Parrot AR.Drone

Controlled via an iPhone or iPad, the AR.Drone is an auto-stabilised remote control helicopter that allows you to frighten neighbourhood pets or engage in augmented reality dogfights.


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Derek loves nothing more than punching a remote location into a GPS, queuing up some music and heading out on a long drive, so it's a good thing he's in charge of CNET Australia's Car Tech channel.


In brief

This might be the coolest toy we've ever seen: the Parrot AR.Drone, a remote-controlled helicopter with a twist. It's controlled via an ad-hoc Wi-Fi connection from either an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad. A camera in its snout and on its underside streams the Drone's bird's eye view to your iPhone's screen.

You tilt your iPhone to steer the helicopter, with touch controls to adjust altitude. With its computer stabilisation and four rotating blades, the AR.Drone is much easier to control than the standard sub-AU$100 remote-control helicopter; auto-stabilisation works at heights of up to about 6 metres.

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Click through for a look complete look at Parrot AR.Drone.
(Credit: Parrot)

Autopilot allows the AR.Drone to take off and land with just the press of a button. The lithium polymer batteries take one-and-a-half hours to fully charge and should be good for at least 12 minutes flying time.

A protective bumper shell allows the AR.Drone to be used indoors without too much fear of damaging it, your house or its inhabitants. For outdoor flights, the AR.Drone can be fitted with a more aerodynamic shell that resembles the love child of a tryst between a jet and a helicopter.

Control distance is limited by Wi-Fi range and conditions, so you could theoretically pilot it up 50 metres away. If your phone loses contact with the AR.Drone it will hover for a minute or two, waiting for you to walk back into range or until it runs out of batteries.

Outlook

The AR.Drone is available in Australia for AU$349 from selected Telstra and Fone Zone stores.

Two official AR.Drone apps are available in the App Store. Free Flight, gives you control of your precious new toy, while AR.Pursuit allows you to engage in an augmented reality dogfight with another AR.Drone.



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Mac Nazi posted a comment   

Brand racist...sooo 2010...get a life f*ckstick

Oh wait...let me run a virus scan before I answer this call....

fire
1
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fire posted a review   

WTF 1 and a half hour of charge for only 12 mins of flying?! That doesn't sound good for outdoor flying.

 

Contemporaneous Snob posted a comment   

No longer the exclusive purvey of Apple i-Phail products, the parrot AR Drone may also be controlled by Google Android handsets (as was originally intended). Assuming that this is not (as is usually cited), rampant apple-bias, one can only presume this article to yet another case of recalcitrant copy pasta journalism. Buy the heli' it's good fun!

 

Derek Fung posted a reply   
Australia

Mate, no need to be nasty. When we went to the launch, Parrot had yet to develop an Android version of the app.

 

MrT posted a reply   

Troll Much?

 

stealth zero posted a reply   

Its not an apple product dude...




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User Reviews / Comments  Parrot AR.Drone

  • Mac Nazi

    Mac Nazi

    "Brand racist...sooo 2010...get a life f*ckstick

    Oh wait...let me run a virus scan before I answer this call...."

  • fire

    fire

    Rating1

    "WTF 1 and a half hour of charge for only 12 mins of flying?! That doesn't sound good for outdoor flying."

  • Contemporaneous Snob

    Contemporaneous Snob

    "No longer the exclusive purvey of Apple i-Phail products, the parrot AR Drone may also be controlled by Google Android handsets (as was originally intended). Assuming that this is not (as is usuall..."

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