Connect with us

Drone Lobbyist News

Best Drones for Roof Inspections



This post was originally published on this site

Table of Contents Drone Roof Inspection FAQ DJI Inspire 2 Autel X Star DJI Phantom 4 Yuneec Typhoon H GoPro Karmao Parrot Bebop 2

Quick Review: Click here to Jump to Top 3 List

Drones that started out as entertainment for hobbyists have rapidly evolved into useful tools with a wide range of commercial applications in a number of industries as well as their popularity for quality aerial cinematography. The construction and building inspection business have embraced the technology, particularly for roof inspections.

Such inspections can be done faster and at a lower cost than traditional methods with the added benefit that there is no risk to human life or the tiles or materials on the roof. Roofs tend to bear the brunt of the elements be it rain, snow or heavy winds. Regular inspections will quickly determine the extent of the damage, areas of concern and all relevant roof condition information.

Such inspections without a drone are slow, labor-intensive and put the people and roof material at risk. The right drone for the job will do a complete, detailed inspection in no time at all with no risk to the roof or the people doing the inspections. Costs will be considerably lower than traditional inspections. .Investing in a drone for roof inspections will pay for itself in a short space of time.


Drone Roof Inspection FAQ

Back To Top

Why use a drone for roof inspections?

We have already pointed out the many benefits but speed and convenience are the main advantages. Once the flight plan is in place, the inspection can be done much faster than a manual inspection. Drone roof inspection price is a fraction of the cost of manual, traditional inspections. All footage is geo-referenced with perfect accuracy. There is no danger of damage to the roof or the people doing the inspection.

Can any drone be used for roof inspections?

The simple answer is no. While there are many great drones, some are better suited for this type of work. In this article, we will highlight the best options for drone roof inspection.

How long does inspection take?

The speed of a drone inspection, from start to finish is amazing and infinitely faster than a manual inspection. Once the basic preparation is done, the inspection can take from 5 to 20 minutes depending on the degree of detail required and the size of the roof.

Is there specific software available for drone roof inspection?

While many applications can be done with the standard software that comes with the drone, there are a number of specific software solutions that will improve the results and cater to specific requirements.

The Best Roof Inspection Drones Available

We have taken a look at the features and benefits as well as the performance of all the top drones in the market to determine the perfect roof inspections drones. Based on the requirements for roof inspections and the nature of the work, these are our top recommendations:

DJI Inspire 2

Read reviews and show for the Original DJI Inspire 2
Back To Top

DJI as a company and the Inspire 2 Quadcopters need no introduction to most people with even a basic knowledge of drones. The tough magnesium-aluminum covered drone is known for superb flying ability and agility and is a firm favorite for these wanting to do top-quality aerial photography. Combine this great drone with the X4S and X5S gimbal cameras and you have a solution with both the flying ability and camera quality ideal for drone roof inspection. This combo kit comes with the powerful Zenmuse X4S camera but there are other combinations or options available.

The Inspire 2 works with 5.2K Gimbal Cameras, allows for CinemaDNG and ProRes Recording has CineCore 2.0 Image Processing for great aerial footage. High bit rates are available in H.264 and H.265 formats. The bundle has a dual-battery feature, 2-Axis Stabilized FPV Camera and Advanced Obstacle Sensing. The dual batteries will provide just under half an hour of fly time and a range of 5 to 7 kilometers.

There are a number of features that add to the safety, convenience and performance of this drone. These include the obstacle avoidance system, GPD, failsafe, smart flight options, automatic return and the ability to use two controllers. This allows for superb control and safe flying conditions while the outstanding camera, gimbals and software ensure top quality footage. Perfect for drone roof inspection.

Click To Shop or Read Reviews

Autel X Star

Read reviews and show for Autel X Star
Back To Top

The new 4K X-Star Premium is taking the Autel Robotics range to new heights. The features, design and camera quality make it ideal as a roof inspection drone.

It is user-friendly and easy to fly while still having great agility and capability in the air. It is good size and highly-durable and can handle most conditions with ease. It has a good 25 minutes flight time which should be sufficient for mast applications.

The all-important Ultra HD 4k Video camera does not disappoint. It offers a 108 degree FOV and has an easy-release 3-axis gimbal stabilizer. The range is outstanding offering 720p 240fps, 1080p 120fps, 4K 40fps, or 2.7K 60fps. Stills can be taken at 12MP.

