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View Full Version : CES 2010: Parrot AR.Drone iPhone-Controlled Quadricoptor




MacRumors
Jan 11, 2010, 12:19 PM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com/iphone/2010/01/11/ces-2010-parrot-ar-drone-iphone-controlled-quadricoptor/)


http://images.macrumors.com/article/2010/01/11/131839-coptor.jpg

Without a doubt, one of the coolest things introduced at CES 2010 was Parrot's AR.Drone quadricoptor (http://ardrone2.parrot.com/parrot-ar-drone/en/index.html) - a Wi-Fi controlled battery powered device that can be flown with your iPhone or iPod Touch.

One of the biggest features behind the technology is the sensors and advanced processing behind the device which allow it to practically fly itself. Unlike other remote helicoptors, the AR.Drone uses a combination of downward looking camera, gyroscopes and other sensors to perform stationary flight and also compensate for other flight conditions. The result is a very easy to fly device.

The device is currently controlled using an iPhone/iPod Touch app which communicates through Wi-Fi to the AR.Drone itself. Simply tap on Launch and the AR.Drone takes off and hovers over a stationary spot. On screen controls are easy and effective.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5tvX61X2A4

Left/right buttons allow you to rotate 360 degrees in one spot, while up/down buttons control altitude. Pressing on a special button activates tilt-control on the iPhone/iPod Touch itself. This allow you to fly the device by naturally tilting the iPhone itself. Meanwhile, the on screen controls are overlayed with live video coming from the front-facing camera of the Drone itself.

Parrot is also offering (http://ardrone2.parrot.com/parrot-ar-drone/en/index.html) a development kit for 3rd party developers to create augmented reality games using their software/hardware. For example, you could do virtual dogfighting between two AR.Drones.

Article Link: CES 2010: Parrot AR.Drone iPhone-Controlled Quadricoptor (http://www.macrumors.com/iphone/2010/01/11/ces-2010-parrot-ar-drone-iphone-controlled-quadricoptor/)



wackymacky
Jan 11, 2010, 12:47 PM
Pity it's wifi only and not 3G,

It would be cool to able to take it to a park etc.

(what actually happens to the craft whey it flies outside your home network range?)

brianbobcat
Jan 11, 2010, 12:48 PM
With all the technologies in this device (wifi, webcams) this thing has to be pretty expensive. So has anyone heard a price or estimated price range?

-Brian

cschmelz
Jan 11, 2010, 01:06 PM
Pity it's wifi only and not 3G,

It would be cool to able to take it to a park etc.

(what actually happens to the craft whey it flies outside your home network range?)

It creates an ad-hoc network--read their web page....

So it will work in the park! Need pricing info....

sccrrich
Jan 11, 2010, 01:17 PM
According to the website, http://ardrone2.parrot.com/parrot-ar-drone/dev/developers/get-your-ardrone-prototype/index.html#prototype , the copter is only available to developers at a price of about $1200. :eek: Hopefully price will drop once it's out of developer preview.

Corax
Jan 11, 2010, 01:41 PM
I just LOVE that thing! Makes me feel like a kid again...:D:D
I'll sertainly keep tracking the development of that hi-tech plaything!

rented mule
Jan 11, 2010, 02:02 PM
Let's be honest, the people buying this are probably peeping toms. It's really a peeping tom's dream come true. Be honest. You're not taking this thing to the park...you'll be hovering this thing in front of bedroom windows.

GekkePrutser
Jan 11, 2010, 04:26 PM
Let's be honest, the people buying this are probably peeping toms. It's really a peeping tom's dream come true. Be honest. You're not taking this thing to the park...you'll be hovering this thing in front of bedroom windows.

Well I'm sure it's going to be plenty noisy so I don't think that will work. I own a few electric model helicopters and you really won't be sneaking up on anyone with those. And considering the range of an adhoc wifi signal it's hardly going to make you anonymous using it.

Also the camera doesn't look like it's good enough to actually see anything at a distance. It's only a lowres webcam, nothing special.

It'll be lots of fun to fly though, and easy too by the looks of it (a more conventional model helo is very hard to fly, especially having to watch it from the outside).

vertigo235
Jan 11, 2010, 04:55 PM
I must have this, better start saving my money!

mactastic
Jan 11, 2010, 05:24 PM
Oh man, I can see some serious fun potential with this. What if you could take it to the park to fight off the zombie hordes...

Doctor Q
Jan 11, 2010, 05:32 PM
Is it noisy (good for attracting attention) or quiet (good for stealth approaches)?

It it hits something, will it break into a million pieces, destroy everything in its path, or simply bounce around and continue on its way?

doctoree
Jan 11, 2010, 05:37 PM
Wifi ranges up to 300 meters when absolutly no walls are around. Really cool. It needs night vision, calm motors and a way to uploade video directly to youtube and co

samh004
Jan 11, 2010, 09:50 PM
(what actually happens to the craft whey it flies outside your home network range?)

It stabilises itself and then lands safely.

Really want one, but will wait for a price...

locust76
Jan 12, 2010, 03:14 AM
According to the website, http://ardrone2.parrot.com/parrot-ar-drone/dev/developers/get-your-ardrone-prototype/index.html#prototype , the copter is only available to developers at a price of about $1200. :eek: Hopefully price will drop once it's out of developer preview.

...the loan of one AR.Drone prototype... Costs of support services will be 800 euros or US$1200.

Nothing on that website say anything about how much the AR.Drone costs.

