And, being encouraged to write a paper or two on drone reliability. Now that Amazon has a delivery drone patent, and industrial applications continue to announced daily, there is a need for serious reliability in these devices.
The early adopters and explorers in any nascent industry generally discover the many design faults including reliability issues. That is common.
As the drone industry develops, improving product reliability becomes a business necessity. For industrial application it is essential.
So, what is the current state of reliability for the devices available for the hobbyist? And, how good do the industrial drones need to be before they are accepted by the public?
I’m just gathering information at this point. If you have direct experience with drones, especially with specific failure mechanisms (detailed failure analysis), let me know, leave a comment and let’s talk or trade information.
If you develop drones, what are the major issues or expectations for reliability from your customers?
In order to start I need some basic information, please add a comment or send me an email directly.
How reliable does a drone have to be?
During flight, some failures are more problematic than others. Flyaways, loss of control, uncontrolled landing – what else? Less of a problem may be the loss of camera, for example. What else fails that is not catastrophic?
What causes the above failures? Hardware, software, user error, external effects (bird attack?)?
How long is a typical flight? And, how many flights per year should a craft expect?
How about the control unit? Is only for one unit, or can they be paired with many units and used more often than aircraft?
What is supposed to happen when the drone travels beyond the communication range?
How long should a drone last? Do you expect to fly a specific drone for a year, 10 years? How about different types of users? Strictly weekend hobbyist to serious amateur, competitions, up to use in business endeavors, like photography, what changes for their expectations on reliability.
Reliability is the probability of successfully operating over a specific duration in a specified environment. A well designed and assembled product will meet the customer’s expectations of reliability in a cost effective manner.
This exploratory post is to start my research into drone reliability. Thanks for your insights and ideas.