Drones are filling the headlines as well as the skies these days. From military drones bombing targets to amateur camera drones pestering celebrities, crashing into National Parks or shipping drugs into prisons – they're everywhere. But they're not all bad.
Companies like Amazon and Dominos are already testing drone delivery services that could mean the skies are filled with buzzing bots soon.
For now there are plenty of drones that can be used for fun. Some with cameras built-in, some able to mount a GoPro to and some that can move enough weight to carry a baby.
Whatever your need, there's a drone for it. We've rounded up the best drones available on the market right now.
Skeye Pico Drone
This is claimed to be the world's smallest drone. Despite being micro enough to fit into your hand many times over, it can fly with precision thanks to 6-axis flight control and a gyroscope.
But this little daredevil doesn't just fly, it does tricks too. The drone can manage flips, spins and even aerial dives. If you want to do it all in the dark the LED lights should not only help it be seen but make it look good too.
The Skeye Pico Drone charges in half an hour, flies for up to eight minutes and comes with a controller that works up to 50 metres away.
Mastering drone flight isn't always easy. But if you've spent a fair chunk of change on your flying toy you'll need to be in control if you want it to last. The UDI U818A should help solve that by not only being affordable and strong but by making flight control simple.
All of the rotors are protected so that even if you do have a bump the drone should be alright to carry on. But crashing is unlikely thanks to a six axis gyro with posture control to make precision flying easy. There's also a camera should you want to get snaps but at 640 x 480 resolution don't expect them to be of much use. This drone is more about flying fun.
One of the best drones from Parrot is the Bebop. This is meant to sit between professional level drones and toys. There's a Bebop 2 but this is more pricey for, among other things, more flight time.
The result is an impressive drone with 1080p camera that can be controlled and viewed from a connected smartphone or tablet. That £450 price is for the basic model. It'll cost your hundreds more for the version with controller for range extension, but you'll get to fly farther.
Either one is a strong drone that can do tricks, fly indoors or outside and comes with two batteries. It lasts about 10-minutes on a charge in real world use.
Check out out review for full details.
Odyssey Toys Pocket Drone
This is a fold away drone that you can carry anywhere. Yup, no worries about packing it correctly in a special bag to protect the wings, this little guy slips into your pocket like a gaming companion should. The controller is a similar size and shape plus they're both tough - ideal for kids.
Flight time is about 8-minutes so use it wisely and enjoy the HD camera while doing so. Then when it comes to charging it's USB friendly so any mobile phone charger will do.
Dromida Ominus FPV
Dromida offers its Ominus FPV for those that want a full quadcopter experience at a lower price.
The drone offers an HD camera feed directly to your connected mobile which is used as the controller. That means flying round corners and remaining in control is a possibility.
The Ominus FPV comes in blue, green, red or yellow and works with iOS and Android.
Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 Power Edition Quadricopter
Parrot was one of the first companies to get into the drone business. So with it's second generation of refined AR.Drone you get a lot of technology for the price.
The quadricopter is controlled via Wi-Fi using an app that's available for Android and iOS smartphones and tablets. Unlike the first model the AR.Drone 2.0 is able to work inside and outdoors. It can be controlled using the virtual joysticks but is also capable of automatic takeoff, landing and hovering. Plus there's a button to do a quick 360-degree flip trick.
The Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 Power Edition should last 18 minutes on a charge. But it comes with two batteries that can be swapped while the other is charging so you'll get a good 36 minutes of use.
Range is limited to 165 feet from the controller device.
A built-in camera relays photos and 720p 30fps videos to the smartphone so that they can be stored, played back and shared instantly from the device. There is also a second camera on the base of the copter that makes landing on certain spots easy. Users also have the option of connecting a small USB stick to record directly.
DJI Phantom 3 Standard
DJI is fast becoming the go-to name for hobbyist and professional drone fliers alike. The Phantom 3 is a line offering Standard, Advanced and Professional models.
The DJI Phantom 3 Standard is the most affordable of the three. Despite that it still crams in plenty of next-gen drone tech. The camera offers 2.7k video or 12-megapixel stills and uses a gimbal to offer stable footage.
The drone itself can fly for up to 25-minutes on a charge and will return home or land if the battery gets too low. Pre-set routes can be mapped out so the drone flies them over and over as the user focuses on working the moving camera for the best shot. With the range extender controller the drone can fly up to one kilometre away from the pilot, all controlled via a smartphone app.
Turbo Ace Matrix
This is the daddy of drones, made for professional grade filming and photography.
The Turbo Ace Matrix, with its 1 metre wingspan and triple carbon fibre deck build, has a range of 1.2 miles and can stay in the air for 25 minutes thanks to its 8,000mAh battery. The whole thing even folds down for easy transport.
it comes with an 8-inch monitor for viewing what the flight camera feeds back. But that's just for flying - the unit can have gimbals and cameras plonked on top to carry around for high definition filming and photography.
Hubsan X4 H107D FPV
This more affordable drone still manages to cram a camera into its palm-sized body. The transmitter remote has a built-in screen allowing you to control the flight from a first-person perspective. Not that you should need it much with a limited 100 metre range.
The camera is a 0.3-megapixel device that manages a 640 x 480 resolution video feed. This can be recorded if an SD card is inserted into the controller. While it might not be high quality it should be clear thanks to the latest 6-axis gyro sensitivity for balanced flight.
The battery lasts about 7 minutes, claims Hubsan, and recharges to full via USB in 30 minutes.
For those that want a cheaper option there's the Hubsan X4 V2 H107L which doesn't have a camera but manages 9 minutes on a half hour charge and costs £28 on Amazon.
Parrot Rolling Spider
This is an affordable fun way to try out drone flying.
The Rolling Spider is part of Parrot's MiniDrones range. This handheld drone is capable of flying to a range of 20 metres indoors or outside at speeds of up to 11mph. It's smartphone controlled using Bluetooth 4.0 LE and can take pictures at a tiny 300,000 pixel resolution.
What makes it unique is it's ability to roll along the ground, like a car, when its wheels are attached to either side. Making it two fun gadgets in one. It can roll up edges onto its back and while flying does 360-degree flips. And it's engines start when you drop it, keeping it hovering ready for you to control.
The battery lasts up to 8 minutes and recharges back to full in 90 minutes.
The app is Android, iOS and Windows Phone 8.1 compatible.
Blade 350 QX V2
This is a brilliant quadcopter as it's all ready to fly right out of the box and can even carry your GoPro. But it's not just for the photographic sort, it's also an aerobatic flier capable of flips and rolls too.
The Blade comes with an anti-vibration GoPro mount, but at that price you'll obviously have to provide the camera. You can GPS fence the drone in and use a single button to return it to home. Due to carrying weight it should manage a flight time of between 9 and 14 minutes before needing a charge.