Other important features are the Starpoint Positioning System, SecureFly magnetic interference protection and dual GPS/GLONASS outdoor navigation. Control is through an Android or iOS Starlink application or a controller connected to smart mobile device. It has an impressive range of 2000 meters. It also offers 1.2 miles of HD live view.

The kit comes with an intelligent battery, 1-hour fast charger, 64-GB memory card (MicroSD), spare propellers and a rugged carry case. Autel provides seven day a week customer support in the US.

Aerial footage is clear and smooth and the quality is exceptional. Another great feature is the X-Star Premium offers really good value for money.

Click To Shop or Read Reviews DJI Phantom 4

Read reviews and show for DJI Phantom 4
Back To Top

Another legendary DJI done that is perfectly suited as a roof inspection drone is the Phantom 4 Quadcopter Drone. This particular kit comes complete with a spare Intelligent Flight Battery and a convenient protective backpack.

The Phantom 4 has an impressive 28 minute fly time and 5km range, more than enough for roof inspections. Safety and convenience features include Smart Return Home, obstacle avoidance and TapFly to name a few. It has a range of flight modes, allowing you to concentrate on getting the perfect footage without too much concern over flight.

The integrated gimbal ensures smooth and shake-free footage from the 4K camera. The magnesium core improves the durability of the drone without adding to the weight. The design is well balanced for hassle-free flying with exceptional agility and flexibility in the air.

Click To Shop or Read Reviews

Yuneec Typhoon H

Read reviews and show for the Typhoon H
Back To Top

The Yuneec is popular with drone enthusiast and increasingly with the professional and commercial users as well. If offers functionality for two controllers, great obstacle avoidance and a rotating 360-degree 4K Ultra High Definition video and camera. It shoots at 30 or 60fps and 1080p for Raw and JPG images. It also features a retractable landing gear for unobstructed views.

It is ready to fly and the kit includes a dedicated ST-16 controller with 7-inch Android touchscreen, additional propellers, additional battery and a backpack. The controller eliminates the need for an additional smartphone and is user-friendly and intuitive. The 6-rotor design makes for safe, stable and reliable flight while retaining excellent agility and flexibility. It provides additional power and backup in the case of engine failure.

The auto takeoff and land, automatic return feature, 8 flight modes, intelligent sensors and GPS stabilization makes this easy enough for beginners to operate without being too simplistic for more experienced operators. These features free you up to concentrate on the footage and let the drone do most of the flying for you.

Fly time, at about 25 minutes is marginally less than some of its close competition but should be more than adequate for drone roof inspection.

The award winning design is a big step forward for this innovative company and Yuneec are certainly becoming a force to be reckoned with for those wanting a top-notch drone.

Click To Shop or Read Reviews GoPro Karma

Read reviews and show for the GoPro Karma Drone
Back To Top

GoPro have long been the leading name in action cameras and have recently paired their camera expertize with state of the art drones. The GoPro Karma is certainly up there with the best of them and is perfectly suitable as a roof inspection drone.

The Hero 6 Black features a two-lens 5.2K Fusion camera for top-quality video and audio or still shots. The new G1 processor allows for 4K footage at 60 fps and full HD 1080p at 240fps. Image quality as well as image stabilization is exceptional and works even at 4K.

It is foldable and portable and both camera and drone are rugged and durable as one would expect from GoPro. The camera also has the versatility to attach to a grip or other GoPro mounts when that might be more suitable.

The downsides are minor, particularly for experienced operators but it does not feature collision protection and is short on auto flight modes. Battery life is not outstanding but sufficient to get the job done.

Click To Shop or Read Reviews Parrot Bebop 2

Read reviews and show for the Parrot Bebop 2
Back To Top

Parrot has come a long way from their early models that were best suited to the leisure market and are now more than suitable for a range of commercial applications. The Bebop 2 is a light, compact drone with a decent fly time, range and ability. The 3-axis digital stabilization makes for shake and shudder free videos. You can take full HD 1080p video or 14Mpx still in DNG, RAW or JPEG from the wide-angle camera. Improvements to the software have led to even better image quality.

It has 8GB onboard storage and communicates via Wi-Fi. The Parrot Cockpit glasses or FPV goggles give you an added dimension to your flying and filming experience.

While its predecessor might not have been ideal for such applications as roof inspections, the Bebop2 has a lot to offer and is more than capable of getting the job done.

