How Do You Build a Do-it-Yourself Drone?

BY Crispin Lopez  April 18, 2013 at 5:58 PM EST

So what goes into building one of these devices? Christopher Vo, director of education for the D.C. Area Drone User Group, an community organization of amateur and professional drone users, offers a brief tutorial.

Washington, D.C., resident Timothy Reuter’s interest in drones started with reading about low cost do-it-yourself kits. He went ahead and ordered one, but quickly learned it wasn’t as easy to build as he predicted.

“I realized if I did this in isolation I wasn’t going to succeed,” he said. “So, I thought if I created a community then I could find people that would be able to teach me and I’d have a lot more success.”

Last August, Reuter founded the “D.C. Area Drone User Group.” Originally, he wasn’t expecting to gain more than a couple dozen members, but their ranks are now approaching 300 operators.

“We have a lot of people who are interested in photography. We have some long-time engineers. Some who even work professionally on drone projects. You have long-time RC flyers. And then you have people like myself who have no engineering background, have never done this before, but are excited by this as a new technology.”

The group recently traveled to Leesburg, Va., for an event they call a “fly-in.” About 40 members spent a sunny Sunday afternoon flying a variety of unmanned aerial vehicles or UAV in a local park.

For more information about the “D.C. Area Drone User Group” you can visit their Meetup page.

Read about how drones are used in the U.S.