Drones have been a significant part of pop culture for as long as most of us remember. From the HK-Drones of the famous 1984 action movie, The Terminator to the renowned mission UAV’s of real-life elite military missions, drones feature prominently. Today, we can now fly drones in the comfort of our homes.
Even amidst a pandemic that has now confined large populations of people all over the world indoors, true drone lovers know that drone technology has found a way to break past this barrier.
These indoor flown drones are different in build and specification from the wide range of drones that have industrial to military to surveillance applications. These drones have quite distinct features that make them less expensive and more suited for being flown indoors.
It is noteworthy that there are no clear boundaries of what may be defined as an indoor drone. However, a combination of small size, agile control, and toughness should characterize any drone that can be comfortably flown indoors.
The application of a drone to a specific field or recreational activities usually affects the design, build, and size of the drone. Outdoor applications tend to allow for more size and more power. In contrast, in-door applications prioritize smaller sized parts and more protective parts to protect against collisions with ceilings and other surfaces while allowing for compromise on power and travel height.
The Eight Best Indoor Drones Are Reviewed Below
The leaps and advances in technology have made it possible for many drones to hit the market. The sales of drones have risen in the millions in the last four years. This continually evolving and changing designs and models makes for a complexity that can be challenging for many. To this end, we have compiled this list to simplify the process of finding the best.
Holy Stone HS170 Predator
The Holy Stone HS170 Predator is a multi-rotor equipment that is a lightweight, portable drone that can find its way into the smallest of spaces. This multi-rotor drone is generally a cheap option for good control over the position it offers. The downside of these multi-rotor drones, however, is their inadequate endurance in the air. The Holy Stone Predator can stay in the air for about 8 minutes, which is quite high for its size and price.
An important quality it possesses is it’s 30 minutes charge time, which makes it easy to power up. While this is optimum for indoor usage, it is advisable to bring along extra batteries for outdoor usage.
Its key features include a low-interference 2.4 GHz technology, a quick responding 6-axis gyro stabilization system that gives it an agile movement, and a makes it adept at regaining complete stability after stunts and complicated maneuvers and moves. It has a resistant technology for heavy gusts of air and winds. For control, a standard transmitter gives it a control range of 30-50 meters.
Top on its list of features is what makes it stand out as an indoor drone: It has a propeller protection system (or prop guard) that shields it from collisions with ceilings and other surfaces. A prop guard is a steel cage which is constructed such that it encloses the drone propeller system, safeguarding it from having a collision with surfaces.
This amazing drone can serve as a toy for children above 14 years of age and can be used even by adults for aerial photography in both small spaces and large warehouses.
- Headless Flight System
- Low-interference 2.4 GHz technology
- 6-Axis stabilization system
- 3D Flip
- Brand: Holy Stone
- Model: HS170 Predator Mini RC Helicopter Drone 2.4Ghz
- Low cost
- High maneuverability
- Effective control system
- Limited flight time
- Low speed
- Low endurance
Parrot Mambo Fly
The Parrot Mambo Indoor Drone is an inexpensive miniature quadcopter that is fun for flying around. However, it is a step up to the most basic categories of indoor mini-drones as it comes packing a platform on which a grabber or a mini-cannon can be placed to make flying around even more engaging.
Like most indoor drones, the Parrott Mambo is small and lightweight. At 63g, it truly seems like a fly. With a Lego-like attachment for accessories, this device comes ready-for-flight as soon as it is unpacked.
All the preparation that is needed is installing a battery, a power-up through its Micro USB port, installing a Parrot FreeFlight Mini iOS or Android app on your smartphone, then, pair with the device, and you’re ready to go.
Its main features include a 3-axis gyroscope, accelerometers, and an ultrasound sensor to support flight stability. It also comes with a 550mAH battery that gives it about 8 minutes of flight. It also has an indoor drone autopilot system that makes it remain stable if the controls are released.
Another innovative feature is its “cut-out system.” This is a safety design that mitigates against impact. What this does is that it shuts down the motors if the Parrot Mambo collides with any object. The smartphone integration allows limitless snapping and saving to your smartphone for the Mambo FPV camera-enabled variant.
