The Best Indoor Drones Of 2022 (New Guide)

What's the best indoor drone of 2022? See the top indoor drone models of the year.

An indoor drone is any drone made for use indoors.
 
Indoor drones have a variety of uses and price points—indoor toy drones are made mainly for kids, indoor FPV drones are made for racing, and professional indoor drones are made for inspections and other types of indoor work.
 

Here are the best indoor drones on the market:

Download The Ultimate Guide to Commercial Drones In the Industrial Space

In this article we’ll cover why you might want to fly a drone indoors, the different types of indoor drones on the market, and examples and use cases for professional indoor drone applications.

Here is a table of contents in case you'd like to jump around within this article:

The Best Indoor Drones of 2022

Here is our list of the top indoor drones on the market, with specs and details included. 

drone Cheerwing CW10 Mini Drone—indoor toy drone

The Cheerwing CW10 Mini is a great starter drone flying indoors. It comes with voice control, which allows you to fly by using audio commands. It also has something called Gravity Induction, which lets you fly the drone without touching your mobile screen.cheerwing-mini-drone

  • Max Flight Time—18 minutes
  • Weight—.22 pounds (98.5 grams)
  • Voice control—you can fly the Cheerwing Mini using voice commands like "take off" and "landing" 
  • Type—inexpensive toy drone

Learn more about the Cheerwing CW10 Mini Drone.


Ryze TECH Tello—indoor toy drone

The Tello is one of the most popular indoor toy drones out there.

Unlike many toy drones, it comes with a solid camera, making it a good choice for those looking to learn how to shoot aerial photographs. Although the Tello is made by Ryze, it's made with DJI flight tech and an Intel processor, and often gets associated with the DJI brand.

tello-indoor-drone

  • Max Flight Time—13 minutes
  • Weight—.5 pounds (225 grams)
  • Camera—5 megapixels, shoots 720p video
  • Type—high quality toy drone

Learn more about the Ryze Tech Tello drone.


Force 1 Scoot LED—indoor toy drone

One of the coolest features of the Force 1 Scoot LED is that you can fly it with hand gestures.

It also comes in a protective plastic cage, which protects both the drone and newbie pilots who are learning to fly for the first time. Between its ease of use and emphasis on safety, the Force 1 is a favorite for kids (and parents) when it comes to indoor toy drones.

force 1-indoor-drone

  • Max Flight Time—4 minutes
  • Weight—.18 pounds (80 grams)
  • Camera—5 megapixels, shoots 720p video
  • Type—inexpensive toy drone

Learn more about the Force 1 Scoot LED.


EMAX TinyHawk II—Indoor FPV Drone 

The Emax TinyHawk is one of the best indoor FPV drones on the market.

Because it's tough and small, it's a great starter drone for those new to indoor racing (or flying in general), and it is a good starter option for those who think they may want to get into FPV racing. The TinyHawk comes with an analogue video system that removes the latency you find in indoor toy drones, providing a clear image for your FPV goggles.

emax-tinyhawk-indoor-fpv-drone
  • Max Flight Time—4 minutes
  • Weight—.07 pounds (31 grams) + battery weight
  • Max Speed—50 mph (31 kmh)
  • Type—high quality indoor FPV drone

Learn more about the Emax TinyHawk II.


DJI FPV—INDOOR FPV Drone 

The DJI FPV came out in 2021 to lots of fanfare. It's a hybrid FPV drone, which can be used either for racing or for FPV cinematography. 

The FPV is more expensive than the TinyHawk, but it's still a solid mid-level indoor FPV drone for those who are just getting into FPV flying, and especially indoor flying. If you're looking for good quality without having to put in the work of building your own drone, the DJI FPV is one of the best indoor FPV drones you'll find.

dji-indoor-fpv-drone

  • Max Flight Time—20 minutes
  • Weight—1.8 pounds (795 grams) 
  • Max Speed0-62 mph (100 kmh) in two seconds.
  • Camera4K/60fps Super-Wide 150° FOV with 120 Mbps
  • Type—high quality indoor FPV drone

Learn more about the DJI FPV.


FLYABILITY ELIOS 3—Professional INDOOR Drone 

The Elios 3 is Flyability’s cutting edge professional indoor drone made specifically for work that requires operating indoors.

