Everyone knows what drones are but I’m sure you have lots of questions before you add them to your programming.
- Are they expensive? That depends on what you consider to be expensive. We used Parrot Minidrones-specifically the Rolling Spider and they are $50 each on Amazon.
- Are they safe for teens? Yes. The youngest teen in our program was 10 and she picked it up very quickly.
- Can you do more than fly them? Yes. We used the Tynker app to code our drones. Teens were given code and they were able to write their own code. The Rolling Spider can crawl up walls and across the ceiling. It can also takes pictures and videos.
- Can you fly them indoors? Yes. The Rolling Spider is lightweight and if the wind gets it, it will fly away. We also have a 10 foot ceiling at our library so you may want to test it if you have low ceilings.
- Do drones break easily? No. Our teens crashed their drones all over the place and the worst thing that happened was a bent propeller. You can purchase replacement parts. We also kept the wheels on and that served as a buffer.
- How long do the batteries last? For the Rolling Spider, the batteries only last 5-10 minutes and it takes about 20-30 minutes to recharge. The only way to fix this is to buy LOTS of batteries. We have five drones and twenty batteries and this worked out well.
Drones are an investment. We spent @$350 for five drones, twenty batteries, five battery chargers, and replacement propellors and body parts. It is expensive but you can use them for several programs so if your library has a strict per person budget system, repeating the program several times is cost effective.