Parrot AR.Drone Quadricopter Controlled by iPod touch, iPhone, iPad, and Android Devices (Orange/Blue) (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
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- 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 variety of games
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Remote-controlled by your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad, the AR.Drone offers a number of sensors, including a front camera, vertical camera and an ultrasound altimeter
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 worlds, including modeling, video gaming, and augmented reality. Click to enlarge.
The First Quadricopter Controlled by iPod touch/iPhone/iPad/Android Devices
Control with Your Device
Thanks to its on-board Wi-Fi system, you can control the Parrot AR.Drone using an iPod touch, iPod touch, iPad, or Android device (OS 2.2 (Froyo) or higher, 3-inches wide minimum, and multi-touch).
The Parrot AR.Drone
The AR.Drone is the first quadricopter that can be controlled by an iPod touch, iPod touch, iPad, or Android device (OS 2.2 (Froyo) or higher, 3-inches wide minimum, and multi-touch).
High-technology Sensors Offer Simple Piloting
A mix of captors, wide-angle camera, high-speed camera and MEMS (micro electro mechanical systems), accelerometer, gyro sensors, and ultrasound sensor combine with a powerful on-board computer to make piloting the AR.Drone easy. Simply use your device and just tilt and touch to control the AR.Drone.
Connect and See
The Parrot AR.Drone generates its own Wi-Fi network to which you connect your device to control. The front camera view is streamed to your piloting device display.
The AR.Drone autopilot allows easy takeoff and landing. After takeoff, autopilot stabilizes the AR.Drone at an 80-centimeter altitude. When you remove your finger from your device, the autopilot function automatically puts the AR.Drone into stationary flight. Lost connection with the AR.Drone? Autopilot takes over again and stabilizes the device before attempting a soft and safe landing.
Indoor and Outdoor Hulls Included
The full hull shield protects the AR.Drone from impacts that occur during wild battles against enemies hidden in the rooms of the house. The streamlined colored hull is aerodynamic, allowing greater control outside.
High Durability and Easy Repair
AR.Drone is a quadricopter made of carbon fiber and high-resistance PA66 plastic. All parts can be changed for easy repair.
Please download the free AR.Freeflight App (iTunes App Store or Android Market) to control the AR.Drone.
Augmented Reality Games
Not only see what the AR.Drone sees with the front-mounted camera, but enjoy a wide variety of games in augmented reality. AR.Games sold in the iTunes App Store and Android Market. Choose from a selection of single-player and multiplayer games, using the AR.Drone's camera and the augmented reality applications. Shoot enemies or other drones.
Thanks to its on-board Wi-Fi system, you can control the Parrot AR.Drone using an iPod Touch, iPhone, iPad, or Android device.
The full hull shield protects the AR.Drone from impacts.
The Parrot AR.Drone has been designed for both inside and outside use.
- Apple iOS devices: iPod touch, iPhone, and iPad
- Android OS devices: Optimized for: Samsung Galaxy S, Samsung Galaxy S II, Motorola Xoom, HTC Desire; Also compatible with: HTC Desire HD, HTC Sensation, LG Optimus 2x, and Sony Ericsson Xperia Play
- Fly time: 12 minutes
- 3-cell lithium polymer battery
- Capacity: 1000 mAh
- Charge time: 90 minutes
- 4 x 15 W electric brushless motors (3,500 rpm)
- High-efficiency propellers
- Carbon tube structure
- VGA (640 x 480) CMOS camera
- 93-degree wide-angle lens
- 15 fps video
- QCIF (176 x 144) High-speed camera (CMOS)
- 64-degree diagonal lens
- 60 fps video
- Horizontal stabilization
- Range: 6 m
- Emission frequency: 40 kHz
- Vertical stabilization
Internal guidance system
- MEMS (micro electro mechanical system)
- 3-axis accelerometer
- 2-axis gyroscope
- 1-axis yaw precision gyroscope
- ARM9 RISC 32-bit 468 MHz
- 128 MB DDR RAM
- Wi-Fi b/g
- Linux OS
- USB socket
- Size: 28 x 28 inches with hull; 29 x 11 inches without
- Weight: 13.4 ounces
What's in the Box
AR.Drone, indoor hull, outdoor hull (orange/blue), battery, charger, four adapters (EU, US/JP, UK, Aus/NZ), sticker for outdoor hull (for multiplayer battles), and quick start guide.
Top customer reviews
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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.