The Elios 3 is an indoor inspection drone that's protected by a cage, which allows it to fly in tight internal spaces, letting it collide and continue flying unharmed. Collision tolerance, inspection-grade lighting, LiDAR sensor, and a high quality 4K camera all combine to make the Elios 3 the best professional indoor drone on the market.

elios-3-indoor-drone

  • Max Flight Time—12 minutes
  • Weight—3.2 pounds (1,450 grams)
  • Camera—4K images, 1/2.3" CMOS sensor
  • LiDAR—capable of creating 3D maps in real time
  • Type—high quality professional indoor drone
  • Inspection features—GPS-free stabilization, distance lock, and full HD all combine to make the Elios 3 a powerful tool for collecting visual data for inspection purposes
  • Robust inspection lighting—with 10K of lumens and both oblique and dustproof lighting, the Elios 3 was designed to provide the lighting you need for challenging indoor inspection scenarios

Learn more about the Elios 3.


Can You Fly a Drone Indoors?

Before we go any further, you might be wondering whether you can fly a drone inside at all.

The answer is yes, absolutely you can—if your drone was made to fly indoors.

But how can you tell if you have an indoor drone? 

Start by looking at the language your drone’s manufacturer uses to describe your drone. If the words ‘indoor’ or ‘inside’ are used, you’re probably good to go. 

Alternately, just look at the drone and think about how much space it will need to fly and whether it might get damaged or hurt something (or someone) if it were to crash inside your home. 

When you’re looking at a microdrone that weighs half a pound and has protected propellers, like the one in the image below, it’s pretty clear that it won’t do any damage if it were to crash in your house.

snaptain-indoor-drone

The Snaptain SP350 Indoor Drone

And if you look at a drone like the Elios 3, it’s clear you can also fly it indoors. 

elios-3-indoor-drone-water

Unlike the microdrone we showed above, which is a toy indoor drone, the Elios 3 is an indoor inspection drone made for professional work.

So even though you could hypothetically fly it inside your house, you probably wouldn’t want to—that would be like buying a high-end digital camera when all you want to do is take Polaroids for fun.

On the other hand, when you look at a mid-sized quadcopter like DJI’s Mavic 2 Pro, you can tell just by looking at it that you probably wouldn't want to fly it in close quarters. Even with propeller guards, this drone just doesn't look like it was designed for flying in confined spaces.

dji-mavic-2-pro

The DJI Mavic 2 Pro

The only scenario in which you might want to fly a drone like this inside is if you were planning to fly in a large warehouse or at a trade show inside an enclosure made for demonstrations, where the airspace is so large that you might as well be outdoors.  

Why Fly a Drone Indoors?

There are a lot of different scenarios that might call for indoor flying. And there are different types of interior drones to go along with each of these scenarios.

Here are some of the most common reasons for wanting to fly a drone inside, along with the type of drone best suited for each reason.

  • For fun. Toy indoor drones, also called microdrones, are best for this type of flying.
  • For practice. Toy indoor drones are also usually your best option for this type of flying too, although you could try flying with a regular commercial drone using an add-on cage if you only want to practice flying a certain model of drone. 
  • For racing. Racing indoor drones are best for this type of flying.
  • For work. Professional indoor drones are going to be your best—and only—option if you want to fly indoors for any kind of work-related need, such as inspections, visual data collection, or 3D modeling.

But is it legal to fly a drone indoors?

Asking yourself, Can you fly a drone in your house? Or somewhere else indoors?

The answer to this is yes, in most countries it's not only legal to fly a drone indoors, it's also the least regulated place you can do it.

In the U.S., for example, the FAA's rules concerning drone operations do not apply to indoor flights. This means that you can fly indoors, either for work or for fun, without having to meet the same regulatory requirements you'd have to meet if you were flying outside.

The Three Types of Indoor Drones

Now that we’ve covered the reasons you might want to fly a drone indoors, let’s take a closer look at the different types of inside drones on the market.

Here's a list of the three types in case you would like to jump around:

1. Toy Indoor Drones
2. FPV Racing Indoor Drones
3. Professional Indoor Drones

1. Toy Indoor Drones

A toy indoor drone is any kind of drone made for hobbyists that can be safely flown indoors, like the microdrone we covered above that weighs only 8 ounces.

