Parrot AR.Drone quadricopter
Parrot's AR.Drone is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that uses Wi-Fi technology to connect to an iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch.
- It's a flying quadricopter controlled via an iPod touch, iPhone, or iPad, straightforward setup, easy to control for stable flight indoors
- Almost impossible to control with any accuracy outdoors with even slight wind, 12 minute battery life, expensive price, questionable build quality considering it does fly, and therefore crash from time to time
The Parrot AR.Drone quadricopter is a toy packed with technology that is surprisingly stable and intuitive to fly. Yes, the Parrot AR.Drone is expensive, has mediocre battery life and becomes an out of control missile if used with any sort of wind. It also could be better equipped to deal with accidents. At the end of the day, this is a remote control chopper that you fly using your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. And it's pretty damn cool.
Price$ 349.00 (AUD)
Every now and then we get a product in our test centre that attracts a gathering of jaw dropped onlookers. Parrot's AR.Drone — described as a "flying video game" — is one such product. The AR.Drone is a flying "quadricopter" that is controlled via an app specially designed for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. Sound cool? It is!
See photos of the Parrot AR.Drone in action.
More information on the Parrot AR.Drone Australia launch.
Technically, the Parrot AR.Drone is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that uses Wi-Fi technology to connect to an iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch where it can be piloted using augmented reality. In reality, it is a chopper with four blades that's controlled via a specially designed app for iOS devices. The Parrot AR.Drone generates its own Wi-Fi network on-board, without the need of an Internet connection or wireless router to get started.
Setting up the AR.Drone
Set up is straightforward; simply insert the included battery into the AR.Drone, connect to its Wi-Fi network using your device and its ready to fly. You'll need a flat, stable surface for take off, as the AR.Drone utilises an ultrasound sensor to hover in mid-air when it is launched. The amount of tech included in the Drone is pretty amazing; it features two built-in cameras that stream live video, with the front-facing camera displays what the AR.Drone is seeing in front of it, and the bottom facing camera shows what is below it. The quadricopter is also fitted with an accelerometer and two gyrometers aiming to provide a smooth flight path.
The battery housing is located at the centre of the AR.Drone; simply remove the hull to access it.
The Parrot AR.Drone weighs less than 500 grams, can fly up to 18 kilometres per hour and can be controlled from up to 50 metres away. In addition to the regular Free Flight app, a third-party app called Flight Record ($5.99) is also available in the App Store, allowing the AR.Drone to record video while flying. Parrot also sells a multi-player game specifically developed for the AR.Drone called AR.Pursuit ($3.99), though you'll obviously need a friend and an extra AR.Drone to play.
Flying the AR.Drone
Once you've launched the app, and the AR.Drone has taken off, the flight of the quadricopter is controlled by moving a virtual joystick in the app and tilting the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch from side to side using the built-in gyroscope. A second joystick steers the AR.Drone, and also raises and lowers its flight path. Controlling the quadricopter is definitely a steep learning curve; our first few flights ended abruptly by crashing into walls, ceilings and even people, but once you grasp its controls, the AR.Drone becomes relatively easy to manoeuvre and fly. You can easily switch between cameras in the app, and even bring up a picture-in-picture view of both cameras simultaneously.
We were extremely impressed with the AR.Drone's stability indoors; if you don't touch any of the controls once it has taken off, the quadricopter simply hovers in mid-air, awaiting a command. Keep in mind that you'll need a rather large indoor area to fly the device properly. It is capable of manoeuvring down a narrow hallway, but the air the blades generate makes it difficult to remain stable.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Gadgets & Things
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- The Switch is a mix of Nintendo's past consoles
- Dead Rising 4 impressions: 'Tis the season to BBQ zombies with your flaming sword
- This week in games: Free Titanfall 2 weekend, Star Wars Battlefront meets Rogue One
- Every new game revealed at The Game Awards 2016, from Guardians of the Galaxy to Zelda
- Watch Dogs 2 PC impressions: A smooth-running romp through meme-filled San Francisco
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- The top 10 best and worst tech gadgets and products of 2016
- Best phone of the year 2016
- TV of the year award 2016
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTBrand Marketing Manager - Premium Entertainment BrandNSW
- FTTrading Systems EngineerNSW
- CCTechnical Business Analyst-DevOpsNSW
- CCMultiple Infrastructure ArchitectsWA
- CCFIS Connex Developer (Brisbane Based)VIC
- FTManager Integration PlanningNSW
- FTMS Exchange System Engineer l PowerShell l Message LabsNSW
- FTITCM EngineerNSW
- TPBusiness AnalystQLD
- CCTest AnalystQLD
- FTLife/400 Developers / Programmers - Permanent - North Ryde areaNSW
- FTSecurity Incident / SOC Analyst (Tier 1) - Permanent - North Ryde BasedNSW
- FTIT Field EngineerNSW
- CCSenior C++ Software EngineerVIC
- CCBusiness Analyst Finance & Lending - Brisbane Based RoleNSW
- CCOracle R12 Functional ConsultantSA
- FTIT Procurement AdvisorQLD
- CCSenior Business AnalystNSW
- CCLead DevOps Architect l AWS- Cloud- Linux- Puppet Ansible- JIRA-DatadogNSW
- CCApplication PackagerVIC
- TPSenior|Principal SAP HR Functional ConsultantQLD
- CCAnalyst Programmer (Contract) FinanceNSW
- FTSenior Java EngineerACT
- FTProject SchedulerSA