Drones have revolutionized the way many industries work and opened up new possibilities. It has a variety of use cases, such as tracking, aerial photography, shipping and delivering, and more. Hence, drone software development popularity has also skyrocketed.
Drones applications are helpful in seamlessly carrying out tasks for various industries like agriculture, real estate, medical, and delivery services.
In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the process of developing a drone control application, from ideation to deployment. Also, it will provide you with the knowledge and tools you need to build a successful drone app.
Market Overview of Drone Software Development
Let’s look at what’s new in the market that you need to know to develop apps for drones.
- As per the survey report from Grand View Research, the market size of global commercial drones was estimated at $13.44 billion in 2020. This market is expected to surge at a CAGR of 57.5% from 2021 to 2028.
- Some open-source platforms used to develop drone apps are Dronecode, QGroundControl, ArduPilot, MavLink, PX4, etc.
- There are different types of drones available in the market that you need to know, such as Single rotor helicopters, Multi-rotor drones, and Fixed-wing drones.
- According to research by Markets and Markets, the estimated global drone services market is expected to grow from $13.9 billion in 2021 to $40.7 billion in 2026. The CAGR projects 23.8% in this report.
Therefore, drones have become increasingly popular in recent years. They are used for everything from photography and videography to delivery and inspection.
Now, look at some areas where drone applications carry out tasks efficiently.
Importance of Drone Control App Development
A scalable and dynamic app is required to control drones and ensure their functionality is maximized. An app enables drones to carry out the tasks specifically, ensuring compatibility and optimal performance.
Without an efficient app, there will be no way to access information about the drone’s flight and status, as well as control the drone’s movements and adjust settings.
Hence, if you want to create an app that is unique, developing a drone control app is a strong business move.
Types of Industries Harnessing Drone Technology
Drones have many commercial uses in various enterprises, and it is more than just photography. In this section, we will address different types of use cases of drones and how industries are implementing their potential to streamline their business process and minimize the workload.
Some of the ways various industries are using drones and their applications are:
Drones equipped with cameras and sensors can survey crops, assess crop health, and identify areas that need attention. This allows farmers to make more informed decisions about irrigation, fertilization, and other aspects of crop management.
Commercial Drones in Real Estate
Real estate agents and application developers use Drones to create virtual tours and aerial photographs of properties. It enables their potential buyers to get a better sense of a property’s layout and features.
Inspecting Engineering Projects
Drones can inspect bridges, power lines, pipelines, and other infrastructure to identify potential problems and hazards. Engineers use this safer, cost-effective, and more efficient method for maintenance inspections.
Drones can monitor wildlife, pollution, flood, and other environmental hazards, assessing wildlife conservation and maintaining the health of ecosystems. Hence, it allows organizations to take a more proactive approach to protect the environment.
Drones in Media Coverage
The entertainment and media industry increasingly uses drones to capture stunning aerial footage and photographs. They create unique perspectives and angles that would be difficult or impossible to achieve with traditional cameras.
Drones for Search and Rescue Operations
Drones can be used to search for missing people and animals and to survey areas in the aftermath of natural disasters. These drones are equipped with cameras and sensors that can help rescuers locate individuals and assess the extent of the damage.
Drones to Assist Police and Security Teams
Drones can monitor large crowds, assess the scope of an emergency, and identify potential safety hazards. Hence, it benefits law enforcement and other public safety agencies.
Drones in Special Events
Drones capture aerial footage from weddings to music festivals and create memorable experiences for guests. They are used in special events in various ways, such as wedding photography, live streaming, fireworks display, crowd monitoring, etc.
Drones are being tested for package delivery, which can speed up the delivery process and reduce the need for human drivers. This is useful for delivering goods to remote or hard-to-reach areas mainly.
Now that we finally understand the use cases and massive demand for drones, developing a drone control application is likely a solid business idea.
Top Features to Integrate into Your Drone Control App
Sign Up & Profiles
Signing up and creating a user’s profile is a standard yet crucial feature in your drone control application. If you want your app to be successful among your audience, then ensure you add a smooth user onboarding process.
This is the main dashboard of the drone application that users will initially access. Also, you can provide features on your home screen to make it easy to interact.
The most important feature of a drone control app is the ability to control the drone’s flight from your mobile device. This includes functions like take-off, landing, altitude control, speed control, navigation, etc.
Video & Audio
Capturing images and videos from the drone is one of the critical features to include to make your application the best drone controller app. Another key feature of a drone control app is live video streaming, allowing users to view the drone’s flight in real time.
A payment gateway is needed to ensure application users are easily able to make their purchase of any add-on features or app subscription.
Also, read our blog Ultimate Guide to Digital Wallet App Development to have an in-depth understanding of payment gateway and integration in apps.
With unencrypted communication channels, drones can be vulnerable to exploitation by a hacker and access to sensitive data like pictures, videos, and flight paths. Therefore, offering exceptional data security is necessary to build apps for drones.
Additionally, physical safety features of drone apps, such as obstacle avoidance and emergency landing functions, can help you avoid danger.
Monitor Multiple Drones
The user can continuously monitor the status of their drones on the dashboard. This feature is suitable for seamlessly managing multiple drones over a local, encrypted network for maximum safety.
With a route planner feature, you can provide your users with the ability to determine flight schedules, patterns, and altitudes. These attributes can help them set up and manage flight plans and routers for drones.
Real-Time Report Access
Providing app users access to real-time reports will improve drone performance and usage ability. For example, surveying and mapping to view and analyze data as it is collected make it easier to identify trends and patterns.
User Profile Maintenance
Supervising the user’s profile in the drone controller application is necessary for Admin to manage user access and permissions for the app.