Here are some key characteristics of toy indoor drones:

  • They’re lightweight. Toy indoor drones usually weigh less than a pound.
  • They have short battery lives. Toy indoor drones usually only have flight times of 5-15 minutes.
  • They typically don’t have cameras. Toy indoor drones often won’t have a camera. If they do have one, it’s usually not high quality.
  • They’re inexpensive. Toy indoor drones usually cost less than $100 U.S.
  • They’re safe. Almost all toy indoor drones come with propellor guards (also called prop guards), and are so lightweight that they won’t hurt you or your things if they crash.

toy-indoor-drone

An Example of a Toy Indoor Drone

2. FPV Racing Indoor Drones 

Racing indoor drones are another special category of indoor drone. 

Indoor racing drones are not just another type of toy drone. As drone racing has evolved, the technology behind racing drones has improved to an impressive extent.

When it comes to racing drones, the indoor scenarios these drones are made to fly in are big, open spaces with indoor drone race tracks. These drones are not made for flying in your living room.

Here are some key characteristics of racing indoor drones:

  • They’re FPV (First Person View). Indoor racing drones are all going to be FPV, with a screen and/or goggles that allow you to see what the drone sees as it flies in real time.
  • They’re fast. These drones are made for racing, so they go fast—very fast.
  • They’re *probably* not for flying at home. Given how fast these drones can go, you probably don’t want to fly them at home.
  • Safety is available—but not guaranteed. Unlike with toy indoor drones, indoor racing drones may not always come with prop guards. However, these will usually be available as an additional purchase.

fpv-racing-indoor-drone

An Example of an FPV Racing Indoor Drone

3. Professional Indoor Drones

Toy drones and racing drones are made for specific types of flying: either you want to fly for fun, or you want to race.

But professional indoor drones can be used in a variety of different scenarios, including:

  • Collecting visual data for inspection purposes inside industrial assets like boilers, pressure vessels, or chimneys.
  • Replacing the need for a human to enter a confined, hazardous space. For example, in nuclear power plants, indoor drones can replace the need for humans to expose themselves to radiation in order to collect visual data.
  • Entering spaces that are difficult for humans to access, like sewers, mines, or even parts of amusement park rides. 

Some of the biggest industries using professional indoor drones these days are Oil & Gas, Mining, and Power Generation.

elios-1-indoor-drone

The Elios 1 Professional Indoor Drone in Action

But there are lots of others. Check out our case studies to learn more about the different industries that perform indoor drone inspection.

Here are some key characteristics of indoor inspection drones:

  • They have cages. Drone cages serve the dual purpose of protecting the drone from damage and protecting those using the drone from injury.
  • They have high-end cameras. Most professional indoor drones are used to collect visual data in confined spaces. This means they need to come with high-quality inspection cameras in order to collect high-quality visual data.
  • They have different sensor options. Many professional indoor drones come with a thermal camera option, or the option to switch out payloads for a thermal camera or other sensor. As indoor drone technology continues to be developed it’s likely that other types of NDT (Non-Destructive Testing) sensors may become available as payload options.

TwO Categories of Drone Cages

Although all professional indoor drones have drone cages, not all drone cages are the same.

Currently, there are two different categories of drone cages on the market:

1. Indoor Drones with Add-On Cages

These are consumer drones that weren’t made for indoor applications, but instead have a separate cage that’s been purchased and added onto the drone. Drones with add-on cages aren’t ideal for most industrial settings because they weren’t created to sustain collisions.

2. Indoor Drones with Built-In Cages

Indoor drones with built-in cages were designed to sustain collisions in order to support heavy-duty industrial work that requires flying in confined spaces.

elios-2-indoor-drone

The Elios 2 Uses a Built-In Cage Design

While an add-on cage is designed and created separately from the design and creation of the drone to which it is attached, fixed cages for indoor drones like the Elios 1, Elios 2, and Elios 3 are designed from the ground up to allow the drone to sustain collisions and continue flying.

This makes a huge difference when it comes to the longevity of the drone, since it can collide without any damage. 

It also makes a big difference for the quality of visual data the drone can collect, since collisions do not have as much of an impact on the drone’s trajectory as they will with an add-on cage, or on the resulting video footage the drone collects.