The variants of the Parrot Mambo Indoor Drone include the basic form called The Parrot Mambo Fly, the mid-range form called the Parrot Mambo Mission, and the Parrot Mambo FPV. Unlike the Mambo FPV, the Mambo Mission and Fly are well suited for flying for children under the age of 14 years.
- Quadcopter-style drone
- Comes with peashooter cannon and grabber
- Brand: Parrot
- Model: Mambo
- Fun and easy to control
- Quick charge time
- Fun accessories like cannons and grabbers
- Short flight time
- Pellets easily misplaced
- Lifts only load less than 4g
- Can be easily carried by the wind
DJI Mavic Mini Flycam Quadcopter
DJI is a household name when it comes to the manufacture of all things drone-like. While it may be a little contestable to include DJI products to a list of indoor drones due to their high-end specs, this drone ticks off the characteristics of most popular toy drones indoors, including compact size and effective control.
This DJI drone combines a 12MP camera with 2.7K video from a 3-axis stabilized Gimbal with portability (250 grams) that ensures it can be flown both indoors and even outdoors without a need for registration according to FAA rules for drones above a certain weight.
It’s the miniature size, and weight allows it to stay up in the air for 30 minutes with a fully-charged battery. Even though it requires an Android or IOS device to be fully ready to go, this device is worth it. This drone falls into the category of what many call an indoor tactical drone because of the wide-ranging features it possesses.
Its design features durable and collapsible arms that can transform for easy packing. Spotting a gray or dark gray shade, it has a pair of dots resembling eyes. Around its back, there is a microSD card slot and micro USB port for charging. Sitting above these features is a flap that holds the battery.
The 250g weight was made attainable by the combination of a sleek design that put the entire drone body at 150g alongside a battery of about 100g. The drawback of this machine is the absent obstacle sensor found on some other DJI Mavic devices.
At a moderate price, while the DJI indoor drone may be lightweight and small in size, it is more than a kid’s toy.
- 3-axis Gimbal for stability
- 30 minutes of flight time
- 2.7K 30fps enabled Camera
- 29MPH at a range of 2.5 miles
- Brand: DJI
- Model: Mavic Mini
- Very portable
- Easy to fly
- Versatile flight modes
- Bypasses FAA weight regulation (For outdoor flying)
- No directional obstacle sensor
EMAX TinyHawk II
The Tinyhawk II is a predecessor to an earlier TinyHawk. At 31.2g to 43.5g of weight, it comes with several improvements to make flying even better experience.
Its first stand-out feature is a richly designed FPV system. A newly redesigned First-Person-View (FPV) transmission system sees the placement of a Nano 2 FPV camera on a well adjustable camera mount while producing sharp colors and wide angles for smooth navigation.
This FPV experience is a video transmission system that allows for the experience of a pilot’s view using a VR goggle. The video performance qualities of the Tinyhawk II also comes packing more power with its clean indoor videos.
When it comes to power, the Tinyhawk has an increased power thanks to the faster moving Avan Turtlemode 4-Blade propeller, which makes this drone perfect for racing.
The higher speed is compensated for by higher capacity batteries and a protective polypropylene body that increases durability. This is seen in the exceptional aerodynamic features that make this machine glide effortlessly through the air.
It also includes a 1x EMAX Transporter 5.8G FPV Goggles, a battery pack w/USB charging, transmitter, spare props for protection, and a hardware kit.
- FPV System
- Avan Turtlemode 4-Blade Propeller
- Flight Controller: F4 (MATEKF411RX Firmware)
- 1x EMAX Transporter 5.8G FPV Goggles
- Brand: EMAX
- Model: Tinyhawk II
- FPV system for an out-of-body experience
- Comes with drone kit
- Optimum for racing
- Sharp camera
- Increased functionality draws more power.
Altair AA108 FPV Camera Drone
The Altair AA108 is another beginner drone that made it into our list. The best thing about this drone is how easy it is for use. Its clear instructions and simple looking parts give an intuitive feel that makes this a good choice for new drone users.
