Parrot’s AR.Drone 2.0

Parrot AR.Drone 2.0

As I mentioned back on 13 December 2011, about once a month a robotics or cybernetics related article crossed my inbox that really piques my curiosity.  True to my word, I was perusing some of the myriad updates from this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) that’s kicked off today in Las Vegas and I came across the Parrot AR.Drone 2.0.  In the past decade there has been an amazing explosion of gadgets, many of which are forgotten days after they’re announced having failed to captivate the imagination and passion of consumers.  Once in a great while a truly brilliant device comes around and it clearly stands in a class by itself (i.e., the iPhone, iPad, Kindle, etc.).  I will submit that the Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 qualifies for this kind of praise.

Heretofore flight-based drones have been largely the dominion of the serious hobbyist or have been complete junk.  The Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 changes all of that by creating a platform that is stable enough for the average person to master after a few attempts and packed with enough features to keep people coming back again and again.  The 2.0 version features an improved 720p HD camera, new sensors (i.e., 3-axis accelerometer, 3-axis magnetometer, 3-axis gyroscope, 2 ultrasound sensors, etc.), and an auto-pilot feature that allows the drone to return to a pre-defined spot when you’re done playing.  Oh and did I mention that the control interface is an application you install on your iPhone/iPad or Android device?  Now that’s amazing.

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