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Parrot iPod-Controlled Quadricopter Launches This Week 67

Posted by timothy
from the amazing-fun dept.
MojoKid writes "Remote-controlled helicopters are not new, but Parrot's AR.Drone Quadricopter is set to make a splash when it goes on sale on Sept. 9th. It will use an iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad as a controller, and give a live video feed from two different cameras to the pilot. Each model comes with two hulls, one of them for indoor use, with protective loops around the rotors. The device creates its own Wi-Fi network, which the iOS device connects to in order to control the Quadricopter."
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Parrot iPod-Controlled Quadricopter Launches This Week

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  • Here's a review. [bit-tech.net]

    £300, 7/10 and it needs an iPhone. I won't be getting one.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by halfaperson (1885704)
      From the same review:

      We should also mention that the control software for the AR.Drone is Open Source; while it only currently runs on the iPhone and iPod Touch, versions for Android and other devices should be forthcoming.

    • by TimeOut42 (314783)

      They've got demo code up for Android on AR Drone's Developer Website; has some issues, but I suspect we'll see full featured Android controllers/games for the AR Drone if it sells.

      Downside is that it's a really expensive toy that requires a really expensive controller. So, they may not sell too many of them.

      Mine shipped on Saturday; will be giving the Android demo code a try as soon as I get it.

      • by erroneus (253617)

        Well keep us posted on it! If you haven't already set up one of those blog-journal things here on slashdot, now is the time.

        I have a rather nice Android phone and would love to get one of these drones working with it. The video feedback part is simply awesomeness. I am hoping for some sort of high definition version that will basically let me make some terrific videos and effects.

        Also, I guess it goes without saying, that these devices could have some interesting uses in rescue, law enforcement and in mi

    • by Kvasio (127200)

      yep, still this one http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=2c8_1260427787 [liveleak.com] look more fun

  • My God! (Score:1, Insightful)

    by balaband (1286038)
    You actually want to say that iPad can replace 5$ worth of electronics? It's GENIUS!
    • by olahaye74 (801533)

      Where can I buy a "$5 worth electronic" that can display the view from the remote controled drone?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I thought from the name the thing was controlled by a parrot.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Sold for 300 EUR by Saturn in Germany since August 18th:

    http://www.heise.de/newsticker/meldung/iPhone-Flugdrohne-im-Handel-erhaeltlich-1060823.html

    ARM9-Processor (468 MHz)
    400g total weight
    up to 12 minutes in the air
    up to 18km/h

  • by mrsteveman1 (1010381) on Monday September 06, 2010 @10:14AM (#33488680)

    These are apparently better for use indoors as they can't tolerate much wind. Chris Anderson from DIYdrones (and WIRED), has reviewed them

    http://diydrones.com/profiles/blogs/review-of-the-production [diydrones.com]

    • It is a common error to evaluate flying like walking. If you think of flying is like sailing, only the medium is a lot thinner, and is in 3 dimensions. Then things start to make sense. A simple breeze could veer this drone quite a bit off course. Personally, I wish that the Android could fly it also...
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by TheLink (130905)
      Yep many (not all) electric helicopters don't have that much power and can't fly that fast - if they did they wouldn't be safe for beginners (and flying those in small indoors spaces would take more skill).

      So just a brisk outdoor breeze would be faster than their top speed, hence they'll be blown away...

      I have an esky lama v3, and it's fun, but more hassle to fly. So I actually fly a smaller helis indoors. Cheap and fun. My latest is a "jin xing da" model 331 heli. It even has an accelerometer ("gyro"), so
    • If you're going to keep the Parrot indoors, you have to be sure to nail it to its perch or it'll muscle up to those bars and VROOM
  • Just asking. $1000 of kit to have 12 minute virtual dogfights? I can think of cheaper hobbies, like reading /.

    • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

      by BasilBrush (643681)

      It's only $300 worth of kit for the millions of people that already have an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. There are plenty more expensive toys than that.

  • Not for children! (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Note that these quadcopters are quite dangerous. The brushless motors turn the propellers into saw blades. Youtube is full of videos showing deep cuts from even small RC planes with puny motors. If you fly this thing into a person, fun's over.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by WillDraven (760005)

      If you make it out of childhood without one deep cut, broken bone, or serious concussion, you're not really ready to be considered an adult yet.

      Some parts of life are dangerous. We have to learn to deal with and accept this when growing up. This particular example doesn't even seem life threateningly dangerous. Just get-some-stitches or maybe worst case lose-a-finger dangerous.

      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I wasn't thinking of the children. I was thinking of the people around the children.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4Az56t-rxQ

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by WillDraven (760005)

          I mean, yeah, getting hit with one looks like it wouldn't be fun, but it's not as if he almost died. He also was running the motor and the prop without having it anchored to anything.

          If you or your children are going to work/play with power tools, electronics, chemistry, or other form of engineering, you need to know what precautions to take to safely use your equipment and what the risks are when something fails.

          In this case about the worst case scenario is loss of control resulting in somebody to get some

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by trentblase (717954)
        You'll put your eye out!
  • is someone going to arm one of these.....granted, this particular model cannot carry even the lightest weapon right now....but scaled up, it might be a mini-UAV....
    • by Motard (1553251)

      Put a grenade on it and it could become an interpersonal ballistic missile. Might help in clearing rooms, rather than the old fashioned way which gets soldiers hurt.

      But its also cheap and available so the bad guys could get their own.

      Warfare could get weird.

  • by crgrace (220738) on Monday September 06, 2010 @10:25AM (#33488742)

    I was so disappointed when I learned this story wasn't about a parrot that had learned to control a helicopter using an iPod. Then he could get his own damn crackers.

  • I'll bet we see a CSI episode coming up where someone mounts a pistol to one, shoots someone, then flies it into a fast-moving river. Oh great... now we can't have remote control toys anymore.
  • These have been on sale in Europe for a couple weeks already, and they are a hell of a lot of fun. Not cheap, granted, but a wonderful toy to fly around the garden.
  • by FuckingNickName (1362625) on Monday September 06, 2010 @10:43AM (#33488870) Journal

    To whom it may concern:

    Shame this stuff is never covered when it's done by true homebrewing geeks. [jnaudin.free.fr]

    Sincerely,

    Dongcopters. [youtube.com]

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The neighbor's cat is toast!

  • Fools! (Score:1, Redundant)

    by Brett Buck (811747)

    How many parrots can afford an iPod?!

  • ...is waiting for all the online videos of next-door neighbors sunbathing topless, looking up all like "WTF!?" and running inside. And then the inevitable litigation for the encore.
  • latency! (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Wifi will never give performance you can expect from any RC flying object. You've just wasted U$300...

  • Don't know where they got Sept 9th from, but mine came on Friday, Sept 3rd.

    And it's still in one piece!
  • Parrot has *horrible* customer support. EG:

    1) they have a forum. The forum server they use is not configured correctly. Trying to get them to configure it correctly (with sendmail logs, etc) results in silence, or answers that shows an inability to even understand the simplest of MTA or debugging concepts.

    EG, from my MTA (sendmail):

    ruleset=check_mail, arg1=, relay=emencia02.ikoula.com [213.246.36.68], reject=553 5.1.8 ... Domain of sender address www-data@sarge.ikexpress.com does not exist

    # host

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