Sparsholt Futures STEM Event

After a solid few weeks of travel across the UK, Europe and North America, Drone Factor is finally sitting still long enough to get charging batteries for the much anticipated STEM Futures event at Sparsholt College near Winchester, UK. Come and see the freshly built 3D map of the campus and learn how it was made and take away some inspiration!

Your host has a MSc in Drone Tech – learn from years of experience flying, building and pushing drones to their limits. With 1000’s of students from around the country set to arrive, it promises to be a busy day across the board! Come and see how the insides of drones work – maybe even be inspired to build your own using our detailed guide (ask about this on the day, and bring a USB stick!).

We have all kinds of mapping demonstrations ranging from security runs to rollercoaster visuals. Each group gets to vote on the route, so make sure you study the flightpath at the stand first! You can even vote to have some hands on, or build your own flight plan!

UAV Design & Build

We do something that other operators out there don’t do.

We can create specialist use UAV’s, to get that tricky job done. Large or small, fast or slow, high or low in tight spots, we can create the drone you need.

For example, if you need pH values taking from a remote location, and soil samples bringing back, we can create you a drone that will do just that for you. Or perhaps if you need to inspect the inner area of a centimeter wide gap in an inaccessible spot in a warehouse roof, we can help with that.

We’ve taken a moment showcase what’s possible with a new unique design, showcasing our aerodynamics, electronics and engineering knowledge.

The areas we cover:

All of them: We work out power curves, heat generation, power loss, usage, amperage requirements and flight times. We design the air-frame, spec the parts down to the last screw and electrical connection, and then build it all for you. We are not a manufacturer of drones, we simply help you tick the box for your particular job. We will then build and test the system and eliminate any issues before it is put into service.

The video below shows a design we completed earlier this year: testing will take place over this winter in an safe indoor environment.

Each of the following specifications were met for this UAV design:

  • Have a diameter of no more than 350mm (~14inches)
  • Have inherent stability enabling a stationary hover in a GPS denied environment
  • Be no more than 500g (unladen)
  • Have the ability to lift (and hover with) a 500-gram payload
  • Be able to hover with this payload for 5 minutes or more (1kg in air)
  • The design must incorporate propeller guards
  • The air-frame be produced using 3D printing or laser cutting
  • Be strong enough to provide a reasonable service life
  • Be replicable for under £100, including air-frame (re)production, not including sensors (cameras, etc)
  • Use readily available stock (off the shelf) components from one UK supplier
  • Components must be ordered in one shipment from one supplier

We have extensive documentation for this design,
as we do for all things we create.

We currently are working on a range of projects, and are looking for use cases to fulfill in the new year (2019). If you have an application you need fulfilling that you feel might require something out of the ordinary, get in touch via our contact page and we’ll start the conversation.

Red Rocks Dune Survey

The Drone Factor Startup Story

Drone Factor performs aerial surveys for corporate and domestic clients. We are also available to shoot cinematic film and photography for promotional use. We have 3D mapping services on offer that create accurate surveying and development models, along with image stitching methods that can create amazing maps of your sites.

“We spend time researching our industry and the future of it, so we all benefit from the freshest knowledge out there”

We started officially in April 2017, with 12 months experience flying drones behind us at the time. Our objective for the first year was to become a firmly rooted, knowledgeable and likeable business with lots to offer. We took off with the help of Wirral Chamber of Commerce’s Startup Team, the Enterprise Hub, based at the time at Pacific Road (eternal thanks to Lorraine, Alex and Jen!). At one point our business plan was 120 pages, with more than enough reading needing doing to understand the legalities and legislation that come with the territory. We reduced the size of the business plan.

We draw on years of experience in the creative, customer service and education sectors. We have solid, proven skills creating and teaching graphic and motion design, combined with technical photography know how and tech-savvy staff who push the limits of the systems to obtain the best results. Previous work in video production and sound recording studios across the northern hemisphere sets us in good stead for producing the high standard of work of which clients rightfully expect – our work in locations such as Whistler, Vancouver, Toronto, America, Tenerife, Liverpool and London backs up our claims.