Integrating GPS in your drone control is necessary to track the live location of your drone. It will also help users in weather forecasting and obstacle avoidance, making it the best drone detection app.
Development Guidelines and Tools for Building Drones Control Applications
API plays an essential role in drone control app development, enabling communication between the app and the drone’s onboard computer. In addition, developers also use a set of tools and resources, more specifically SDK, that includes documentation, sample code, and libraries to access the features and functionality of the platform or device.
By combining the right set of tools, your drone control app can send commands and receive data such as flight status, GPS location, and sensor indications.
Several APIs and SDKs can be used for developing a drone control application, depending on the platform and its specific features. Here are some examples:
DroneKit SDK & API
This is an open platform used to quickly develop apps for your drones using SDK and web API. DroneKit SDK & API is compatible to work with various drones and platforms to control the drone’s movement, such as DJI, 3DR, and PX4. It can seamlessly capture and analyze sensor data, access flight logs, and more.
This SDK takes care of several tasks and integrates features like:
- Accessing and analyzing sensor data
- Live Broadcast
- Flight control features
- Remote control and wireless features
- Image and video capturing
- Battery management, and more.
Parrot AR Drone 2.0
AR Drone 2.0 SDK is a set of APIs provided by French drone manufacturer Parrot. It is used to develop drone control apps and access onboard sensors and data.
AR Drone 2.0 SDK is free, flexible, and easy to use and has a full range of features and functionality, allowing developers to control the company’s AR Drone 2.0 quadcopter. It is available for iOS and Android and enables QA to test the application with a simulated drone in a virtual environment.
ROS (Robot Operating System)
ROS (Robot Operating System) is a fundamental tool for developing drone control apps. This tool is an excellent medium for your application to control and interact with robots, process sensor data, and perform various robotic functions.
You can manage extensive robotic functionalities in your drone application, like sensor integration, localization, motion planning, etc.
Using the powerful robot simulator, Gazebo, which is managed by the same team supervising ROS, developers can test their code and applications in a virtual environment.
From its modular design and support for multiple programming languages to a simulated environment, ROS is an excellent platform for drone app development.
FlytBase SDK is one of the most advanced platforms for creating advanced and sophisticated drone control applications. FlytOS is built on ROS and supports multiple technologies like C++, Python, REST, and Websocket.
FlytBase SDK provides a rich set of functionalities to develop web and mobile apps for monitoring and controlling the drone. Therefore, it is a cost-effective platform for developing a drone control application.
PX4 follows a modular architecture, making it an extremely robust platform for developing drone applications and other aerial vehicles (UAVs). The powerful safety features and interoperability make this tool apt for working with single-board computers, sensors, and other communication interfaces.
How Much Does it Cost to Create a Drone App?
Once you finally decide to proceed with drone app design and development, the total estimation to develop it must be your concern. This section will help you set your budget to build a Drone control application.
The cost of creating a drone app depends on various factors, including the scope and complexity of the app, the development team, the platform it will run on, etc. Therefore, we will explain how these factors affect the cost of drone control app development one by one.
Scope of Drone Software Development
The scope and complexity of the app are significant factors in determining the cost of creating a drone app. An app with standard features like flight control and video streaming may cost less than an app with advanced features like object detection, automatic landing, real-time data analysis, etc.
Cost of Technology Requirements
The technology you have selected also will be the cost-driving factor of Drone app development. There are a variety of technology requirements for developing Drone applications, such as Devices, Sensors, Hardware, and Third-Party APIs.
Additionally, if you want to develop a custom drone app, you will need to invest in the hardware and software required to build and test the app, which can be costly.
Cost of Hiring Drone App Development Company
Hiring a Drone app development agency is critical in estimating the total cost of development. Outsourcing a team of professional app developers can cost anywhere from $50 to $250 per hour for their services.
Another factor that affects the cost of creating a Drone app is the platform it will run on. If you want to develop the best drone apps for Android and iOS devices, you can select Native app development technology. However, creating two separate app variations can add to the overall cost.
Hybrid app development services are the best solution to deliver efficient cross-platform applications to the customer.
Location of Development Team
Finally, the location of the development team can also impact the cost of creating a drone app. The cost of hiring services from Western countries like the United States or the United Kingdom can be slightly higher than countries like India or Eastern Europe.
Here is the total estimation of hiring app developers from various regions.
- U.S.-based developers: $50 to $250 per hour
- Eastern Europe-based developers: $30 to $150 per hour
- India-based developers: $20 to $80 per hour
The cost of creating a drone app with basic features starts at $10k. This cost may increase depending on the app’s development team, platform, scope, and complexity. Carefully consider these factors when planning your app development budget, and work with a reputable development team to ensure the best possible outcome.
How Can We Help You?
SparxIT is a leading software development company serving global clients like Hisense, Intel, HP, Motorola, Huawei, and many more. We utilize our more than 15 years of experience to provide high-quality drone app development services.
With newer technologies making their way into the market, our developers keep themselves updated with all the latest trends. SparxIT is a thriving multi-domain industry with all-inclusive services like Metaverse, NFT marketplace, Blockchain apps, etc.
If you want a competitive edge with a cutting-edge drone control app, contact us today.
Many tech giants, like Amazon, BBC, Microsoft, NASA, Walmart, etc., are fully leveraging drone app development services. With these significant companies investing in developing drone applications, the scope for drone control applications is endless.
Developing a drone control application requires careful planning and execution. Hence, it is high time you hire an app development company and build an application in this niche.
We hope the steps outlined in this guide ensure the success of your drone control application. Also, make the most of the exciting opportunities that drone technology has to offer.