Drones are a fun and exciting way to experience the magic of flight. While it’s easy to get your hands on one of these fully functional flying devices, you can also find kits that will allow you to build them yourself from the ground up. A programmable drone kit is an awesome way to educate kids and adults about electronics, small motors, and the basics of flight.
In this article, you will find some of the best programmable drone kits for educational purposes. These kits all leave you with a great drone as an end result, but through the process of building and programming, you will learn much more than just simply how to fly.
- The Robolink CoDrone Lite is a great educational option because it provides all you need to learn the basics behind coding. This one is good for beginners.
- Another programmable drone kit that’s perfect for teaching kids and adults how to code is the Ryze Tech Tello. This kit comes with the drone already assembled but offers an interactive and fun way to learn different programming methods.
- The Air:bit DIY Programmable Drone Kit is another highly recommended option that allows you to both construct and program your own flying device. This one really lets you learn the inner-workings of a drone while practicing programming as well.
Who Should Get This?
A programmable drone kit provides you with all of the basics you need to learn some coding and/or building. That makes them great for anyone who wants to learn those skills, but it’s also ideal for teachers and kids looking for an entry into the electronic world. STEM education is growing in popularity and the following kits provide an easy and exciting way into that world.
The kits you’ll find here can be used by more people than just teachers and students. While they do make for a great learning tool, that’s not exclusive to a certain age or classroom. Anyone with an interest can purchase a kit and get started right away. If you’re looking for a drone that’s instantly ready to fly out of the box, you might want to look for another option because the kits here require either assembly or programming before operation.
Best Programmable Drone Kit for Education: What to Consider
Something to consider when looking for a programmable drone kit is whether or not the kit comes with any tutorials or apps. I would recommend that you keep an eye out for this type of feature when making a purchase because it will give you the means to learn or teach programming and assembly far quicker than simply starting from scratch.
Online tutorials are available with some drone kits, and they will walk you through the steps needed for different levels of coding and programming as well. These step-by-step instructions are particularly great for teachers. Apps can be used in a similar manner and are often designed to work specifically with the drone being built.
Programming and/or Build Kits
All of the kits on this list are programmable, which is more than likely the biggest factor for this search. However, there are some ways to get a kit that you can build or program from the ground up. That’s obviously more involved, but it does open up the door to learning new skills and constructing your own drone. If you’re trying to teach students how to code, you may not want a full build kit. However, it’s something to consider.
As with many other things in the world of education, there are typically budget concerns. That’s why you will need to consider the cost of a drone kit when deciding which option is best for you. If you’re buying a kit for yourself, it comes down to how much you want to spend. If you’re purchasing for an entire classroom, you have to make sure the total amount fall within your means.
Best Drone Kit for Education: Our Picks
The Robolink CoDrone Lite Kit is a great first option to look into for educational purposes. It’s a solid choice for first-time drone builders and coders, making it a great option for both classrooms and younger children still learning the basics. It’s also a small and durable drone when completed, making it tough enough to withstand the rigors of flight.
This kit includes everything you’ll need to get started including the CoDrone unit alongside BLE control board, extra propellers, and a battery with a charger. The drone itself is designed with six different sensors that allow for a range of programmable actions and responsive control while in flight. The kit also comes with Snap! by Robolink. That coding environment is designed by the company specifically for those learning the basics.
- Great drone kit for education
- Programmable actions
- 6 built-in sensors
- Awesome option for beginners
- Durable design
- Snap! by Robolink assistance
- Free online tutorials
- A bit basic for anyone with experience
Another top option for a programmable drone kit is the Ryze Tech Tello. The Tello comes equipped with a mobile programming app that supports Scratch – making this another great entry-level drone for education. This program is interactive and intuitive in a way that helps kids learn and use programming basics directly from their smartphone. Once completed, it’s an awesome drone to fly as well.
- Solid programmable drone kit
- Tello EDU app supports Scratch
- Great for students
- Drone has a 5MP HD camera
- 13-minute flight time
- A bit expensive
- App can have issues
For a drone kit that will teach you how to both program and how to fully construct a mini flying device from the ground up, check out the Air:bit DIY Programmable Drone Kit. This includes over 40 components with detailed instructions on how to put it all together, get it programmed, and up into the air. It also utilizes a design that doesn’t need special tools or soldering, which makes it great for a wide range of people.
- Great programmable drone and build kit
- Web-based or smartphone coding environment
- Durable design
- No special tools or soldering needed for construction
- Quite a few components to assemble
- Exposed control board
Useful Tips & Resources
You might think that learning how to program a drone is a difficult task. In reality, the kits you’ll find here make it more than possible to learn the basics in a matter of minutes. Coding can be complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. Check out this video with some easy programming tips for the Tello drone above.
Utilizing a drone for educational purposes is a surefire way to spark interest in STEM education. When younger kids learn how much it is to program a drone while also seeing that it’s easy, it might just give them a lifelong skill they can take with them no matter where they go.
Do you know of any awesome programmable drone kits that didn’t make the list? Let us know in the comments below!