Review: Parrot AR Drone 2.0
After Parrot, a French company known for its wireless audio solutions and hands-free car, sorprendiese in 2010 and strangers with the first AR Drone when the CES in Las Vegas this year could see their evolution, expectations were sky high. And now, after rigorous testing, we finally have here the analysis of one of the most precious geek toys: the Parrot AR Drone 2.0.
Parrot AR Drone 2.0
From the moment you take it out of the box, we realize that the Parrot AR Drone is a product designed to be handled carefully, very carefully. Anyone familiar with the aeromodelling know that is normal and is probably used to, but for those who purchase the helicopter with no experience in this field should probably be warned that the Parrot is a toy, yes, but a delicate toy.
The box includes a charger, a battery and two covers, one for interior protects the propellers and other outdoor theoretically more open and allows more speed Drone scope. If we take the case see inside a simple hole to insert the battery and secure it with a strap and a USB port to store photos and videos there we make.
- Camera: Front with HD recording at 720p 30fps. Bottom VGA.
- Processor: 1 GHz 32-bit ARM Cortex A8
- Weight: 380 grams with the outer casing; 420 with the interior.
- Engines: 4 to 14.5 watts, 28.500 RPM.
- Battery: 1000 mAh battery.
- Price: $300
But surely one of the great attractions of the device is that we can control it with your smartphone, from paths applications available on the App Store and Google Play. Through them we see either the helicopter cameras incorporating either the front which now allows video recording at 720p while recording the movements of the device in the phone’s memory, either photos or video.
But as most of you might have noticed some clever, the quality of video transmission between our device and the Parrot does not always have to be optimal, especially outdoors, so the quality of the video so it should not be a wonder. If you want to make sure you save the raw video from the camera can plug a FAT32 formatted USB port and as we mentioned before we fly we can save up to one hour of video depending on the size of the USB memory (Apparently, 8GB is best) .
The application for both iPhone, for iPad and Android is easy to use and after two minutes of flight we will have you caught the trick. It would be appreciated that the design of it was not so inconsistent and that was entirely actalizada to support the Retina display on the iPhone case but generally the options are very comprehensive and we have full control of the helicopter from the palm of your hand.
How do you connect the Parrot AR Drone iPhone, iPad or Android phone? Quite simply, this creates a WiFi network to which you must connect to then open the application, load the module controls and start flying.
The default mode for controlling AR Drone 2.0 is making use of the smartphone incorporating accelerometers, ie our phone inclined forward and the helicopter will do the same, you are inclined to one side and girareremos. In practice, to me so I found the most uncomfortable of all, fortunately we can control it by two spiders that control movement on the left and the orientation and height on the right side.
It may be a bit trickier to handle it well, no doubt, but the reliability and precision are so high that it is worth. We can also activate a mode of absolute control that will allow us to not matter where the Drone is oriented with respect to our position, simply move the virtual stick will move forward in that direction (the other way we have to take into has the same orientation, which is determined by two red LEDs in the back).
Strength and durability
It gives me the major drawback of the AR Drone, their strength and the materials with which it is built. It’s something that as mentioned at the beginning of the Review is usually the general trend in model aircraft, where the point is the lightness of the material above its resistance.
For a device that costs so much money, it’s a part that we would like to see improved, especially since respuestos Parrot sells for (almost) all the parts, yes, but they cost between 20 and $50 the cheapest. It is a premium product with a premium range of services around, but for the casual user or not too smart can be a major setback.
The AR Drone is the main setback and failing that let us analyze the battery life is extremely easy to break, even in open fields or without many obstacles. Just a bump or fall unfortunate to have to go to fix it. After giving a few begin to notice baqueteos also as performance, speed and stability of the engines starts to suffer to the point that in our test unit, which had passed by others before him much effort to rise above two meters high.
Again what might be considered a standard in model aircraft but many are surprised: AR Drone battery lasts only 12 minutes, and that in the best case. In practice, if for example the helicopter tried to make off with 20% battery, the application will tell us that it is impossible for lack of load on it.
So if for example we are going to spend a good day in the field or park and enjoy some fun Drone will have to buy at least two or three more batteries, at a price of $30 per unit. Each battery takes a while to load approximately hour.
We can not finish the AR Drone 2.0 review without mentioning the possibilities of augmented reality device. Parrot was the great success of the device to open the API to other developers so that both the App Store and Google Play can find applications that allow us, for example, keep fighting virtual laser shots-style Star Wars two Drones or dodge and avoid a number of obstacles that will see through the camera.
Hours of fun with the Drone is not only just learning to control the device and taking it everywhere but that whole ecosystem of third helps a lot and appreciated.
The Parrot AR Drone 2.0 is a toy, an expensive toy. If you are aeromodelling fans are accustomed to reparations, the exquisite care of the materials, the frequent change of batteries while you are interested in the possibilities of remote control from a smartphone then you may be interested in the AR Drone 2.0.
If instead you’re looking for a toy come extra or bitten by a healthy curiosity geek (because we must recognize that it is a delight for anyone) I would think very seriously whether it is worth spending those 300 dollars (or euros) it costs. Especially since they will not be the last you spend, propellers, gears, shafts and housings are probably the most common materials that have to be repaired over time.