Our in-depth knowledge of web design and mobile technology reinforces our knowledge when consulting, helping us to find the optimal solution for our client’s applications.

One (and a bit) years into our business, we no longer ‘feel like a startup’. We have solid links established with great clients, have been featured a number of times in local publications, we write for the Drone Safe Register (a national body of professional drone pilots in the UK and USA), and we are running workshops in the summertime for the Royal Photographic Society.

We supported the Wirral Kayak Challenge, creating stunning footage for use promoting the event next year and beyond, and have more to offer charities in the remainder of 2018 by way of unique content for promotion. We are speaking at colleges and conferences, highlighting drone technology in education and helping teachers integrate it in the curriculum. We are making waves, as we like to say.

We spend time researching our industry, and the future of it. We help out clients understand the technology we use, we don’t just show up, fly and leave. This helps everyone see the upcoming technology and what it’s capable of, and know it’s current limits. We enjoy the learning process and everyone we work with enjoys the benefit.

The three ingredients in our business recipe:
A combination of passion, confidence and knowledge.

We go into schools and update teaching staff on the content they can be creating that will prepare their learners for a drone – friendly future. There’s a lot to be said for letting kids know what options there are available to them in years to come; jobs that even we at Drone Factor are not even doing yet! We aim to drive the industry forward, creating the jobs for our future generations, securing their livelihoods and putting food on tables of people we may never know.

More recently we have started to explore how our work can have a postive effect with conservation efforts. We are piloting various schemes in the Northwest, and will be publishing our findings in due course. Our objective is to be zero carbon by Q4 2019, and we are already a long way toward that goal.

We look forward to continuing to work with our amazing clients, carrying out the most interesting and fulfilling tasks we have seen in our careers. If you want to work with us, in research or in business, send us and email to start the conversation.

Top image: Wilson Trophy Team Racing at West Kirby Marine Lake, 2017
(See how we make our aerial photography into artwork here)

Royal Photographic Society & Drone Factor Ltd

We are pleased to announce that we are partnering up with the Royal Photographic Society to provide a two day aerial photography workshop experience in a location like no other for RPS members (and non members!) interested in making the photographic leap from land to sky!

This year’s workshop is being held on August bank holiday Monday, 25/26th August. We aim to provide more workshops in spring and summer of 2019.

What this course entails

This affordable yet wide reaching workshop course will teach the basics needed to operate a drone safely and within the law, along with various positioning techniques, camera setup and other vital know how. We will also explore what settings are best for landscape photography and how to get the most from your particular drone. When it comes to flying at the same time as taking photographs, preparation and timing are key.

Where will it be held?

The setting for day one of this workshop experience will be the coastline of Wirral Country Park, Thurstaston, with 60-foot boulder-clay cliffs providing a striking stage that showcase the Dee Estuary, back dropped by the beautiful landscape of North Wales. Flying out over the sand and the seawater channels the image opportunities will be wide and varied to say the least!

Attendees will be treated with a rare opportunity to capture images at this Site of Special Scientific Interest, with flight permissions granted specially for Drone Factor and the RPS.

The second day will see the group at a second location – currently being finalised, still in the local area – with a huge range of unique image opportunities in the form of more industrial and urban backgrounds.

How can I do this course?

You can book online and see all the finer detail on the RPS website.

International Business Festival @ Exhibition Centre Liverpool

This year the IBF 2018 was abuzz with wonderful, forward thinking businesses and individuals from a plethora of sectors from around the world.

We enjoyed talks about research into batteries for the future, the projects and plans afoot for Liverpool City Region, including the Mersey renewable energy development plans and the green future of the greatest city in the North* Continue reading “International Business Festival @ Exhibition Centre Liverpool”

Wirral Kayak Challenge 2018 Reel

This year the inspired Wirral Kayak Challenge saw perfect weather, calm waters and brilliant sunshine around the stunning Wirral Peninsula.

10 hours, 15 miles, 86 kayakers. See more stats from the day.

Drone Factor pilot Sam took to the waves aboard National Marine Safety boats to film the event from the air, capturing incredible footage of the participants in their boats as they broke a considerable sweat in the salty air.

