At CES Las Vegas 2012 unveils the AR.Drone 2.0, the new generation of its renowned high-tech quadricopter that can be controlled by Wi-Fi using a smartphone or tablet.
While in flight, the Parrot AR.Drone 2.0’s front camera transmits live what the quadricopter sees onto the pilot device’s screen, with a resolution of 1280×720. It shows a view from the sky in High Definition with smooth and unbelievably clear images.
The pilot gets an experience like never before, as if he was on board. For gaming purposes, this camera can also recognize specific shapes and colours to show augmented-reality elements on the smartphone’s screen.
Thanks to the new AR.FreeFlight 2.0 piloting application, players can record their own HD videos and watch or share them with the AR.Drone community.
Additionally, with the ‘travelling’ feature, the pilot can film HD video sequences like a professional!
Simply select the direction of travel (forward, back, sideways) and the duration, and the AR.Drone 2.0 does the rest.
AR.FreeFlight 2.0, a new piloting and sharing platform
As well as piloting the AR.Drone, the new application AR.FreeFlight 2.0 available to download for free from the AppStoreSM and AndroidTM Market – offers players a new interface and many options.
- FreeFlight: Access to the piloting application. The pilot can record flights, record HD videos or take photos, and save them in his smartphone. All the flight data (altitude, speed, duration and place) can be saved, checked by the pilot, and shared with the community.
- Guest Space: Access an overview of the AR.Drone2.0, the best flight videos, and practical information.
- Drone Update: Access the AR.Drone2.0’s free
- software updates.
- AR.Drone Academy: Get geolocation data of the best flight zones, watch other pilots’ videos, and access their flight data.
- AR.Games: Access applications/games available for the AR.Drone.
- Photos/Videos: Directly access your own videos and photos. They can be watched or uploaded to YouTube for the community to enjoy.
‘Absolute Flight’, a revolutionary ultra-intuitive flight mode
After the AR.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 of the on-board instruments appear on the screen, which acts as the cockpit.
By briefly pressing the take-off button, the four brushless motors turn on and the AR.Drone 2.0 takes off.
Flying is very simple. With your thumbs placed on either side of the screen, a control button automatically appears beneath each one:
Thanks to Parrot’s patented new ‘Absolute Control’ mode, the pilot has access to an even more intuitive piloting system.
With a 3D magnetometer, the AR.Drone 2.0 knows its precise orientation in relation to the smartphone, which becomes the reference point. The pilot no longer needs to care about the orientation of the AR.Drone 2.0’s front camera, which will accurately track the smartphone’s motions and tilt.
Experienced players can select ‘Relative Flight’ mode, the conventional flight mode. This disables Parrot AR.Drone 2.0’s magnetometer. The pilot manages the quadricopter’s orientation, with no assistance.
Impressive stability at any altitude
- The heart of the AR.Drone 2.0 contains MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical 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:
- 2 ultrasound sensors analyze flight altitude up to 6 meters.
- A pressure sensor completes the device and allows great vertical stability.
- 4 blades, specially designed for the AR.Drone 2.0, making it possible to carry out smooth flights.
- A second camera, placed beneath the quadricopter and connected to the central inertial unit, measures the craft’s speed using an image comparison system.
2 hulls made for both types of flight
The Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 has 2 hulls with specially designed contours. Made of EPP (a material used in designing car bumpers), they are light, highly resistant, and protect the quadricopter’s parts
For outdoor flight, the contoured hull, available in three colours (orange/yellow; orange/green; orange/blue), reduces wind resistance and increases the AR.Drone 2.0’s handling and stability.
When indoor, a second hull protects the blades from any impact. The black-and-white cockpit, detailed with a red stripe, enhances the quadricopter’s mysterious, thrilling appearance.
Finally, light-emitting diodes (green in front, red in rear), positioned on the landing gear, help the pilot track the orientation of his AR.Drone 2.0 in the air for easier flying.
An Open Development Platform
In order to expand the use of the Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 and its compatibility with other OSs, and to develop new flying games and applications, Parrot is providing developers and members of the AppleR and AndroidTM community 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 are also available. A forum lets you discuss your work and share feedback with Parrot engineers.