Parrot AR.Drone Quadricopter Controlled by iPod touch, iPhone, iPad, and Android Devices (Orange/Yellow)

Parrot AR.Drone Quadricopter Controlled by iPod touch, iPhone, iPad, and Android Devices (Orange/Yellow)

  • Remote control quadricopter controlled by iPod touch, iPhone, iPad, and Android Devices with Version 2.2 and Multi-Touch
  • Interchangeable hulls designed for both indoor and outdoor use
  • Fly and battle with other Drone users via a Wi-Fi network
  • Front-view camera with live video feed
  • Enjoy a wide variety of games

The AR.Drone remote-control quadricopter is a groundbreaking device combining the best of many worlds, including modeling, video gaming, and augmented reality. The AR.Drone is remote-controlled by your device (see compatibility below) and features a number of sensors, including a front camera, vertical camera, and an ultrasound altimeter. The AR.Drone can also be used in video games, such as AR.FlyingAce, a dogfight between two AR.Drones. A groundbreaking device combining the best of many wo

List Price: $ 299.99

Price: $ 249.95

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3 responses to “Parrot AR.Drone Quadricopter Controlled by iPod touch, iPhone, iPad, and Android Devices (Orange/Yellow)”

  1. rrko "rrko" says:
    410 of 426 people found the following review helpful
    2.0 out of 5 stars
    Skynet isn’t quite there yet, November 1, 2010

    Update Jan 2012: Parrot has announced version 2.0 of the AR Drone at CES. Shipping Q2/2012, same price. This review is based on v1.0:

    It was really love at first sight when I saw the first CES videos of the AR-Drone in January 2010. It reminded me on that one scene in Terminator 3 where they had one of small Skynet drones in a lab with scientists working on it… I wanted to have one – even at $1.000. I already owned a Hirobo Lama RC coax helicopter at that time and was very familiar with the problems of getting a device like that hovering stable or even flying it at all. The AR-Drone seemed to do all that automatically which is not only pretty cool but also extremely useful if you lose control of your helicopter. You would just take your hands of the controls and it stays where it is! The original idea was to start a little R&D project using the iPhone as an intermediate step and control the drone from a computer and let it automatically fly around the house from point A to B to C. Well, at this point it won’t quite happen yet.

    The manufacturer has built extremely high expectations by showing numerous product videos on Youtube. One particular video shows two players driving two drones through the woods out of direct eye sight just using the iPhone video display. That’s purely science fiction: frame rate and video latency/delay simply don’t allow you doing that.

    The Wi-Fi signal indicator bar either shows 4/5 or nothing at all. DYI programmers on a web forum have now revealed that we are looking at a static picture rather than an actual indicator. The drone is actually supposed to go in auto hover mode as soon as it loses the Wi-Fi connection of if you receive a call on your iPhone. Well, we see quite a number of reports where a drone out of range flew off like a rocket! 45° angel at maximum speed until the battery is dead. You’d be more than lucky to find what’s left of your done again in a distance of 3 miles and that it doesn’t crash into someone. At any rate: faking the signal strength display in a case like that where it really matters is just reckless IMHO.

    The automatic start procedure works nice and flawless. You just hit the <ascent> button and the machine rises to 2ft height and stays more or less in position. The auto descent however is less impressive at all. “Soft” as they state in their product copy is definitely different. It almost drops like a rock over the last 2″. That should work much smoother. They might want to get that fixed in a software update sooner or later.

    What really differentiates the AR-Drone from other RCs out there (beside the Wi-Fi / iPhone control) is it’s built in stabilization system: you get an accelerometer, 2 gyros, an ultrasound altimeter and a video camera facing downwards feeding an real time image processor to see if you are drifting in either direction. The image processor needs a contrast rich and rather bright picture (ground, floor) to work. The more texture the better. It didn’t work at all on my industrial style concrete floor although it has some light gray textures it. The drone drifted 8″/sec. Using it on a colorful carpet it worked better. Looking at the CES videos on youtube again I started to realize that the manufacturer had been using a carpet showing aerial photography at their well illuminated booth. All the roof tops, hedges and streets on that carpet provided a great texture and rich contrast for the image processor to work – now I don’t want to put fancy carpet all around my house to use the drone.

    The ultrasound altimeter works perfectly fine on even surfaces. The system keeps the altitude at a constant level even when flying across a sofa or a table. The drone surges up to keep the constant distance. Keep that in mind when approaching a 2.9ft table at an altitude of 5.5ft: It will surge up to 8.4ft and bump right into the ceiling. Same story flying outdoor over a hedge or garage. Heights add up. I also had random heights going over grass and hedges due to poor ultrasound reflection.

    The brushless motors are getting extremely hot – too hot IMO. I would not recommend flying longer than the promised battery life of 12 minutes. That’s actually quite common for all sorts of RC models with this type of engines.

