Parrot AR Drone pays a visit – in the name of research

@andypiper has just come back from a long work trip, on his way back at one of the lay overs he invested in a Parrot AR quadricopter (@ardrone). I was most honoured that he offered to bring it around Feeding Edge HQ so I could have a look and a play with it. This would be cool at any time but was very timely as I needed to get the feel of it as it is likely to be an item on the Cool Stuff Collective.
Andy shot, edited up and posted this video last night of the AR Drone zooming around the garden. What is amazing is that it really was very windy. (He has left out the minor crashes we both managed to make in to the swing, the apple tree and the bush at the back ๐Ÿ™‚
It does a load of things that are really very clever. The front and down facing cameras are very neat, in particular as it is self stabilises giving you time to look at the video stream on your iphone (which is also the controller for the copter). The ultrasound sensors on the under tray help keep the copter stations over the ground at the height you set. As out garden has an odd slope in it it was cool to fly the drone at the tier and see it lift itself up as it flys the contour!

Andy was very brave in getting pretty close to the Drone at the end of this film. Whilst it copes with the odd gust of wind it can still slew a little outside, but I think the against the sky shot he got is awesome.
I think we should have no problems zooming this around a nice still TV studio.
Other cool things that I did not realise about the drone is that it generates its own ad hoc wireless network, has an embedded linux on board and you can telnet to it ! It can also seek an AR tag to land on and detect other Parrot AR drones.
You can screenshot the iphone app interface, and soon be able to stream the video.
Parrot AR Drone
It is very very cool indeed. Thanks Andy !

9 thoughts on “Parrot AR Drone pays a visit – in the name of research

  1. A pleasure, sir – and I even managed to edumicate you on the magic-fu of how to take screenshots on an iPhone ๐Ÿ˜›

  2. Indeed I did not know that holding the power and the home button at the same time did a screen shot on a iphone ๐Ÿ™‚ Most handy if not a little fiddly ๐Ÿ™‚ Have a word with Jobs about that will you ?

  3. Arcticflea

    Love. I gots to get me one of these.

    Not sure how to justify it for work, so it’s on the Xmas list now ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. Ian and Andy,

    Way cool..great editing this together, are the colors really that saturated?? I now know that I must get one of these… is the iPhone app free? or is it an added cost?


  5. Mr Piper did the filming and editing. He was filming from his iphone whilst I used the AR drone batteries up. The still is a screen cap from the iphone app (which is free).
    Sounds like one for dogear-nation ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. On-board OS and ad-hoc wireless.. my goodness, this is positively crying out for some sort of strategy game. Imagine a field full of these, all engaged in aerial Command & Conquer! Perhaps I think too militarily, though. It’s a cute gadget, and seems to fly really well! Nicely demonstrated, chaps.

  7. Oh good question Michael, no I saturated the image in iMovie for this particular video. Hmm didn’t get a notification of follow-up comments.

    They are definitely planning to build games around this with the tag recognition etc. In the box you get stickers and tags to put on the chassis which I believe will work with the next iPhone app. The initial Free Flight app is free, and I’m hoping / expecting the follow-up Flying Ace game app is going to be free as well. Remains to be seen.

  8. Pingback: 170 – Andy’s Triumphant Return : Dogear Nation ยป Podcast

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