It comes out of the box with a comprehensive manual that touches on its important parts, features, and workarounds, including propeller replacement and spare battery replacement. Some of the other parts that come in the box include a USB charger, four extra propellers, a card reader, a drone tool kit, and an overarching cover that fits on top of the controller.
Made of durable plastic and with a weight of 85g, the Altair AA180 has a flight range of about 50 meters and an 8 to 10 minutes flight time. Some of the features that make this device impressive are the low battery alarm and out of range alarms, a 120 degrees HD 720p camera with a transmission system to your phone via a Wi-Fi connection. It has a LiPo battery that has a total charge time of about 40 to 60 minutes.
Chief among the features that truly make it stand out is a one-button take-off and landing control system that makes it maneuvering during take-off and landing easier for beginners. A push of a button keeps the drone stable even while it assumes a take-off or landing position.
Another quality feature is the Altitude Hold. This is something of a panic control feature that automatically keeps the drone at a stable, one-directional position and altitude in the instance of confusion on the part of the controller. The flight controls are also varied.
- One-Touch Take-Off
- 720HD Camera for FPV flying
- Brand: Altair Aerial
- AA108 Camera Drone
- Altitude Hold “panic” button
- Easy Take-Off and Landing
- Stable flight system
- Alarm system for low battery/out-of-range
- Unimpressive battery life
Force 1 Mini Drone
The package the Force 1 comes in has everything drone lovers need to get going. The design features an almost robot-like front-facing camera, integrated into the body of the drone.
It has a 2.4GHz transmitter, in-box alongside spare propellers, and extra batteries. The body of the drone itself is a tight ABS plastic protected shell with a jet-black look. Propeller guards also cover opposite sides of the drone.
Even though it is a small drone, it comes with a 720p HD camera affixed to the drone’s front. The fixed drone may be quite rigid as it doesn’t rotate, but it makes up for this rich video and picture taking abilities that would give most drone with cameras a run for their money. Like most drones of this price and spec range, this drone has a Virtual reality headset that can be connected to a smartphone for a good FPV experience.
The two batteries, which take about an hour and 30 minutes to come to full power, can keep the drone in the air for about 16 minutes. The drone has beautiful LED lights on both of its arms. These arms are not just eye-candy. They also deliver an orientation system that props up the drone in the air giving it stability.
The drone has features for easy control, including a Headless Mode feature, which makes the drone orientate itself to the controller’s position. It also has an Altitude Hold for auto-stability in case of panic and confusion. This feature means that this device has a mini indoor drone autopilot. Like some other products in this category, it has warning alarms for out of range and low battery.
- Auto Hold system
- One button Take-off
- Sharp 720P HD camera
- Brand: Force1
- Model: US34W Dragonfly Mini Drone
- One-button Take-off and landing
- Integrated propeller guards
- Fixed camera
- Low battery life
Potensic A20 Drone
The Potensic A20 drone is Kid’s drone that is perfect for starting this list as it showcases some of the best features indoor drones have to offer. Even with its modest features and past, the world indoor drone navigation is seen for fun loaded adventure it can be.
The Potensic A20’s durable plastic body gives it a lightweight design, making it the perfect for navigation by children and particularly good for flying in tight spaces. The small size gives it deft and quick movements.
The controls on the Potensic include flying aids such as alarms that beep when the drone goes out of range, or the batteries get low. It also includes simple control features for landing and taking off that makes the device suitable for beginners.
With a weight of 100g and a width of about 3.5 inches, the Potensic’s 3 Lithium metal batteries give it a flight time of about 15 minutes on one set of batteries. This is a reasonable amount of time in the air for a drone of this price range.
It also comes with a 3-speed level so that users can pre-set their speed based on their skill levels. Being a kid’s indoor toy, it also comes with propeller guards to protect it against crash damage, giving kids more ample opportunity to explore.
It has a price range that makes it suitable as an excellent toy for kids while also capable of serving some fun needs for adults who want to take their minds off work within the comfort of their own homes or workspaces.
