The Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 was seen flying around CES Unvieled, so we had to stop by the booth and take a look at the latest quadracopter. The mechanics of the machine haven’t changed much with this iteration, but we were told that the optics and software have both received a major overhaul. The price of this new gadget is supposed to be $299 when it ships in Q2, 2012.
The AR.Drone 2 now uses a new 720p HD camera to shoot aerial footage and then it beams the video feed back to the iPad, iPhone, or Android device controlling it via an unsecured Wi-Fi connection.
The AR.FreeFlight app has also improved for version 2.0: It can now be used to share video online and even find nearby AR.Drone users to view their videos. Here is a full list of features:
FreeFlight: Access to the piloting application.
The pilot can record flights, take HD videos or photos and save them in the piloting device. 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.Drone 2.0, the best flight videos and practical information.
Drone Update: Access the AR.Drone 2.0’s free software updates.
AR.Drone Academy: Get geolocation data of the best flight zones, watch other pilots’ videos and access their shared flight data.
AR.Games: Access applications/games available for the AR.Drone.
Photos/Videos: Directly access your own videos and photos. Watch or upload to YouTube for the community to enjoy.
Here is a shot of the AR.Drone 2.0 flying and a great shot of the new HD camera in the middle of it. We were told that the drone has two new sensors: a pressure sensor and a 3D compass. The pressure sensor allows it to compensate for changing altitude so that it remains as stable at one meter in the air as five meters, and the 3D compass also helps with stability and we would assume navigating flight plans.
Here is a shot of the Lithium-Ion Polymer rechargeable battery that is used in the Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 and the wall charger that comes with this new model.
We caught a nice short video clip of the AR.Drone 2.0 hovering above the Parrot booth at CES Unveiled. It was quite impressive watching this little guy maneuver around!