The high end flying HD-recording AR Drone 2.0 quadricopter that was introduced at 2012 Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2012), will be launched in May for $299.99. AR Drone 2.0 will boast a 720p front-facing camera that enables users to record their flights in High Definition (HD), and a 3-axis accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetometer. This state of the art gadget also boasts a new “absolute flight” mode that will enable users to maneuver the AR Drone by tilting their mobile phones or tablet pcs, and the accompanying Android and iOS apps can be employed to share flight data with friends as well. In order to improve and develop even further the drone’s abilities, Parrot has also presented Android and iOS developers with a software development kit.
The Parrot AR.Drone 2.0, the second generation of Parrot’s famous state of the art and high-tech quadricopter that can be operated by Wi-Fi utilizing a mobile phone or tablet, will be released in the US in the month of May 2012.
With a new HD camera, video and photo recording and sharing, new piloting mode, increased stability and brand-new look, the AR.Drone 2.0 delivers an amazing experience out of this world!
1. A high resolution HD camera:
During flight, the Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 front camera transmits in real-time mode what the quadricopter sees and displays it live straight and directly into the pilot’s device monitor screen.
Parrot's second generation flying device; the AR.Drone 2.0 features an HD camera, with a 1280×720 resolution, which will capture and record amazingly sharp and crystal clear images and videos from high in the sky.
For gaming purposes, this camera can also identify certain shapes and colors to recognize augmented-reality elements on the mobile device display screen.
2. Record and share flying experiences:
Due to the AR.FreeFlight 2.0 piloting application, players can record and capture their own HD flight videos and images on their mobile devices memory capacities and share them with the AR.Drone community using YouTube or Picasa. The pilots can as well save their images or videos on a USB key which is not included in the original package, through using the dedicated USB port built in under the shell, nearby the battery.
The AR.FreeFlight 2.0 application, the new piloting and sharing platform offers players a new user interface (UI) and various options and features. It will be available to download free of charge from the AppStoreSM and AndroidTM Markets.
Features of this amazing app could be summarized below:
FreeFlight: Access to the piloting application.
Recording flights High Definition images and video clips in the flying device or USB key.
Pictures/Videos: Immediately gain access to your own videos and pictures. Watch or upload to YouTube or Picasa for the community to enjoy.
AR Drone Update: Full and unrestricted access to the AR.Drone 2.0 free software updates.
AR Drone Games: Access applications/games available for the AR.Drone.
Get your AR.Drone: See an guide and overview of the AR.Drone 2.0, videos and relevant information.
AR.Drone Academy: It's a spot for getting together and sharing content with the AR.Drone community. Get geolocation input and info of the hottest flight areas and locations, watch other pilots videos and access the players shared flight data (high, speed, duration, geolocation, etc.).
3. ‘Absolute Flight’, is a revolutionary ultra-user-friendly and intuitive flight mode whereby after the AR Drone FreeFlight 2.0 pilot application has been loaded onto an iOS or AndroidTM smartphone or tablet, the Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 connects to the device via Wi-Fi. After connection, all the on-board instruments appear on screen with a cockpit view.
The user then press the take off button briefly and the four brushless motors will turn on. The AR.Drone 2.0 takes off.
Flying is extremely easy. With your thumbs placed on either side of the screen, a control button automatically forms beneath:
· Press and hold the left button and the AR.Drone 2.0 follows the movement of the pilot’s device: it moves forward, backwards or sideways when you tilt the tablet forward, towards you or to the left or right.
· Slide your finger over the right button, and the quadricopter rises, descends or rotates right or left.
Thanks to Parrot’s patented new ‘Absolute Control’ mode, the player accesses an even more intuitive piloting system.
With a 3D magnetometer, the AR.Drone 2.0 recognizes its exact positioning and location in regards to the mobile device used to control the Drone, which itself turns to be the reference point. The player no longer needs to worry about the direction of the AR.Drone 2.0 front camera, which will accurately keep track of the mobile device motion and tilt.
Professional pilots will opt for ‘Relative Flight’ mode, the conventional flight mode. This disables Parrot AR.Drone 2.0′s magnetometer. The pilot manages the quadricopter’s inclination, orientation and direction without any assistance.
4. AR.Drone 2.0 stunts:
For more pleasurable and fascinating flights, the AR.Drone 2.0 is geared up, with a ‘Flip’ option.
Double tap on the button located on the right side of the piloting device display monitor and the AR.Drone 2.0 will perform a loop. Both experienced and amateur users and pilots can be a stunt players in no time!
5. Impressive stability at any given altitude:
The heart of the AR.Drone 2.0 contains MEMS (microelectromechanical systems).
A 3-axis accelerometer, a 3-axis gyroscope, a 3-axis magnetometer and a pressure sensor give the Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 impressive stability, complete with:
2 ultrasound sensors, which analyze flight altitude up to 6 meters.
A pressure sensor completes the device and provides great vertical stability.
4 blades, specially designed for the AR.Drone 2.0, make it possible to carry out smooth flights.
A second camera, placed beneath the quadricopter and connected to the central inertial unit, measures the flying device speed using an image comparison system.
6. 2 shells made for both modes of flight:
The Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 has 2 hulls or shells with specifically designed and adjusted curves and contours. Made of EPP (a material used in designing car bumpers), they are light, highly resistant and protect the quadricopter.
For outdoor flight, the contoured hull, available in three colors (orange/yellow; orange/green; orange/blue), cuts down wind resistance and maintains the AR.Drone 2.0 controlling, balance and stability.
When indoor, a second hull safeguards and protects the blades from any sudden impact. The black-and-white cockpit, underlined with a red stripe, emphasizes the quadricopter stylish and elegant look, feel and design.
Finally, light-emitting diodes (green in front, red in rear), placed on the landing gear, assist the player to monitor the direction of the AR.Drone 2.0 for easier and simpler and of course a more enjoyable flying experience.
7. An Open Development Platform:
In order to expand the use of the Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 and its compatibility with other operating systems and to develop new flying games and applications, Parrot is providing developers and members of the Apple and Android communities with a software development kit.
By logging in at https://projects.ardrone.org and accepting the terms of the license, developers can access the source code used to fly the AR.Drone 2.0. A wiki and a tutorial also are available. A forum is available to discuss new developments and share feedback with Parrot engineers.
The Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 runs on a rechargeable lithium-Polymer battery (included) with a battery life of up to 12 minutes on a full charge.
The Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 is now available for pre-order from selected online and in-store retailers starting 1st March, 2012 and will be released on the 12th of May, 2012 in the US.