What is a drone?


What is a drone?

droneA drone, which many refer to as a UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle), UAS (unmanned aerial system), AUV (autonomous underwater vehicle), and many other names, is often simply described as an unmanned aerial vehicle.  Our site exists because we believe that they are a valuable tool for many commercial and personal uses.

This is great, of course, as long as we all understand what a drone is in the first place.  Lets take a moment to review how others define these vehicles.

What does Wikipedia think a drone is?

Wikipedia, while not always providing the right information, is arguably one of the most trusted sources on the internet today.  How does it define UAVs, unmanned aerial vehicles:

“An unmanned aerial vehicle, commonly known as a drone and also referred to as an unpiloted aerial vehicle and a remotely piloted aircraft by the International Civil Aviation Organization, is an aircraft without a human pilot aboard.”

Here is what we use as a definition:

A vehicle that is capable of travel without requiring a human to be onboard is a drone.  They may be operated remotely by humans or may be capable of autonomous operation.

Why did we say travel instead of flight?  These vehicles are being used in the water, air, and on land.  While we focus the majority of our coverage on aerial use cases we will include appropriate coverage of use cases elsewhere.

We will stick with the above definition for drones.  We further break them down into aerial and water-based vehicles:

What is a UAV?

What is a AUV?

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