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FPV drone (first-person view drone)

Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore

An FPV drone is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) with a camera that wirelessly transmits video feed to goggles, a headset, a mobile device or another display. The user has a first-person view (FPV) of the environment where the drone flies and may capture video or still images.  

FPV drones may be remotely controlled or may be programmed to fly autonomously through software-controlled flight plans accessing data from onboard sensors and GPS. From the user's perspective, an FPV drone is like a flying telepresence robot, enabling virtual presence wherever the device can fly, often in environments that a human could not physically access safely. In contrast to humans, personal drones can access smaller spaces and tolerate harsher environments – in addition to having the ability to fly. 

Uses of FPV drones 

FPV drone racing is popular among hobbyists. Commercial drones are also commonly used for photography by both amateurs and professionals. Drone photography allows images and audio/video content to be captured that might not be otherwise possible.  

The capacity of FPV drones to enter environments that are unsafe for humans makes them effective for search and rescue missions. Drones can be remotely piloted to locate people in dangerous situations, avoiding much of the need for physical presence. Similarly, drones can be used to inspect physical infrastructure that is difficult to access, such as bridges and high buildings.  

In agri-tech (agricultural technology), an FPV drone allows a farmer to survey crops and livestock much more quickly than is possible with ground-based inspection and much more closely than is possible from a plane. A drone can also be equipped with sensors to capture environmental data for more sophisticated analysis. Drone-based inspection can facilitate precision agriculture, the application of information technology to ensure that the crops and soil receive exactly what they need for optimum health and productivity, while also optimizing the efficient use of resources. 

FPV drones also have applications within the enterprise, such as security surveillance and employee monitoring

This was last updated in August 2017

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