Top 6 Features to Consider When Buying Toy Drones for Kids [Toy Drones Buying Guide]
The use of drones for recreational purpose is on a rise, and personal drones are now in the hands of our kids for fun and entertainment. However, these flying toys called drones (or sometimes drone helicopters or even drone planes) have some risks associated with them. In this guide we present a list of top 5 features you must consider when buying toy drones for kids. We will not be discussing camera feature because here we are talking about safety of children using drones. The purpose of this toy drones buying guide is to increase the safety awareness amongst the parents who are looking to buy quadcopters for their kids. There is no significant order in the following list of top drone safety features for kids and every drone attribute discussed here should be considered equally important for children safety.
Top 6 Desirable Safety Features in Toy Drones:
Toy drones are a perfect birthday gift for kids, but before you buy your next drone gift, please make sure that you look for the following features in that quadcopter. Although we are not discussing the price in this article, but there are a lot of other posts on personal drone’s website which you can look at to find drones having these safety features in a price range. So, without further delay, let’s get started!
1. Size and Weight
A smaller size is crucial for any toy drone for kids. There are many reasons for that. First is that weight of the toy drones is directly associated with the size and above a specific weight, you might need a license to fly the drone or at least you may have to follow some restrictions which you might be unaware of. There are some drones in the market where people recklessly put the word toy in related keywords while the drone is in fact not in a toy category. So, make sure that you know what the weight limit of a recreational drone without many compliance restrictions is. There will, however, be some minimum restrictions which you cannot avoid. Just have a look at CASA website for Australia or FAA website for US.
There is one more critical thing for size is the size of the controller. The controller size f the toy drones is sometimes bigger for kids to handle. There are quadcopters with varying controller sizes and even some do not have a controller by default and you can fly these drones using only the app if you want. However, you can buy an extra controller of any suitable size for these drones if you don’t want your kids to use your smartphone. Hence there are a lot of options to choose from.
2. Propeller Guards
The provision of propeller guards is an important drone safety features for kids drones to have. Fast rotating propellers can harm a child seriously. Although propeller guards cannot really guarantee against bodily harm but a certain drone safety measure, we must have. These are very inexpensive, and all the best drones for kids usually have propeller guards.
3. Auto Hover
Auto-hover drone is desirable for kids. What it means is that if you take your hands off the drone controller or app, the drone should hover in air at the same point where you left the control. It is easy to explain to children that if you feel your toy drone is in trouble, you just take your hands off the controller to avoid any damage or harm. This function is now becoming common in hobby grade inexpensive drones, unlike the obstacle avoidance capability of drones which is only available in expensive drones.
The drones which have Gyro-stabilization usually have stable hover features. With 6-axis Gyro-stabilization, a toy drones would be able to hover even in windy situation. Other components which could help stabilization and hover are GPS and barometer. You may not find an affordable drone with a GPS, but barometric drone stabilization is available in accessible drone helicopters for kids.
4. Headless Mode
Headless modes enable kids to fly drone without considering the front or back end of the drone. In headless way, only the movement of the controller-keys determine the direction of drone flight. It is an extremely easy-to-fly mode. If this mode is not available, you would have to maintain the correct heading of the quadcopter which is difficult for kids or beginners. Headless mode is available in most inexpensive drones, but you must double check.
5. Complexity of the Controller or App
Some drone controllers are highly sophisticated and have many functions. It would not be reasonable for you to buy a toy drone for kids which has one of these high-grade drone controllers. You should be looking for a ready-t-fly drone for kids. Similarly, some drone apps are just confusing. You must read the drone app review before buying a drone if the drone uses an app for its operation.
However, one thing you might need in a toy drone controller is the ability to change its sensitivity. The grip of the children may find it very difficult if the controls are highly sensitive. Some kids, however, love to play in these types of situations, but again due to drone safety concerns, the sensitivity of the drone controllers for kids drones should be adjustable.
6. Return to Home
The return to home feature was considered an attribute of expensive drones only but is now available in many toy drones. If this drone safety feature is available, the drone would be able to return to the location of its take-off with just press of a single button on the controller. It is a highly recommended feature of kids drone. If the drone is flying away the children would be able to press the button, and the drone will come back.
In some toy drones, this feature becomes activated when the battery level drops below to a certain point. This is useful because some children may not be paying attention to the battery level of their drone when enjoying its flight. Without this feature, they could lose their drone. Even worst, the drone could crash somewhere resulting not only in the loss of drone but also damage or injury as well.
If you are searching a best drone for kids, you should keep in mind the safety and ease-to-fly. We have listed some of the desirable attributes for good drones for kids. The size should be small, it means you can buy a mini-drone or an even a Nano drone for your kids. The drone should have a headless mode, an easy-to-use drone controller, hover feature and a return to home feature. All these attributes in a kid’s drone will help you and your children to have fun and enjoyable flying drone experience.
The single most desirable feature would be an obstacle avoidance capability, but this feature is only available in high-end professional drones. The personal drone technology is moving very fast and who knows, soon we might see obstacle avoidance capability in small and affordable toy drones.