Parrot AR Drone Helicopters
- Controlling Parrot AR Drone Helicopters
- Parrot AR Drone Helicopters FAQ's
- Parrot AR Drone Helicopter Augmented Reality Games
- When Will AR Drone Helicopters Be Available
- Where To Buy Parrot AR Drone Helicopters
- Parrot AR Drone Helicopters And The Ipod Touch
- How Much Is The Parrot AR Drone Helicopters
- Parrot AR Drone Helicopter MultiPlayer Games
- Flying Parrot AR Drone Helicopters Outside
- Flying Parrot AR Drone Helicopters Inside
- Parrot AR Drone Helicopter Camera Views On The Iphone
- Parrot AR Drone Helicopter Cameras
- Parrot AR Drone Helicopter Auto Flight Stabilization
- Parrot AR Drone Helicopter Games
- What Comes With Parrot AR Drone Helicopters
- How To Steer The Parrot AR Drone Helicopters
- What Is The Parrot AR Drone Helicopter
- NOTE: We are not the makers of the Parrot AR Drone nor are we associated with the company in any way. We are just big fans of the product that decided to help others see this thing in action. The makers of the AR Drone is the company Parrot which makes all kinds of top of the line products.
Parrot AR Drone Helicopters
Don't you dare call this thing a toy! The AR.Drone helicopter by Parrot is the latest, most revolutionary remotely controlled aircraft that is sure to be a hit with youngsters and grown up kids alike. One look at this thing and you'll be blown away at it's capabilities. At first glance, the Parrot AR.Drone looks like an impressive remote controlled helicopter, except for that it has 4 independent rotors. Known as a "Quadricopter" the Parrot AR.Drone is much more than your run of the mill RC helicopter.
Communication and control of the AR.Drone is what makes it unique. Flown through Wi-Fi network signals, the AR.Drone constantly streams images back to the control interface which in this case is the Apple iPhone or Apple iPod touch. Images are brought back to the pilot in real time allowing for a truly "Remote Controlled" experience. Never before has such technology been put together in one package, allowing the AR.Drone helicopter to do something no other remote controlled vehicle can do, except for the U.S. Military's Predator Drone.
As we just mentioned, an Apple iPhone or an iPod touch is required in order to operate the AR.Drone. Some consider this a drawback, but it is actually a strentgh. It is the computing power of the iPod touch and iPhone that allows the awesome heads up interface required to operate the quadricopter.
On this display, you will be able to control where the camera is pointing just by dragging your finger. Moving the AR.Drone is very simple as it done by moving the iPhone or iPod touch back and forth as well as side to side. The accelerometer in the iPhone and iPod touch are what makes this method of control possible, another benefit of the Apple product. Controlling the quadricopter in this way is a lot more natural to new users than traditional stick controllers for other RC helicopters which can be quite difficult to master. For instance, if you take your hands off a traditional RC helicopter, it crashes, usually doing hundreds of dollars in damage. With an AR.Drone, if you remove your fingers from the iPhone or iPod touch screen, the helicopter simply goes into autopilot mode and hovers in place.
Picture this, you're in one room and you want to see what's going on in another room. Power up your Parrot AR.Drone helicopter and pilot yourself into the perfect position to exactly what's going on. Do it just by steering your hands while gripping the display of your surroundings. What could be easier? Now you can do your own reconnaissance right from the comfort of your couch.
Slated to debut sometime in 2010, the Parrot AR.Drone and it's technology can be yours. Right now, it is unclear of it's exact release date, but after it's impressive showing at the International Consumer Electronics Show or CES, the masses will soon be demanding the AR.Drone. Sources speculate that we should be seeing the Parrot AR.Drone hitting shelves in the next few months. It can take some time to perfect technology that has been 4 years in the making. Keep checking back for when the official release details hit the wire.
UPDATE!! 9-9-10 - NOW SHIPPING
Now Available! Accesories And Replacement Parts Can Now Be Ordered Through Amazon
When Will AR Drone Helicopters Be Available
They have finally released the AR Drone Helicopters. AR Drone Helicopters are available for sale, but only in the USA. The release date for the UK and other countries will be released soon. Customers will be able to buy AR Drone Helicopters right away from here when they are released.
How Much Will The AR Drone Helicopters Cost?
Finally, they have told us how much the prices are going to be and how much AR Drone Helicopters will cost. The price for a AR Drone Helicopter will be $299. Spare parts are also going to be available for whenever you happen to break something. In addition to the price of the AR.Drone, to operate the craft requires an iPhone or an iPod touch which can further add to the total.
Cameras On The Parrot AR.Drone Helicopters
The AR.Drone helicopter comes equipped with two cameras. The first camera is a 93 degree wide angle camera which records images from the front at 15 fps. At realtime speed, the Parrot AR.Drone will show you exactly what it sees on the screen of your iPod Touch or iPhone in VGA resolution. This feature allows the pilot to operate the AR.Drone even when it is not within sight. The other camera, mounted on the underbelly, is a 64 degree high speed camera that films at 60 fps. All powered by Linux OS, the second camera is connected to an inertial guidance system that consists of MEMS (microelectromechanical systems), a 3 axis accelerometer, a 2 axis gyroscope, as well as a 1 axis yaw precision gyroscope. In addition, the AR.Drone is equipped with an ultrasound altimeter which when combined with the inertial guidance system maintains stable flight and compensates for variables such as wind turbulence.
