When you want to pilot your favorite drone, where do you usually go? For most of us, we head to the backyard or maybe a nearby park to fly our cherished unmanned aerial vehicle. But why do we go outside? You may be surprised to learn that there are a lot more great opportunities to pilot your drone successfully without ever stepping foot outside.
Benefits of flying UAVs inside
For one, flying a drone inside is great for those of us who want to have fun but don’t want to or can’t get outside. Instead of trekking out to a place that’s ideal for a drone, you can just roll out of bed and start flying. Is there anything better than that?
“Avoid the wind and bad weather with indoor drone flying.”
Being inside also helps shield both the drone and you from the harshness of the outdoors. For those who live in especially hot or cold environments, being able to have fun with a UAV without exposing anyone or anything to the elements can be a life-saver. Plus, since wind is the enemy of just about all pilots, being able to avoid this can be a godsend.
All of these benefits make the indoors a sometimes ideal location for newbies to first play around with a drone or even a quadcopter. Kanin Howell, founder of aerial photography and cinematography company Drone 55, told the Los Angeles Times that he first learned to master drone flight in part by practicing inside an old apartment.
Downsides to indoor drone use
But, as always, there are two sides to every coin. While piloting a UAV indoors can be ideal in many ways, doing so can be hazardous in many respects as well.
In particular, you are far more likely to hit a vase, a wall, an appliance or dozens of other items when flying inside a house or a place of business. Mark LaFay from Drones For Dummies noted that some models come with blade shields and sensors to help you not hit anything else during flight, but even then you might find yourself causing damage — to both the drone and the space you’re flying it in — inside unless you’re being very careful.
Pets are another potential downside to indoor UAV flying. Many animals are scared or otherwise freaked out by drones, and they may try to attack or bite the UAV mid-flight if you’re not careful.
“Cats get scared and run away, and dogs — well, I could see a dog taking a big chunk out of a drone if it flew low enough,” said Bret Parsons, architectural division director for Coldwell Banker Beverly Hills, according to the LA Times.
Cool use cases for indoor drone flight
So long as all the drawbacks of piloting a drone inside can be avoided, it does provide drone owners and enthusiasts with some unique opportunities. In particular, with very large indoor spaces like an arena, UAVs can capture the scale and immensity of a place from up high. Imagine the footage you’d be able to capture with a drone and a camera inside your favorite concert hall or sports stadium!
Real estate professionals have especially been bullish on indoor drone use. The Times noted that some agents have turned to UAVs to capture unique photos and video inside large, expensive homes. The unreal and expensive shots that drones are able to capture inside a mansion have even caused potential home sellers to reconsider the beauty and grandeur of their current abode.
There are many potential upsides to indoor drone flight, but a lot can go wrong if you’re not careful. Before launching a UAV inside, be sure you’re aware of the risks first, and then be prepared to reap immense rewards!