This paper reports on patents worldwide related to both hardware and software for the contraction and deployment of UAVs and is intended to provide a snapshot of currently available unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) technologies, as well as to identify recent trends and future opportunities in affiliated hardware and software. Basic components related to self-designed units are explained (e.g. platform selection, autopilot control comparison and sensor selection). Current applications and research areas of UAVs are discussed. The research and product development trends focus on extending the flight time, enhancing the water and wind resistant capabilities, improving autonomous navigation abilities, and enriching the payload capacity. Since autonomous navigation is a key technology in UAVs applications, concepts about this are also explained.
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