Half Chrome Labs – We Test Drones
Here at Half Chrome we put drones through a rigorous series of tests. Unlike many of the websites out there, we actually fly our drones. We see how fast they go. We test how quickly they ascend. We check battery life. We even crash them, and we catch it all on video. Read on to see just a sampling of the drone tests we run.
Half Chrome Labs
Our indoor lab is where we do most of our camera quality testing, crash testing, drop testing, and battery life tests. We have a custom Half Chrome image target that is designed to show you how sharp an image the camera takes, how much fish-eye effect the lens has, and what the field of view of the camera is. We smack our little drones into the wall at top speed and drop them from a height of 7.5 feet (1 Chewbacca) to see how they hold up to abuse. Check out a collection of crash test videos that we put together.
The drones don’t always make it out of our tests in one piece.
Thrust testing is cool enough that we have an article dedicated to this topic. When you look at how much force a drone can generate and compare it to the drone’s weight you get the thrust-to-weight ratio. This simple figure of merit is the single most important metric for how fun, fast, and maneuverable a drone is going to be. We recently tested the new Mavic Pro Platinum props to see if they sacrifice any power in exchange for achieving a longer flight time. Click here to learn more.
Horizontal and Vertical Speed
For vertical acceleration and speed measurements we take high-speed video of our drones going full blast off of a suspended grate. The grate keeps the drones from getting any ground-effect lift, which might give an extra boost, especially to drones whose props are close to the ground.
We processed a bunch of videos and found some interesting results. It turns out that some of the smallest drones, including micro drones and mini drones, can launch just as quickly as the bigger drones. A full article and a video are on their way to cover this topic. Below is a graph of take-off times from a variety of drones.
For horizontal speed we test our drones flying at full speed between two fixed posts. We time how long it takes to get from point A to point B and calculate the speed.
Coming soon, we will be comparing how all high-end drones perform in high wind. Not a windy day? No problem, we test our drones in front of a 20 mph firehouse fan.
When we have a drone we don’t care for too much we might decide to dispose of it using munitions. Not a test really, but sometimes a drone needs to be taken out of its misery.
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