Click To Shop or Read Reviews Conclusion About Roof Inspection Drones

Back To Top

The benefits of using drones for roof inspections are self-evident and the purchase of a suitable drone for this purpose will show a quick and significant return on investment. We selected only those suitable for this purpose in terms of camera quality and aerial ability. All drones reviewed here are up to the job and will improve your speed and accuracy while reducing costs and risk of injury or roof damage. Consider your needs and requirements as well as your budget in order to determine the most suitable option for your environment.


Best Drones for Roof Inspections was originally posted at by

Continue Reading

aerial cinematography

Amazing Drone Video Shows Mega Colonies of Penguins!



This post was originally published on this site

Drones have helped scientists find mega colonies of penguins – over 750,000 pairs – in protected areas in the Antarctic Peninsula.

The journal Nature reports that a “multi-modal survey” including ground counts and computer automated counts of drone imagery, showed huge populations of Adélie penguins in the Danger Islands off of the norther tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. The survey served to demonstrate the results of using satellite and drone imagery for environmental surveys.

“Despite concerted international effort to track and interpret shifts in the abundance and distribution of Adélie penguins, large populations continue to be identified,” says the article.  “Here we report on a major hotspot of Adélie penguin abundance identified in the Danger Islands off the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula (AP). We present the first complete census of Pygoscelis spp. penguins in the Danger Islands, estimated from a multi-modal survey consisting of direct ground counts and computer-automated counts of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) imagery.”

“Our survey reveals that the Danger Islands host 751,527 pairs of Adélie penguins, more than the rest of AP region combined, and include the third and fourth largest Adélie penguin colonies in the world. Our results validate the use of Landsat medium-resolution satellite imagery for the detection of new or unknown penguin colonies and highlight the utility of combining satellite imagery with ground and UAV surveys.”

Scientists say that the Danger Islands “appear to have avoided recent declines” which have been documented on the Western Antarctic Pensinsula and “deserve special consideration in the negotiation and design of Marine Protected Areas in the region.”

Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
Email Miriam



Amazing Drone Video Shows Mega Colonies of Penguins! was originally posted at by Miriam McNabb


Continue Reading

aerial cinematography

Drone Racing is Racing for Good: IDRA Claims Miracle Flights as Official Charitable Partner




This post was originally published on this site

Drones are well suited for saving lives and performing miracles – and the drone industry has been generous in charitable endeavors.  Drone racing is not to be left behind.  The International Drone Racing Association (IDRA) has announced that Miracle Flights, the nation’s leading health and welfare flight organization, is the official charitable partner for the 2018 Drone Racing Series and 2018 Challengers Cup.

The following is from the joint press release by the two organizations:

Established in 1985, Miracle Flights provides free commercial air transportation to critically ill children in need of medical care far from home.

The newly announced partnership fits perfectly into IDRA’s mission to grow the motorsport and international drone community. Our community’s youth are not only the future of the hobby, but also the platform for which the drone market and technologies will continue to develop. With Miracle Flights as the official charitable partner of IDRA, we can use professional and semi-professional drone races as a new medium to promote this organization’s endeavors and raise donations from sponsors and the drone community to help more children receive life-changing medical treatment.

“Miracle Flights is an amazing nonprofit organization that provides thousands of flights to children from all over the world,” said Justin Haggerty, President and CEO of IDRA. “It is our pleasure at IDRA to work with Miracle Flights as our official charitable partner. I hope the partnership bares many fruits and gives our drone community the chance to help a child in need.”

Now in its 33rd year, Miracle Flights has provided more than 114,000 free flights to help children with rare and life-threatening conditions gain access to specialized medical care out of state.

“IDRA has engaged an incredible community of individuals across the country and around the world,” said Miracle Flights CEO Mark E. Brown. “To have them partner with us in our mission to improve access to healthcare for seriously ill children is a true honor. We look forward to everything we can accomplish—and the lives we can change—together.”



Drone Racing is Racing for Good: IDRA Claims Miracle Flights as Official Charitable Partner was originally posted at by


Continue Reading

aerial cinematography

Lighting Up the Skies with Lume Cube



This post was originally published on this site

Lume Cube Lighting Kits give drone pilots the chance to pilot a spotlight in the sky. We took the Mavic Pro Lighting Kit for a spin to see what all the fuss is about. 

Lume Cube market their product as the world’s most versatile light. And they may have a point. These lights can be used with smartphones, GoPros and DSLRs. They can be mounted, sat down or simply handheld. They can be set to varying degrees of brightness or just strobe at whatever speed you feel like. And you can control all of those features through an app.

