January 6, 2010
Parrot's iPhone-controlled AR.Drone seems more like something the military would put to use, and probably somehow lose control of, but it's actually a new consumer friendly remote control flying toy that was recently shown off at this year's CES. The geek in you has probably already forced your hand to reach for your wallet. The Parrot AR.Drone is a four-propellered ultimate flying machine. The AR.Drone features two cameras, which will allow you to see what the Drone sees via a Wi-Fi connection, and they also apparently are able to help control the device's speed and altitude. All of this is powered by the AR.Drone's on-board Linux-based computer. Besides being able to free fly, Parrot has also included an augmented reality game for the AR.Drone. The AR.Drone will self-hover while you blast away augmented reality enemies on your iPhone, or if you have two drones, you can battle each other. The AR.Drones are intelligent enough not to collide, once again thanks to the on-board Linux computer. If you happen to collide with a wall or another AR.Drone somehow, the device should still hold up thanks to a removable polypropylene hull. The Parrot AR.Drone will only be controllable via an iPhone app, but Parrot intends to offer up the source code to anyone looking to control it via different methods. According to its Facebook page, the AR.Drone will launch on March 5, 2010 for a yet-to-be determined price. Embedded below are two video demos of the AR.Drone in action. One demonstrates its free flying abilities, while the other shows off the alternate reality gameplay.