How Drones Work – The Components of a Drone [Infographic]

How drones work

how drones work infographic

How Drones Work – The Components of a Drone

The transmitter (TX)

The transmitter allows the user to have control of the aircraft from a distance. This is achieved through 2.4 gigahertz speed spectrum radio signals.

The Propeller (props)

The propeller’s main function is to convert motion in to lifting power. The blades are designed in a special shape so that the air pressure is uneven on both sides while they are in motion. This is what creates the lifting power. This principle is comparable to Bernoulli’s principle and Newton’s third motion law.

The Receiver (RX)

The receiver has a built in antenna that can intercept radio signals from transmitters and then convert them into alternating current pulses. Once it has made this conversion it then creates information and sends it to the flight control board.

Flight Control Board

Once the transmitter is turned on and the main power source (the Lipo battery) is all on the receiver will start to communicate with the transmitter. Once this has happened the receiver will send all signals to the onboard computer.

The purpose of the computer is to make sure the aircraft is stable, in all conditions, making the controlling of the aircraft easier.

Whilst the transmitter is communicating signals to the aircraft, the onboard computer sends more signals to the electric speed controllers. These controllers have the ability to control the amount of voltage received by the motors, which in turn controls the speed of each propeller. This is what allows the drone to maneuver.

The Battery (lithium polymer battery)

The LiPo battery is very light and also rechargeable. This gives it the ability of delivering high discharge rates to provide the power to the brushless electric motors.

Electronic Speed Controller

The Electronic Speed Controller is what controls the rotational speed of the motor through adjusting electric current to make sure the motors are essentially running efficiently and smoothly.

It is connected to the LiPo battery and has a built in governor. This is what keeps the motor’s RPM (rotation per minute) at a good and steady rate in any flight condition put in front of it.

The electric motor

On the outside of the motor there is the rotor (the spinning part), these are essentially magnets that are attached to the inner wall.

Once electricity runs through these magnets it produces an electromagnetic field that attracts and repels the magnets in the stator. What keeps the motor spinning is the constant change of polarity.

Control Surface

The flight computer has the ability to control the speed of each motor. This controls the propellers to produce an even lifting power in each four points of the drone, allowing it to lean towards a certain direction.

When the drifting speed reaches the limit, the onboard computer will increase the RPM and essentially position the drone back to a stable hovering position.

Special thanks to our contributor:

Pae Natwilai

Founder, TRIK

Pae Natwilai, is the founder of TRIK, a former oil and gas inspection and maintenance engineer, who was named as one of the rising stars in the Forbes 30, under 30.


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