DJI Phantom 4
DJI Phantom 4

With the legalization of drones across India, a race to make drones NPNT compliant has begun. Geo-fencing and many other forms of arduous regulations need to be implemented into drones for a safe and legal flight. While there exist tons of restriction on standard sized drones, nano drones have an equal chance to thrive at this moment. Nano drones, typically weighing below 250g, do not have any restrictions imposed on them. These drones can fly up to 15 meters, which is a fair amount of altitude for a drone of the size not larger than a palm. Some nano-drones are equipped with great cameras too, which capture images and videos at astonishing qualities. These nifty little UAVs are the perfect choice for people who want to fly drones for an experience rather than professionally; all of which without having to go through all the legal procedures and attainment of licenses.

Nano-drones are less costly than their larger counterparts and can also be flown indoors with ease. These drones are perfect for beginners to test and train their flight skills before they can apply for a drone license and other certification.

Here, we have listed some of the best nano drones which are at the top of their niche and require absolutely no permission to take flight in India:

1. Hover Camera

The Hover Camera drone is a self-flying drone with incredible camera qualities. It is a foldable drone which further reduces its size and can fly autonomously. This drone is perfect for photography and videography without having to register the drone. It features a 13-megapixel camera with EIS and is capable of shooting videos at up to 4K resolution. A Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 SoC helps the drone process the data for facial recognition and visual mapping of its surroundings. The drone can do 720p FPV streams to the connected smartphone. The only downside to this drone is its hefty price which falls just under $600. It has the best camera specifications in the nano and mini-drone category and also has a legal advantage which makes it worth the big bucks. Read our entire review and detailed specification of the Hover Camera drone here.

2. The Zero Tech Dobby

The Zero Tech Dobby is a close competitor of the Hover Camera as it is also a 4K recording drone which captures stunning images which can rival a few larger drones. It comes with some similar internal specifications like the 13 MP 4K recording camera, a Snapdragon 801 SoC, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage. It also has facial recognition and features like GPS and ‘follow me’. This drone can fly for 10 minutes on a single charge. Dobby is priced at $350 (Rs.25166) on reseller sites and just for $260 (Rs. 18695) in China.

3. DJI Tello

The DJI Tello is a great drone for beginners and can be flown directly from a smartphone or tablet. It can perform flips and tricks and also transmits 720p live stream. It can shoot images and videos of decent quality and packs a 13 minute flight time. This drone is programmable, has several flight modes and comes with a 100-meter range. The DJI Tello costs just $99 (Rs.7118)

These are just a few of the several nano and mini drones available in the market for a much lesser price which can perform exceptionally. Considering the busy streets and external interference in Indian streets, these drones can be easily flown indoors at any time of the day.

Drone Policy 1.0

Drone Policy 1.0 refers to the first set of rules and regulations laid out for drones in India.

Given below is a list of highlighted points from the policy:

  • All drones above 250g must be registered
  • Drone registration requires a UIN (Unique Identification Number) from the DGCA
  • All drones must be NPNT compliant and users must have appropriate permits
  • Drones must implement geofencing, i.e. they can only be flown in permitted airspace.
  • Users can register or obtain a UIN through the web portal Digital Sky

You can read our detailed coverage on Drone Policy 1.0 (here) for an in-depth insight.

Part Three of this series elaborates upon NPNT compliance and Geo-fencing.