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Drone Recommendations - Programmable for autonomous flight


Novice Member
Hi there,

I am new to drones, but I am looking to purchase a drone which I can program to fly in a set pattern. Essentially this would be to fly in a circle measuring roughly 10ft in diameter at a certain height round a fixed point. I would also like it to be able to increase and decrease elevation along that route.

Can anyone provide me with information on a decent drone which is capable of this. It would need to have a decent camera (although doesn't necessarily need to be 4k) and ideally the data (images) can be sent automatically to a set destination.

Ideally this would need to be less that £1,000 and i'd be looking to purchase roughly 2,000 of these if they can be programmed in this way.


Distinguished Member
Wow , I wish I could make them for you 😳 , have a bump on me because I’m not sure where you would start to be honest 🤔


Novice Member
Thanks Paul, appreciate you taking the time to respond. I realise this is not very straight-forward, but hoping that someone has some experience in doing something similar. I know getting a drone to auto-pilot is pretty straight-forward, but this needs to be a repeatable process (bit like the autonomous vacuume cleaners) which can be done almost at the flip of a switch.

Hopefully someone out there can help :)


Novice Member
Have you looked a Mavic pro 2 and the skydio 2? There are some videos showing capabilities of these drones to do exactly what you are talking about.


Distinguished Member
Have a look at the PX4 flight controller. This is an open source device that can be programmed to perform a wide variety of autonomous missions, using a variety of sensor inputs. Certainly circling around a fixed point defined by GPS and using lidar or ultrasonic height sensors is possible and a simple data link to the PC or smartphone based ground station will enable you to see what the drone is doing. Then simply strap on the camera and transmitter of your choice.

Before deciding on the flight platform, you need to consider flight time, autonomous recharging and the legal aspects of flying a drone without direct human interaction. I've developed a drone that at least on paper would meet your requirements, but I would imagine that in depth discovery would lead to significant additional development being required.

Your best bet would be to find a small company to design and develop the drone from ground up and then get it built in China. 2000 units at a build cost of £1000 each is a reasonable number to cover development costs if you are using commercially available off the shelf hardware.

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