What is a quadcopter?

A quadcopter is a multirotor helicopter that has four arms. Quadcopters run on motors and are propelled by four rotors. A quadcopter is also referred to as quadrotor helicopter or quadrotor.

Two of the quadcopters’ propellers spin in a clockwise direction while the two other propellers spin in a counterclockwise motion so that the aircraft can flit around in a stable manner.

A quadcopter is very similar to remote-controlled helicopters since they are lifted by multiple propellers. But quadcopters do not have a tail rotor which aid in stabilizing the aircraft unlike with the case of the helicopters.

Quadcopters vs. Scaled helicopters

Quadcopters are often compared to scaled helicopters and quadcopters bear advantages against scaled helicopters.

For one, quadcopters do not need mechanical linkages in order to change the blade pitch angle of the rotors when they rotate. This results in a simpler design and maintenance of the aircraft.

Plus, the quadcopters’ individual rotors, in most cases have smaller diameters than the scaled helicopters which mean they possess less kinetic energy when flying. This is beneficial just in case the rotors hit something as the damage with the quadcopters would be less.

Uses of quadcopters

The quadcopter is not just a mere toy that can be played with by children and adults. This aircraft has a variety of uses, as well.

Research

Many university-based researches use quadcopters for their study for the evaluation and testing of new ideas. The quadcopters are used for studies on navigation, flight control theories, robotic and real time systems, among others.

Researchers prefer to use quadcopters because of their versatility and their relatively cheap price. This aircraft also comes in different sizes and have simple mechanical designs which allow even amateurs to build and maintain them.

Law Enforcement and Military

Quadcopter unmanned aerial vehicles—where electronic control system and electronic sensors are used to maneuver the aircraft—are also being utilized for surveillance and investigation of the armed forces and other law enforcement units. They are also being used for search and rescues operations in some areas.

The Aeryon Scout, for example is a small UAV that moves in a certain area with a camera attached to keep an eye on people and things. The Canadian manufacturer, Aeryon Labs claimed that the Aeryon Scout was heavily utilized in the surveillance of a drug trafficker who had a compound in a certain jungle.