I received a little toy helicopter for Xmas last year and spent so much time playing with it, I decided to have a look at what was available in something that was more than just a toy. I had viewed very early product demos of the drone and had actually been thinking about building a quadcopter from scratch. Enter the AR.Drone. After looking at the many many videos and product demos, I thought this was a cheaper way to "break into" the quadcopter scene. So I ordered one up along with an extra battery. I even ordered up a Contour HD helmet cam to attach to it after seeing some others do it on Youtube. Then I waited. When I received the unit I eagerly read all the documentation while charging the first battery. Downloaded the iPhone app for my iPhone 4 and waited for the battery to finish. Since there was about 3 feet of snow outside and I didn't want to get anything wet, I took my first flight indoors with not so great results. Every time I launched the drone wanted to veer to one side at 30 degree angle which often sent it into a wall or bookcase. It would not lift off and hover as advertised at all. If I took control just after take off, I could manage to keep it flying and raise and lower the altitude and rotate the drone. It is fairly easy to just jump in and get started. The auto hover was a downer though and I was disappointed. I tried going online to the forums and saw similar problems with other people and tried all the things to fix the problem but it just wouldn't stabilize by itself. So I thought I'd shelf it until spring and take it outside.
Fast forward 3 months
Took it outside today for its virgin flight outdoors and was much happier with the result. Of course there was a firmware update while it was shelved so that may have something to do with it. Flying the drone is much easier outside than inside I can tell you! However it is not without problems still. If you are on uneven ground the drone is constantly compensating for its height. Therefore the drone doesn't maintain an altitude per se, but rather maintaining a distance from itself to the ground. For example, if you are flying 5' from the ground and fly over a bush that is 1' the drone will try to increase it's height as you fly over. This is very good in some respects but also not so good in others. Control is a little wonky albeit simple. It would be nice if you could switch the tilting action of the iphone to steer it instead of just tipping it left and right.
As for the actual connection. I read on the forum of users having their unit take flight, lose connection and fly away. The drone is smart enough in my limited exposure to detect if it is in trouble and will shut itself off. Although I did have a bunch of instances where the unit was not in jeopardy but simply had an emergency cut without reason? Luckily the drone was only a few feet from the ground. While outside this morning, I did have a communication error. Happily the drone just leveled out and hovered while I closed the app and restarted it. I was then able to continue to fly it.
- Cool factor is 10/10! This thing just looks like an alien space craft and I guarantee if you pull it out in the front yard you'll have every kid in the neighbourhood running to see it.
- Flight time is pretty good, I've had about 15 flights and flight time ranges between 10 and 15 minutes.
- The durability is for all intents and purposes is great. I've crashed this thing everytime I've flown it. Including full speed sideways into walls, bookcases, ceilings, trees, bushs, decks, etc, etc, etc. I've yet to have any damage at all save for a couple of small gouges in the foam.
- Controlled by iPhone and easy to get started flying. It takes off and lands itself.
- Auto hover doesn't seem to like my carpet. Erratic flight indoors on carpeted floors. Smooth surfaces seem to work the best. This thing would be loads of fun in a gym!
- It is not autonomous. Although I've heard it is now possible with third party apps that I haven't tried yet.
- Hard to steer while flying. I'm sure this is just an experience thing but I find it very hard to steer and fly at the same time. Tip right, tip left, tip forward, tip backward is handled by tilting the iPhone. Turn left, turn right, increase height, decrease height handled by "joystick" control with right thumb. It would be nice to have the ability to switch controls during flight to allow tilting of the phone to "bank" the copter while it is flying forward.
- Emergency Cut does NOT work if you lose communication. This is scary when you have a hovering drone that is not being controlled by anything but it's own software.
- Not quiet. The dog hates this thing and forget about using it for any type of spy drone.
- Range not so great. I could not get this thing to fly more than about 20' in the air. Which has me a little nervous about flying much more than 20' away from me for fear it will just fly away.
- There is no way this thing can be flown with any accuracy from just watching the video feed coming to the iPhone. The website clearly shows this and it is pure fiction.
- Erratic flight over rough terrain. It is constantly adjusting for height which makes it hard to control when flying of uneven terrain.
- Many times I've tried to reduce the altitude to do a manual landing but then I was not able to turn the drone off without emergency cutting. I could not manually get the unit to set down and then just push the "land" button. It would not work. However if the unit is at hover level and the "land" button is pressed, it lands and shuts down just fine.
Bottom line is you get what you pay for. This thing is only $299. Similar ARF (Almost Ready to Fly) kits are in the thousands! There is a considerable amount of tech wrapped up in the drone. I think it is reasonably priced for the product and technology that you are getting. Most of my "CONS" are related to user experience which I have very little. However if you've just been to the AR.Drone website and see people dogfighting purely by watching the camera feed, don't be sucked in. Their product videos are really cool but watch how many cut scenes there are. These are not as easy as they look to fly but they are relatively easy to learn if that makes sense. Hope this review helps.
Finally, I set the altitude limit to 10 ft today, but it rose to about 50 ft and started drifting away and outside my wifi, and just kept flying away! It all happen real quickly! And today is sunny and windless. I raced after it but it disapeared behind a building, where there's a large frozen lake and some trees. We searched for hours and it could not be found! A real bummer.
Does Parrot provide a replacement in this situation? That would be real nice!
This is supposed to be my Christmas present (today is 12/23) - what a loss!