They can also be attached to your drone, which is where we come in. We’ve been testing out the Lume Cube lights and the company’s mounts for the Mavic Pro. Both are needed if you want to try your hand at flying a spotlight in the sky.

What is a Lume Cube?

So let’s start with the obvious question: What is a Lume Cube? Simply, it’s a portable light.

But it’s no ordinary light. This light is encased inside a rugged, mountable cube and can be connected to your smartphone. It’s also waterproof. So what’s the benefit of all that? Well, if you’re a GoPro user, a keen outdoor photographer or even a drone pilot, using a Lume Cube gives you more control over the light conditions in your shots.

You can illuminate a scene for night photography or light up a dimly lit area with the touch of a button. You can sync the flash to go just before you hit record or take a photograph. You can also get really creative with light when it’s in the palm of your hand, particularly when you mount a Lume Cube or two onto a drone.

Which is where Lume Cube’s Mavic Mounts come in. Not only does the Lume Cube Lighting Kit for the Mavic Pro help illuminate your drone in dark conditions. It also gives you a new tool to help you explore your aerial creativity.

The Lighting Kit comes with two mounts and two Lume Cubes, one for each side of the drone.

Each Cube has 10 manual brightness settings that change in increments of 150 lumens. The brightest setting maxes out at 1500 lumens. We don’t know much about lumens, but we do know that the highest setting on these cubes is ridiculously bright. If you’re shooting at night for whatever reason, they are more than powerful enough to illuminate natural features like trees or rocks.

The Lume Cubes clip onto the wings of the Mavic Pro with a lightweight mount. And it has to be. Because each Cube weighs 3.5 ounces. Despite our reservations, the Mavic Pro didn’t have any problem lifting them off the ground and flying comfortably.

The biggest issue we faced was attaching the mount in the dark in cold weather. It’s fair to say that the plastic mounts aren’t as rugged as the Cubes themselves. Impatient hands and low visibility actually led to us breaking the mounts before take-off while trying to clip them on, but we were still able to attach them and take the Lume Cubes for a spin.

Read more: Hands On Review With DJI’s CrystalSky Monitor

The extra weight took a few minutes off the battery life as you might expect, and the Mavic certainly wasn’t as nimble as it would be without them, but those are minor compared to the benefits of flying your very own spotlight.

The Lume Cube Lighting Kit

Each Lume Cube can be charged up with a standard USB cable. The battery life sits can last for more than 2 hours, depending on how bright your settings are.

Read more: Hands On With PolarPro’s Elektra Cinematic Color Presets

The Cubes and the free Lume Cube application are compatible with both Apple and Android. Through the app, you can control flash, duration and brightness of multiple cubes all at the same time.

Lume Cube Price and Compatibility

Now, you’re probably wondering two things at this point. First, how much is one of these Lighting Kits going to set you back? And second, what drones are Lume Cube Lighting Kits compatible with?

The Lighting Kits cost $179. These include two Cubes, the mounts for your drone and all the cables you need to keep them charged.

In terms of compatibility, the Lume Cube team has done its best to make sure there are kits available for all of the most popular drones on the market. That means you can buy dedicated Lighting Kits for the Mavic Pro, the Phantom range, the Inspire range and even for the now-defunct GoPro Karma, Autel’s X-Star and the Yuneec Typhoon H.

Looking for a lighting rig for your Mavic Air or Spark? We wouldn’t count on this happening anytime soon. Those tiny drones probably aren’t going to be strong or stable enough to carry two of these Cubes.

Final Thoughts

Lume Cubes offer a great way to add some creativity and versatility to your photography. At $179 a Lighting Kit isn’t cheap, but in reality, these lights are going to last you years and can be used in so many different scenarios. If you do decide to upgrade your drone, new mounts alone are only a small fraction of that price.

Rather than using Lume Cubes to light your drone’s way, we recommend getting behind a DSLR and using your drone to guide a spotlight into place over an interesting scene.

The posts below from the Lume Cube community are good examples of that. We did try to recreate a couple, but we’re going to need some more practice before they are worthy of publication…

Malek Murison is a freelance writer and editor with a passion for tech trends and innovation. He handles product reviews, major releases and keeps an eye on the enthusiast market for DroneLife.
Email Malek



Lighting Up the Skies with Lume Cube was originally posted at by Malek Murison


Continue Reading
Free Email Updates
Get the latest content first.
We respect your privacy.



Free Email Updates
Get the latest content first.
We respect your privacy.