- Out of range alarm
- Simple take off button
- Brand: Potensic
- Model: A20 Drone
- Fast and agile
- Emergency stop button
- Not stable in mild to heavy wind
- No lights for flying in darkness
SNAPTAIN H823H Plus Mini Drone
This list ends with a mini drone for kids that is regarded as one of the most protective drones on the market. It has a full protection outer case that shields against impact and collision that may come about as a result of drops, falling, or forcefully hitting hard surfaces. This also helps protect against injuries when it comes in contact with a delicate body part like the eye.
The drone is a small, multi-function drone that is perfect for beginners. It has small rechargeable Lithium Polymer batteries that can keep it in the air for about 7 minutes. Other in-box accessories and items are a simple drone controller that is just perfect for kids. It also has a mini screwdriver, replacement propeller guards, and an instruction manual.
The most distinguishing feature of this drone, and why it has made this list, is the cage-like propeller cover that comes built into the body of the drone. With this indoor cage, you simply do not have to ever worry that your kids will take off the propeller guards or that they will become lose and give way, exposing the drone to damage.
The blue LED headlight in front of the drone also makes it easy for controllers to orient themselves in the right way during flight.
This very cheap drone is simply remarkable amongst its peers of kid’s drones. It will be a big hit with the kids every time and will help save money due to the durability it offers.
- Simple Drone controller
- Built-in propeller guard
- Brand: SNAPTAIN
- Model: H823H Plus Mini Drone
- Easy to fly
- Portable pocket design
- Full protection
- Unusable in windy conditions
Buying Guide Questions
Answered below are the most frequently asked questions about lovers of drones who are interested in indoor flying. These answers should help indoor drone enthusiasts make informed decisions when it comes to drones, especially those designed for indoor use.
Can drones be used indoors?
Drone technology has evolved so much over the years that it has become a reality that we can now fly our own nimble and sturdy drones within the confines of our homes and workspaces. These drones place more premium on a smaller size and protective parts, but they work well indoors.
Can you fly Mavic Mini indoors?
The Mavic Mini is a higher-end drone type known for its good cameras and perfect for outdoor as well as indoor flying. The small size, agile movement, and durable exterior, however, also makes it a perfect candidate for indoor flying.
What is the most durable indoor drone?
The Mavic Mini is the most durable indoor drone you will find on the market. Most drones that fall comfortably in the category of indoor drones are usually marketed as toys because of their non-complex parts and lack of accessories. They are also often for kids. The Mavic Mini is not a toy. It is classified as an indoor drone due to its small size and nano features. The high cost of purchase will ensure durability, unlike anything you are used to.
Are drones worth it?
Since drones became popular from featuring in sci-fi movies in the 80s, technology has pushed it out of the realms of fiction and into the hands of technology enthusiasts. Drone lovers and users simply cannot get enough of these bad boys. Whether for fun, racing, flight simulations, or even simple industrial applications, drones are worth it, considering their price, and wide range of applications.
Are drones a waste of money?
The concept of the right drone is a question of purpose and how well you use your money to serve those purposes. If you do your research well and spend your money on features that you need, drones are the farthest thing from a waste of money.
Related: if you have a limited budget, you can secure a drone for under $100, or under $200, or even under $500.
Can the Mavic Mini follow you?
While the Mavic Mini is a marvelous feat of engineering, it does not have an in-built technology that will make it able to track objects or follow you. This may seem like a bad thing, but the installation of a GPS transmitter/GSC will definitely make this drone increase in size, putting it within reach of FAA registration regulations and making it harder to use indoors.
In conclusion, drone technology has become more sophisticated and ranging from the years, and this trend will only continue. This means that no matter what your drone needs are, there will most likely be a drone on the market with these qualities. The essential thing to always remember is that your needs can always be met within your budget. Whether it is an indoor programmable drone or an indoor tactical drone, if you ask all the important questions and do the research, you will find what you need. Luckily for you, a lot has been covered about indoor drones already in this carefully curated piece.