Wirral Kayak Challenge 2018 Highlight Reel

Top achievement by fab, selfless individuals raising money for all sorts of charities, an obviously huge congratulations to everyone for completing such a challenging event in such hot conditions! 23 Degrees Celsius apparently as a peak, but when you’re miles from shelter, with water doubling the suns rays, it’s definitely a lot more.

(screen grab from

Many thanks to National Marine for making this event safe and ultimately ticking the health and safety box – without their safety boats this would not have been viable.

A massive thank you to Mike, Gill and the Wirral Kayak Challenge Organising Team for putting so much time into the event to make sure everyone had a safe and successful day on the water.

A thank you also in order to Dee Sailing Club for receiving the weary travelers at the end of their challenge!

Zoomable version of the group photo!
(tap or hover your mouse over to zoom in)

WKC Finish Line Stats

Above image title “Dee Finish Line”; another image from the Wirral Kayak Challenge series. A shameless pun, most definitely intended. 😛

The BBQ put on by the wonderful Wirral Holistic Care Services team was something to behold: well done to all, you really held it together with the heat and the hunger generated by a total of 1320 cumulative miles paddled by the swarm of Kayakers!

Check these stats out:

The average calorific burn for a kayaker is 340 cal/hour.  Let’s up that to 400 because of the heat, and add another 20 for the salty air, and bolt on an additional 20 for the added weight of lunch/kit people were carrying aboard.

Call it 440cal/hr. Sounds about right. Jogging is 238, according to the internet.

The challenge set off at about 09.30 and the average end was 18.30. That’s a total of 9 hours, minus (let’s say) 2.5 for the break on the sandbank beyond Hilbre Island. We’re balancing the calorie burn whilst in the heat there too.

That works out at 7.5 times 440, which is a total of 3,300 calories burned, per person and that’s only from the paddling activity! A total of 290 000 calories.


No wonder there was a queue for the Wirral Holistic Care Services barbecue! What an achievement!

Some other comparative statistics:

79 200 feet – the distance paddled by each kayaker

Total distance paddled: 15 miles from the start point at Wallasey Golf Club, across to West Hoyle Bank (beyond Hilbre Island by about 1.5km) and then to Dee Sailing Club, near Thurstaston Country Park/Caldy Golf Club.

10 000 – the average paddle number of strokes per participant

That’s 880 000 paddle strokes between the entire cohort! These are some big numbers! We’re not sure about paddleboarders, perhaps you guys would like to make a guess! 

29 029 feet – Height of Mt. Everest

According to an article in the Independent, a climber burns 10 000 calories a day, which WKC participants were one third of the way towards by the end of the day!

Those who were sponsored for the event are urged to send in their stats – how much did you make for your charities?

We’d love to gather a grand total! All charities will be mentioned in a mega-post at some point too!

If you have any other fun statistics, like how many sandwiches you had for lunch, how many litres of water you drank, how many hours training you put in… let us know!

Watch the aerial highlight reel over here!

Post your stats over on our Facebook, and we’ll update this page and incorporate it into the mega post when we post it!

Wirral Kayak Challenge

Firstly, well done to all those who participated in the amazing Wirral Kayak Challenge of 2018 – you all deserve a pat on the back, but one that dodges the sunburned bits.

A truly brilliant achievement and a fab way to spend a summer Sunday on the beautiful Wirral coastline.

A massive thank you is in order to the team who organised – Mike and Gill, the core organizers of this event , along with the truly virtuous National Marine support that ultimately made this event safe, viable and possible for all.
A showcase of the sense of community our area has to offer! Hats off to all of you!

We promise you the video will be up soon, but we’re worn out from the event! The video is now up! Watch it here!

We are aiming to have the images and a video put together at the earliest opportunity; we already have one or two images out there on our facebook page and we will have a video released asap for you all to enjoy over on our youtube channel.

We have some time set aside this week to edit and release a highlight reel from the day – we can already say that the footage is simply wonderful. We’ll get images out as we create and edit the video, so watch out for them on the facebook page too.

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