New trend is to click a dronie

10th December 2018
New trend is to click a dronie
A folded DroneX Pro drone that is great for taking selfies

Drones have been legalized in India -- and as long as one  sticks to the nano size -- they are  free to use and can be a great new selfie tool.||
From Anand Parthasarathy|
Bangalore, December 10 2018: Add another word to the  high-tech lexicon of 2018: Dronie. This is a selfie  or more accurately, a large-group selfie or groupie, shot from a hovering drone.
As of  last week, drone regulation  in India has  kicked in  -- and you can fly them  without breaking the law -- provided you do so within limits. Drones have been classified depending on their weight: The nano drone weighs less than 250 grams  and as long as you fly them at heights of 50 feet or below, there are no restrictions, no licence or permission required. Next comes the micro drone,  weighing  between 250 grams to 2 kg. You can fly them at heights up to 200 feet, but you need to register the drone at a special website and obtain a Unique Identification Number or UIN. You must also inform the local police  a day ahead of  your intention to fly the drone.There are three other classes of drones larger than 2 kg and they require even more paperwork  and a Unmanned Aircraft Operator Permit (UAOP)  which costs  good money.|
As we can see,  the fun has been  largely taken out of flying any except the smallest  nano drones: the rest are wrapped in red tape.  But  there are enough cool things you can do with a nano drone -- though you may have to look for one in  toy shops rather than in the sports section.
Our detailed report on Indian drone rules
At 250 grams, a drone can't take much additional payload -- so forget about sending stuff from here to there. It is sensible to buy a nano drone  with a built-in camera.  There are a lot of models available in India in the price range of Rs 5000 - Rs 8000  and the better ones  include a camera  with at least  720p HD and a wide -- that is 120 degree or more -- viewing angle. At the lower end of the price band, they don't include a control unit and you have to sync a smart phone to the drone to control its movement or click a picture.  I have found this to be rather awkward -- and would recommend buying a drone  that comes with its own control pad, which looks just like  games controller.  Separate buttons make it easy to  navigate  the drone and  switch  the camera from  shooting a panorama video to a single shot.
Some brands  around  Rs 7000  like DroneX Pr ( illustrated above),  are designed to fold for transit into a neat package -- an important consideration, as a drone with  fixed propellers can be very awkward to carry safely.
If you have a largish group to fit into a selfie, a dronie   can give you some very  nice  shots. Even otherwise,  a video shot from a low flying drone makes an interesting addition to your YouTube postings.  Just check that  you are not in a no-drone zone -- like Vijay Chowk in Delhi and a lot of public   establishments elsewhere.
Right now, one has to go into the fine print of the specifications to check if a drone weighs less than 250 grams before buying -- but you can be sure the makers will soon brand these as nano drones to exploit the huge market of lay users.   
Happy droning in 2019!