Linux 'copter flies in to Blighty
Parrot's AR.Drone priced up
Parrot's helicopter-like executive toy, the AR.Drone, will land in the UK in August, the company revealed last night.
Priced at £299, the Drone is a tad too pricey to pick up for the offspring, but eminently affordable for your average gadget fan. After all, they'll need an iPhone to run the remote control software - 'nuff said.
Geeks will love it too - it runs Linux and Parrot has provided a freely available software development kit for the device.
The Drone is a Wi-Fi hotspot in its own right - no net connectivity of course - to which the iPhone connects to send control signals to the chopper's four flight motors and receive feeds from the toy's two - 0.3Mp and 0.03Mp - cameras.
With its protective surround
Capable of hitting 18km per hour and of reaching an altitude of 50m - the range of the Wi-Fi zone, essentially - the 525 x 515mm, 400g Drone is driven by a 1000mAh battery that's good for just 12 minutes' flight time. It then takes an hour and a half to recharge.
Good job, then, that's it's easy to swap out, though there's no word from Parrot yet about the cost of extra power packs.
We have a video of the Drone in operation here.
Cautious parents and the clumsy will be pleased to learn that sensors immediately cut the props' power if fingers or other members are brought too close to these "blades for slicing air".
The Drone goes on sale on 18 August, exclusively through HMV. ®
The local neighbourhood voyeur could hover one of these outside someone's bedroom window with the camera routing a live feed back to their iPhone. Assuming they can keep it steady enough to maintain a hover, 12 minutes fly time should be more than ample for their purposes...
Still, at least flying one handed makes a change from typing one handed.
Anon because I'm somewhat embarrassed that I even thought of this application.
Re: This is the year
Nice1. My keyboard is now drenched in coffee!!1oneone
This is the year...
that Linux takes off !
Will work with one of those too, I imagine that clients will be available for desktop, either as a browser plug in, flash, or something similar.
Been following this on Facebook for a while, they do look great fun, especially if you team up more than one, wonder if I can get my client to buy a few to play with in their warehouse?!
Secondly, they're also releasing an Android controller. Happy now?