Sometimes you just take a look at something and think “Wow! I want one of those”. Parrot’s latest bit of kit, the AR.Drone, is just one such object.
The AR.Drone is a quadricopter (central cockpit and four propellers) that’s fully controllable via an iPhone or iPod Touch.
Operating over Wi-Fi, it features two cameras. One is used to allow the drone to sense its height and speed, which pictures from the second are relayed back to the iPhone where they can be used either as-is or as part of “Augmented Reality” games.
Various onboard technology, including three axes accelerometer and gyro and an ultrasound sensor, helps to compensate for environmental factors such as wind when flying the drone outside and makes the drone very easy to fly. The iPhone’s accelerometer is put to full use in controlling its flight.
What’s exciting is that Parrot have offered an open environment for games developers, so we could start to see games that use the drone. Even so, it’s exciting enough just to have the drone as it is.
Exact pricing and availability is still be confirmed, though it’s expected to be available this year.