Battery On The Parrot AR.Drone Helicopters
With all the technology incorporated in the Parrot AR Drone helicopter, one would expect for it to use gobs of power, however this is not true. Where possible, the on-board systems for the AR.Drone are controlled with CMOS processors which are ideal for battery powered applications. The power source for the Parrot AR. Drone consists of a 3 cell Lithium-ion polymer battery which is rechargeable. Though they are more expensive than lithium ion batteries, Parrot uses LiPo batteries to help cut the weight of the device but maintain the high performance qualities of lithium ion. The AR.Drone's batteries can be removed from the unit should they need to be replaced. When fully charged, the Parrot AR.Drone's battery allows for 15 minutes of uninterrupted flight time. When completely discharged, the AR.Drone will take 90 minutes to completely replenish it's batteries.
Motors On The Parrot AR.Drone Helicopters
Since the AR Drone helicopter has 4 rotors, it has to have 4 independent electric motors. For these, only top of the line components would do. Depending on the version you get, you will have your choice between 3500rpm brushless or brushed motors. Brushed motors are the most common in RC vehicles, and are generally cheaper. However, power freaks are going to want the Brushless motors. Brushless motors take more energy and produce more power, leading to the more expensive price. Either way you go, both are capable of propelling the Parrot AR.Drone to a top speed of 11mph/18kmh while providing plenty of lift to keep the craft stable.
Safety Features On The Parrot AR.Drone Helicopters
Since the AR Drone helicopter can be used indoors, there are more obstacles to get around, thus creating more chances to damage to property or the AR.Drone. Parrot thought about this and decided to spare no expense in making the AR.Drone rugged, yet safe. Constructed of carbon fiber tubes and PA66 plastic, the AR.Drone is meant to stand up to abuse. PA66 plastic is known for being hard, rigid, and resistant to abrasions, while carbon fiber is one of the strongest and lightest materials on the planet. Little chance of breaking the structure of the AR.Drone during normal use.
For further protection, the Parrot AR.Drone comes with an add on protective hull. This add on completely encases all 4 rotors, keeping them protected as well as from hitting people and other objects. In addition, all 4 rotors will lock, stopping them, should they come into contact with anything.
One more safety feature built into the Parrot AR.Drone is auto-pilot. Should your AR.Drone travel out of range auto-pilot will engage and safely land the craft which definitely beats the alternative of crashing.
Augmented Reality Games On The AR.Drone Helicopters
If flying the Parrot AR.Drone wasn't fun enough by itself, it comes with several "Augmented Reality" games. Basically these are games in which images are imposed on the interface creating a battle-like scenario between an A.I. opponent or another friend with an AR.Drone. Right now, Parrot has three augmented reality games for the AR.Drone, Robot, Drone War, and Duel.
Robot - In this augmented reality landscape, the AR.Drone pilot will battle back and forth with a menacing robot. Use guns, missles, and special tactics to take down your opponent before it gets you. Strategically position yourself to avoid the on-coming assault, and to hit the robot where it counts, in it's weak spot.
Drone War - Go against tougher and tougher waves of A.I. drones in head to head dogfights. The further you progress, the more heat the A.I. brings. Develop dogfighting skills to stay alive and to get the drop on the enemy.
Duel - Just like it sounds, this an all out war between drone pilots. Whether you're playing with a friend, or spot another AR.Drone in flight, you can fight it out to the death. Use on-board armament and cunning tactics to sneak up on enemies before delivering the death blow.
During flight, the front mounted camera is constantly scanning for other AR Drone helicopters with the magnetically mounted top beacon. Known as front camera detection, the AR.Drone will detect the enemy just as an actual HUD would do. In addition, when using AR.Drone 3D tags positioned in the operating environment, the front camera will pick these up, and interpret them as enemies and obstacles on the control interface. Basically, you can create a virtually unlimited number of scenarios for to navigate around or fight through with your AR.Drone.
Technical Information On The Parrot AR.Drone Helicopters
Depending on if the protective hull is installed or not, The AR Drone helicopter weighs in between 360g to 400g or right around 3/4 of a pound. Size of the AR.Drone is roughly 20.5 inches by 20.25 inches. While not the smallest, the AR. Drone is capable of fitting in some tight spots, and the craft is sure to become smaller as newer models are developed.
The AR.Drone is constructed of light-weight carbon fiber and PA66 plastic making it durable. A 3 cell Lithium-ion polymer battery powers (4) brushed or brushless motors at a maximum of 3,500 rpm. Recharging takes approximately 90 minutes for 15 minutes of uninterrupted flight time. Rotors on the AR.Drone are specially designed to provide the most lift while keeping the quadricopter stable and controllable.
Several systems are in place to run the electronics and guidance systems on the AR.Drone. For stability, the inertial guidance system combines the power of the 486mhz processor with microelectromechanical systems, an ultrasound altimeter, a 3 axis accelerometer, a 2 axis gyroscope, and a 1 axis precision yaw gyroscope to keep the AR.Drone airborne. Everything on the AR.Drone runs through a Linux based OS.
AR Drone helicopters are Wi-Fi capable in order to stream images from both onboard cameras back to the user's iPhone or iPod touch which serve as the control interface. The front mounted camera relays images at 15 fps while giving a 93 degree view. On the underside, a high speed cameras running at 60 fps collects more data the AR.Drone needs to stay aloft.