damaged drone because of it.
Flying drones are exhilarating. So exhilarating that you can get wrapped up in the excitement and forget to watch the battery life until it’s too late. However, most Follow Me drones on the market also come equipped with the Return to Home function. Setting a home-base for your drone to fly to when it’s low on battery could potentially save you a lot of money in repairs later.
Regardless of the drone with follow me mode you pick, the most important thing is to always remember the safety rules of flight. You never really know how great the Follow Me technology actually is, and if you aren’t in an open field, you could potentially lose your drone forever. Many drones have been known to fly off and never be seen again. That said, if you keep your drone maintained and calibrate it often, while also following the safety rules of flying, you will likely enjoy your Follow Me drone for years to come.
There is a Follow Me drone that is right for you. If you are looking for some of the cheapest Follow Me drones on the market today, these four drones and a brief description of the different technologies available are a great place to start! Above all else, just get out there and start flying!