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Regular readers will remember an announcement we made a while back. With great pleasure, we announced a partnership with engineer Rick Smith, the credible face (and brains) behind the www.dronevalley.com website.

Rick is known for both his tear-downs and his straight-shooting assessments of drones. He has no direct affiliation with any drone company and is not on anyone’s payroll.

In a collaborative effort with TDC that’s been a month or two in the making, we’ve been working on a system that will score drones based on everything from build quality and range through to redundancy and safety. We’ll also be ranking drones based on their price categories. Obviously, you can’t compare a $150 toy with a $2995 Inspire 2. And so we’ve broken things up into four different categories – with different criteria and weightings within each category.

Once we’ve completed our scoring templates (which we anticipate will happen by the end of the week), we’ll post them here so you can see what criteria we’ll be looking at. We’ll also welcome your input if you think we’ve missed something obvious – though we really do hope to get this right the first time around. (Or course, cameras, sensors and image quality will factor into our assessments as well.)

The end goal here is to have a simple, reliable, TDC “Score” that will allow a consumer to know, at a glance, how any given drone fares for the money relative to the competition.

We wanted Rick on board for a few reasons:

  1. He explains things clearly, credibly, and with a great deal of engineering knowledge.
  2. He’s a pilot who loves to fly drones.
  3. He is not beholden to any company.
  4. He has a huge following of people who (obviously) find his credibility appealing.
  5. We trust him.

What’s nice, is that Rick also likes what we’ve been doing with TDC. We attempt to report and review in a journalistic and fact-based fashion, rather than just offering opinions. We carry out research, and we interview people – going straight to the source whenever possible. When we wrote our extended piece on the coming integration of airspace and the miniaturization of ADS-B units, Rick took the time to tell us how much he appreciated the thorough take.

We like to believe we use the same kind of evidence-based approach, though in a different field, that Rick uses.

As a result, we think it’s going to be a perfect fit – and we’re confident you’ll agree.

We’re hoping to have our first rankings in a couple of weeks. So please subscribe to our site (if you haven’t already) in order to receive our newsletter.

We’re on Twitter @TheDigiCircuit and you can find out YouTube channel here.

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