Exclusive Video: New Parrot Drone Copter Has Spylike Features
CREDIT: Sean Captain
LAS VEGAS -- The AR Drone -- a Wi-Fi controlled, $300 toy version of the heavy duty drones that spy on the war front and scout out dangerous disaster areas -- was a sensation at CES in 2010. This year, Parrot introduced a new 2.0 version of the smartphone-piloted craft that looks the same, but has a lot of goodies inside. TechNewsDaily took it for a spin to check out the new features that make it much easier to fly.
Chief among them is a new Absolute Mode. With the addition of a compass, the Drone now knows where it’s pointed, and where your Android or Apple phone or tablet is. Tilt one of them toward you, and the copter comes close. Tilt away and the craft heads out.
Another key feature is pressure sensors: They measure changes in atmospheric pressure to know exactly how high the Drone is. With them, it can fly stably a high a 50 meters (over 150 feet) high. They will also keep it steadier in the wind – hopefully resolving a big complaint with the first version.
And all those flights are now recorded in 720 HD resolution, which pilots can share on sites like YouTube and Parrot’s own AR Academy where users can post brag movies.
What comes next? Parrot says it will make it easier for people to write their own apps via a new software developers kit (SDK). Possibilities include flying games and new ways to control it. They have already programmed a Microsoft Xbox Kinect to pilot the Drone with hand gestures. And we spoke with a video reporter who is playing with EEG technology to attempt to control it using his thoughts.