Tech gifts like drones are creating a buzz this holiday season. Kansas City Drone Company CEO Casey Adams says there are thousands of models that range in price from $100 to $3,000.
“Every ten minutes there’s a new drone manufacturer or a new copycat from Bangladesh or China or some place,” says Adams. “Everybody’s obsessed with them. It’s hard to explain. There’s a weird craze about drones.”
Models range from basic to fancy.
“Think of like autopilot on a plane. You just sort of punch in your GPS destination and the plane takes you over in that area and you have to land it. That’s a type of autonomous function that a lot of drones come with. Nowadays, companies like DJI are coming out with drones with all kinds of capabilities, sense and avoid systems so they don’t run into things,” says Adams.
Some can find their way back to you if you lose communication. Others allow the cameras to be switched out and video to be played back on your phone.
Adams says drones must follow FAA regulations, like stay away from crowds of people, airports and hospitals.
“Hospitals, a lot of them, have helipads. You never know when some injured kid is flying into Children’s Mercy Hospital and you’re flying your drone right near the hospital. Now they can’t land it because they see your drone buzzing around,” says Adams.
Many drones must be registered with the FAA for a small fee and they can’t go within five miles of an airport or above 400 feet.
For a complete list of FAA regulations, click here.