Your best bet for flying a drone during the winter months, or during this new quarantine season, is to stick with something that’s easy to fly, operates smoothly and slowly, and, perhaps, is nice and small. Of course, cold air makes for great flight, and large indoor areas are super for racing drones, but if you just want some practice on the sticks in your living room, perhaps we have a solution for you.
Want to fly in your living room, without mom or your spouse yelling at you, too much? Yeah you do, here are some indoor drones for you.
DJI Mavic Mini
The mini drone from DJI packs a lot of features and capabilities into a package that weighs just 249 grams. That’s small enough that it does not need to be registered with the FAA before you take flight. That said, to best fly indoors you might consider installing the propeller guards – just be aware that the guards make the drone weigh more than 250 grams, so you’ll need to take them off or register the drone with the FAA before flight. For indoors or outside, the DJI Mavic Mini is a fantastic bang for the buck, we absolutely recommend checking it out.
Before we start the list, I want to introduce you to some great nano drones. These are the machines that are just an inch or two across, you can fit the drone and remote into the palm of one hand. These tiny drones are obviously safe to fly in the house, mostly. We want to talk about a little bit larger drones today though, so hit the link if you want a nano, otherwise, let’s dive in.
January 2018Release Date
UVify has a rich history in drone racing. They understand that the future racers need to start somewhere, developing the UVify OOri as a fantastic beginner's race drone. Slow and stable for practicing in your living room, this machine can open up to over 50MPH when you want to win a race. Agile, light-weight and fast, the UVify OOri is great for beginners on a budget.
There may be less expensive beginner drones out there, but if quality is of concern to you, the UVify OOri for $295 is hard to beat in the segment.
May 2017Release Date
The DJI Spark introduced a brand new segment for the drone company, launching a tiny machine that packs more fun features than powerful specs. This drone had everyone talking about the Jedi mind tricks you can play with the machine, using the front camera and object detection to accept hand gestures for some basic controls. All of these fun flight features made for a focus on two other features, the ability to fly without a remote control in hand and making you the object of the flight.
The DJI Spark is small enough to easily pack around wherever you might like to go. It's powerful enough to combat some decent winds and the 12MP camera can snap some fun photographs. While the camera may have a 4K sensor on the inside, it only records 1080p video. The HD video resolution allows the use of the extra pixels for image stabilization. The Spark mechanically stabilizes two-axis of movement, using the sensor cropping to handle side-to-side image stabilization. Admitting that this makes for some of the worst video capture from a DJI drone in the last 5 years, we can't deny that that is still pretty good, and the compact nature and low price of the drone make it well worth consideration.
One of our favorite drones for flying around the house is the tiny Hubsan H111. This is an entry level toy drone that usually sells for around $20. It flies quite well, all things considered, and is a superb machine to practice on during the winter months or before you dive into a larger machine. The built in battery only provides about 5 minute of flight time, there is no camera and no fancy flight features, it's a raw flight experience - which is what we love about it.
It's not lost on us that it comes in Drone Rush colors as well, thank you Hubsan!
Check out the Hubsan H111 for about $18 today.
Parrot MiniDrone Rolling Spider
August 2014Release Date
Parrot develops a handful of small, toy-class drones for a variety of purposes, most are safe for indoor flight, but the MiniDrone Rolling Spider stands out for us. Details on this drone are sparse on the manufacturer website, so we have to assume that this machine is officially out of production, but it is still available for sale and the price is as good as ever. This caliber of drone is good for around five minutes of flight. Connect via your mobile device over Bluetooth and enjoy some short range flights for fun.
The real selling factor of the Rolling Spider is the propeller guards. They do not just protect the drone, they are large wheels! Run along the floor, run up the wall, scoot across the ceiling, all without a repair bill.
Check out the Parrot MiniDrone Rolling Spider from $20 - $35 on depending on your color choice.
DJI Mavic Mini
November 2019Release Date
With a long list of drones that start with the name Mavic, DJI has launched yet another consumer machine, perhaps their most consumer friendly yet, the new, very compact, folding DJI Mavic Mini.
As the name implies, the DJI Mavic Mini is a very small machine, and in true DJI fashion, it has few compromises to make it all work. The first thing to note is that the Mavic Mini weighs less than 0.55 lbs, which means you do not need to register it with the FAA before flight. Registration is quick and easy, but not requiring it at all is a bonus.
Related reading: DJI Mavic Mini review
Reminder: You may not have to register the Mavic Mini, but it's still a drone, you still have to follow the rules!
Don't let the small size fool you, this drone packs a 12MP camera, shoot 2.7K video from a 3-axis stabilized Gimbal and has all of the flight features you'd expect from a Mavic drone today.
The best part about flying indoors is that it requires no authorization by the FAA. No matter if you are flying for pay or for fun, no matter the size or type of drone, you can fly in your living room without any FAA requirements.
If you want to take that drone outdoors, and will be paid to fly, you must operate under a different set of rules and possess a commercial drone license. We call it the Part 107, it’s not too hard to get, but it will take some time to learn all the rules. We want to help you learn the rules and get your commercial license, check out our drone pilot training material.
Air Hogs drones
Let’s not beat around the bush, almost every drone with an Air Hogs badge is ready to go for your child’s entertainment. They have some really interesting and unique designs, not to mention a bunch of licenses for franchises like Star Wars, Star Trek and more. Best of all, almost all of their machines are under $50.
Best drones for children
When we considered factors that made a drone adequate for children to fly, we already thought about how they would manage indoors. There are extras on the list that belong outside, but you can find a few more living room safe options in our list of drones for kids.
If you were here looking for a gift for a young one, perhaps a non-flying drone?
No beating around the bush, there is only one flying drone on this list, but the rest are drones, of a sort, land based drones… They’re robots, but you know what, they’re fun robots that we want to play with too.
As I am sure you can imagine, drone racing is a huge indoor sport. One of the main reasons for this is the freedoms from FAA line-of-sight rules, and having a wall to prevent your drone from going somewhere it shouldn’t. Racing drones is fun, challenging and a growing sport, many of the starter drones you can enjoy for racing are ideal for indoor flight, maybe not in your living room, but indoor, nonetheless.
Truth is, your ability to fly indoors is mostly determined by the size of your room. I’ve seen people fly the DJI Inspire 2 in their living room. Yes, for real. One thing to consider, you can likely take near any drone and slap some propeller guards on it to make it indoor safe. Be prepared for flying papers and stay away from curtains, but your larger drones can do it, even if they are not the ideal indoor drones.
The best part about flying indoors, the FAA has no jurisdiction. If you want to fly FPV beyond line of sight, have fun. If you want to fly a drone larger than 55 lbs, good luck, but have fun! Want to exceed 400 feet above the ground… For real? Where do you live?!?! I want to see this house.
What drone do you fly in your living room?