[Related reading: What Does a Drone Cage Do? Use Cases, Types, and Indoor Inspection Applications]

The Benefits of Professional Indoor Drones

Wondering why people use indoor drones for professional work? 

Here are three of the main benefits companies throughout the world are currently seeing from using these drones in industrial settings.

1. Safety

Using a drone to enter a confined, potentially hazardous space is inherently safer than sending a person in to do the same job.

2. Savings/Reduced Downtime

Drones are often an inexpensive alternative to manual options when it comes to collecting visual data for inspection purposes, in part because they make visual inspections possible without expensive scaffolding and the downtime needed to put it up and take it down.

[Related reading: Argentinian energy company saved $420,000 with a single test flight of the Elios 1]

3. Access.

Professional indoor drones can help you reach places that might not otherwise be accessible. Not only can they get you access, but they can gather high-quality visual data once you get there.

Want to see a professional indoor drone in action? Watch this video of the Elios 2 inspecting a mine:


We are hosting demonstrations throughout the world to showcase our new indoor inspection drone.

Sign up to see the Elios 3 live in a location near you.

FIND A DEMO NEAR YOU

Table of contents

    News

    May 19, 2022—Today Flyability unveils the Elios 3, the world’s first collision-tolerant drone equipped with a LiDAR sensor for indoor 3D mapping. The […]

    News Nuclear

    February 27, 2023—Indoor drone solution provider Flyability is collaborating with Mirion Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: MIR), a leading provider of radiation […]

    News

    June 22nd, 2023—Indoor drone solution provider Flyability announces the release of a new version of the Elios 3, compliant with FAA regulation on UAS […]

    News Oil & Gas

    Flyability and Sky-Futures Announce Technology and Delivery Partnership for Drone Based Internal Tank Inspections.

    News

    With Focus On Excellence And 360° Support From Importation, To Delivery And Training.

    News Product

    October 20th, 2023— Flyability, the market leader in confined-space drones, announces the launch of a new Surveying Payload for its Elios 3 drone at […]

    News

    Lausanne, Switzerland, September 7, 2022—Flyability, the leading indoor inspection drone company, today announced that it has raised an additional CHF 15 […]

    News

    Over the weekend of May 20th to 21st Flyability has taken part in an expedition that marks a new milestone in cave exploration. For the first time, a […]

    News

    February 23, 2022—Flyability, a Swiss company building indoor drone solutions for the inspection and exploration of confined spaces, has opened an […]

    News Nuclear

    January 23, 2023—After over a year of preparation and research, the Elios 3 has successfully 3D mapped a vault built in the 1960s to store radioactive […]

    News

    Flyability announces the closing of its 11M USD Series B, bringing the total amount raised by the company to 16M USD since its founding in 2014.

    News Nuclear

    May 17, 2023—Indoor drone solution provider Flyability, in collaboration with Mirion Technologies (Mirion, NYSE: MIR), a leading provider of radiation […]

    User Conference

    September 21st, 2023— Flyability, the market leader in confined-space drones, announces a User Conference to be held in Lausanne, Switzerland from March […]

    News Sewer

    January 27, 2022—Indoor drone maker Flyability has partnered with wastewater inspection software provider WinCan to make sewer inspections safer, faster, […]

    News Mining

    September 30, 2021—Team CERBERUS, which included indoor drone company Flyability, has won DARPA’s three-year long Subterranean Challenge.

    Events News Cement

    The long history of collaboration between Holcim and Flyability has culminated in a very successful launch of the first edition of the European Drone […]

    News

    Flyability and Pix4D are pleased to announce the recent signature of a partnership agreement to offer bundled Flyability and Pix4D products.

    News

    Indoor drone inspection pioneer Flyability launches Elios 2. With new intelligent flight handling and improved data collection capabilities, Elios 2 […]

    News Power Generation

    Flyability announced that the Elios drone was tested and successfully performed even at a dose rate of 800 Rem/Hour (8 Sv/Hour) during 10 minutes.

    News

    – MFE Rentals, Inc. Announces Partnership with Flyability to Become an Authorized Reseller of the Flyability’s Collision-Tolerant Drone Elios.