GekkePrutser
Jan 12, 2010, 08:12 AM
Wifi ranges up to 300 meters when absolutly no walls are around.

Yeah but not the with wifi chip in the iPhone :) Those mobile wifi chips have much lower power to save battery. You'd be lucky to get 50-100 metres. Which is a fair range anyway.

By the way, someone else asked what happens when it loses signal, it starts auto-hovering and will auto-land after a few seconds, according to the website.

Alectric
Jan 12, 2010, 09:01 AM
Nothing on that website say anything about how much the AR.Drone costs.

Cnet is claiming the price will be around $500 for the drone plus iphone or ipod touch costs.

carlgo
Jan 12, 2010, 11:58 AM
Further ideas:

Compatible missiles or a gun. A taser would be fun.

An AT&T cell tower repeater to get reception for the iPhone controller

Nearest boob automatic focusing system. Like face recognition, nearest eye focusing now available.

Various skins and lighting systems to get the UFO sightings going again.

Fishing option to fly your line out to the middle of the lake.

Fun with voices option, a little loudspeaker that would broadcast "voices" down to marginally sane people, thus putting them over the edge.

Religious option. Much as above, it would broadcast "messages" from popular religious icons. Choice of deep, voice of God or soothing angelic diction.

Lightening would be good, but they are working on a better battery.

"Pass it" option to pass light burning things to inert people around a room.

rstansby
Jan 13, 2010, 12:27 AM
Cnet is claiming the price will be around $500 for the drone plus iphone or ipod touch costs.

That would be hard to resist.

LANCE Beverlin
Jan 13, 2010, 01:50 AM
wow. Its amazing. I love this thing. :)

sunfast
Jan 13, 2010, 08:07 AM
Awesome. Whatever next?

Alectric
Jan 13, 2010, 10:30 AM
That would be hard to resist.

If they decide to sell it for around $500. I'm in! Plus I already own an iPhone, so that eliminates those costs.

true777
Jan 13, 2010, 08:29 PM
What exactly is this thing good for?

Is it just an idiotic toy for guys who haven't made it past puberty mentally, or is there any use to this?

Doctor Q
Jan 13, 2010, 08:49 PM
What exactly is this thing good for?

Is it just an idiotic toy for guys who haven't made it past puberty mentally
That's good enough for me. ;)

or is there any use to this?
Perhaps it could be used to knock down a frisbee that got stuck in a tree. It could be more accurate than throwing rocks at the frisbee. That alone justifies the (non yet disclosed) price.

SilentPanda
Jan 13, 2010, 09:01 PM
The nerd in me wants one and well... there's really no anti-nerd to argue. Although it seems to say the battery dies after about 15 minutes which makes me sad...

http://ardrone2.parrot.com/parrot-ar-drone/en/how-does-it-work.html#start

Trexznl
Jan 15, 2010, 01:56 PM
Im an rc enthousiast and have `real` rc helicopters... so this is basically the best thing for the iPhone Ive seen to date. Im totally all over it.... I WANT IT!

Oh and edit: to the poster above me, 15 minutes for a radio controlled aircraft is a long time. Most rc aircraft are able to fly for only 5-10 minutes..

ThunderSkunk
Jan 16, 2010, 04:52 PM
That thing is awesome. Who needs women when you have this???

MikeELL
Jan 19, 2010, 11:07 AM
This looks like an evolution of the "draganflyer" from a few years ago. Wow that is cool - it's amazing how far they've come with the auto take-off, landing and twin cameras (one purely for stabilisation).

I can't wait to see jousting competitions with these things.

bereanone
Mar 2, 2010, 03:59 PM
Further ideas:

Compatible missiles or a gun. A taser would be fun.

An AT&T cell tower repeater to get reception for the iPhone controller

Nearest boob automatic focusing system. Like face recognition, nearest eye focusing now available.

Various skins and lighting systems to get the UFO sightings going again.

Fishing option to fly your line out to the middle of the lake.

Fun with voices option, a little loudspeaker that would broadcast "voices" down to marginally sane people, thus putting them over the edge.

Religious option. Much as above, it would broadcast "messages" from popular religious icons. Choice of deep, voice of God or soothing angelic diction.

Lightening would be good, but they are working on a better battery.

"Pass it" option to pass light burning things to inert people around a room.
A lot of effort and energy in flying, but I think other platforms would be good too such as All Terrain Vehicles, amphibious, etc.
All must have two way audio, video with pan, telescope, night vision, etc., customizable lighting, servo add on for the fishing option etc.
Range extension via fleet of drone repeaters.
Waterproof.
Beacon of sound for locating lost drones,
Land based atv type would probably have much greater range and length of mission such as going down a game trail, hiding and giving hunters heads up on deer from onboard motion detection
If the ATV was hard to get stuck and cannot "turtle" I might never have to crawl under my house again to chase out skunks. :)
the smaller the better, but how about the base controller and hobby customize the vehicle. Robot wars here we come, vive la iPhone

Hope someone is listening

Transporteur
Mar 10, 2010, 01:08 PM
This product might do well considering they could also package it with PC/MAC software to control it from a desktop, laptop, netbook, tablets, and find a place along side similar toys. But if you have an iPhone, even better.

From what I've read in the developer documents, the APIs are pretty much open, so it won't take long to make it desktop controllable.

Philip Hall
Mar 12, 2010, 05:41 AM
That's one expensive piece of plastic :) And yet the greatest thing Ive seen this week.

But Im quite sure prices will drop dramatically in the next 1-2 years. Im waiting for the $199 version.