The Parrot AR Drone Quadricopter is a quadcopter helicopter which can be operated by a remote control. It has been specially designed to be controlled by a smartphone or a tablet operating system supported by iOS or Android. It has two built-in cameras. It is extremely easy to fly the AR Drone and it does not have much danger of flipping over or smashing into things. The edition 2.0 is the improved version of the genuine Parrot AR Drone. The second version has been upgraded and the functionality has been improved.
It is a plastic quadricoper with four plastic rotors. The structure includes two styrofoam bodies:
- An indoor body with the foam rings surrounding the rotors.
- An outdoor body which allows the rotors to remain exposed.
Both of the bodies, slip right over the drone frame and stay in place with a little pressure.
It has the carbon fiber tubes, which weighs around 380g with outdoor hull and the indoor hull weighs around 420g. The airframe is constructed of nylon and carbon fiber parts. Along with the airframe they have also supplied two interchangeable hulls. One of them is for the indoor flight. As it is made of foam, it can cover up the circumference of the blades for protection and the inertial center from the engine’s vibration. The other one is for the outdoor flight and is made of lightweight plastic, which increases the flexibility. Over the ultrasound sensors, there is a liquid repellant nano coating.
There are several sensors within the airframe, to assist the flight and thus, even the advanced flights become easier. It has ultrasound sensors, which helps in the ground altitude measurement. The onboard sensors include the ultrasound altimeter, which can provide a vertical stabilization upto 6 meters. It has a Linux 2.6.32. operating system, which the onboard computer uses to communicate with the pilot through a self-generated WiFi hotspot. It has a special software, which can stop the device during the time of emergency.
This Parrot AR Drone model does not require any expensive RC transmitter. It can be simply controlled by an iPhone, iPod Touch, an iPad using iOS based apps or Android based apps. Here, the accelerometer acts as a pitch and roll control. The AR Drone sends out its two-way Wifi RF signal.
It can be set up very easily. One has to power up AR Drone by connecting the LiPo Pack. Then, on he has to select AR Drone’s Wifi signal in the i-device’s setting menu.
One can record whatever the AR Drone views with its forward or down-facing camera. The application of the smartphone or the tablet handles all the recordings and storages. Thus, any photo or video that is taken through the AR Drone, automatically gets stored in the smartphone or the tablet. It does not have any onboard storage facility. It does not even record sound, as the drone’s rotors drown out any audio that it could capture. With a 720p camera, one can expect a decent indoor video quality.
AR Drone does not have a power switch, and is operated by plugging in a battery. It is operated by a 3 cells high graded Lithium-Polymer battery, which can be rechargeable. It has a great capacity of 1,000 mAh at 11.1 volts. The product also comes with a battery charger. The battery life is very low and even with a full charge it runs for about ten or twelve minutes.