    The lipo battery that comes with it is supposed give you 12min flight time at 1.5h to recharge it. I couldn’t get more than 8min out of it even after recharging it for the fourth time. The battery charger isn’t explained anywhere in the manual. It’s got 5 LEDs. I got it blinking red/green after each recharging process. Only after unplugging and charging it again I got a stable green light from it.

    The EEP (styrofoam like) elements do have quite fragile bridges. The indoor hull won’t survive any medium crash. It does the job protecting the propellers and everything else from the propellers while flying. On some of the product pictures it…

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  2. J. Bielby says:
    446 of 467 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    This is an expensive fragile toy!, September 13, 2010
    J. Bielby

    If you are not into the RC plane hobby, you need to understand what you are in for. This is a fragile high tech piece of equipment. Those who have flown RC Planes know this but those of you that are new to RC flying would be well served to buy 2 of these. One to fly and one to take parts off of when they break, and they will break.

    Any fall from greater that the default (9′) will cause extensive damage, a new system board is $99 and the costs of the parts quickly add up. Just a note replacement parts are not shipping at this time.

    Yes these are easy to fly, but they are easy to crash and break very easily. I have a broken, central cross, system board, body set, shaft and gear.

    It’s fun to fly but even after about 10 hrs under my belt I am still using the indoor hull outside. Shaft and gear will break if prop hits anything. Any wind is a problem. My indoor hull is showing signs of stress and I imagine it will not last much longer.

    It is well worth the $299 price but keep in mind, it will break,

    FWIW I sent support an email over 2 weeks ago and no response, I sat for hours on the phone and never talked to anyone. You are on your own with this. Oh and try and find parts, my guess is 80% of the drones out there are non usable.

    Buyer beware THIS IS AN EXPENSIVE TOY, that breaks very easily and the replacement parts are pricey.

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  3. R. Newton says:
    105 of 107 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    This Drone is GREAT! But you need to understand…, January 22, 2011
    R. Newton (Chapel Hill, NC United States) –

    … wow, lots of misinformation in these reviews. Let me just set the record straight and offer some advice on what do do when you first get your drone. Just FYI, I own 2 Drones.

    1. You’re anxious to fly. You dont want to read the manual. Fine. Just read the first steps and take it to an INDOOR ROOM preferably with carpeting and LOW CEILINGS. With the indoor hull on fly it there as much as you want. Bang it against the walls, smack it against the ceiling. You’ll crash it like mad and it won’t break. Despite what you read here, it’s actually very very tough. You’ll also fall in love with how cool it is.

    2. Go the Parrot forums and read my long post about REALLY preparing to fly the Drone so you don’t crash and break it. […]

    3. Don’t take off the altitude limiter until you’re ready. Everyone wants to go outside after a few flights and take the Drone up to see the squirrel’s nest 100ft up in the tree (I did, and I trashed my first Drone). Don’t do it! High Altitude = Broken Drone. It actually has an ultrasound altimeter that doesn’t function above 6 meters. It was not designed nor built to fly at treetop level despite the Youtube videos that show people doing that. None of Parrot’s promo videos show high-altitude flying.

    4. It’s designed to fly at around 4ft – 8ft off the ground and do AMAZING things at that level. What makes it so cool is that it is basically 2 completely separate flying experiences in one body. With the indoor protective hull on, it’s a precision instrument able to negotiate (not too narrow) hallways and furniture and trees outdoors. When you get more experience take it to a wide-open field – soccer size – and put the outdoor hull on. Then it flies like an RC Airplane, fast and furious doing almost aerobatic moves. It takes a lot of practice with the iPhone, but it’s awesome.

    5. If you crash it, then call Parrot. Most likely they will recommend you send it back to them, and they will repair it (most likely) for free, at least the first crash. From NC it costs $9.80 to ship in the original carton. You do NOT have to pay for return shipping. Takes about 2 weeks.

    6. I agree with the reviewers who claim Parrot spends way too much time marketing the Drone and showing people pulling it out of the box and suddenly flying outdoors with no training than they do teaching people how not to trash their Drone. It’s NOT a toy, it’s an expensive Radio-Controlled Quadracopter. It’s actually a flying computer, but you have to read this post to understand that.
    7. Finally it’s not fair to Parrot for so many reviewers to have skipped the learning process, crashed and damaged their Drones, and then come on here to blame Parrot or trash the device. It’s unquestionably one of the most sophisticated flying machines for consumers ever built. I’ve flown RC helicopters, and that’s not what this is. This device has a computer built into it, it stabilizes itself like some futuristic military aircraft. You simply need to spend some time getting a feel for flying it. You need to enjoy it the way it was designed to fly and not pull it out of the box and try to copy what you saw some idiot on Youtube do.

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