Parrot AR.Drone, the first quadricopter controlled by an iPod touch, iPhone or iPad, has taken flight in cities around the U.S. The first Parrot AR.Drones, shipped by Brookstone, arrived this week to aspiring pilots across the country.
One of the first customers to receive the product, Kevin Sigua of Indianapolis, wanted an AR.Drone since viewing the product in action at the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show and pre-ordered his at Brookstone.com weeks ago.
“From its technological ingenuity and the integration with the Apple iPhone/iTouch, it is amazing, but most importantly it has the sheer fun factor,” Sigua said. “I hope to find other AR.Drone pilots in my area so we can fly together.”
The AR.Drone, which retails for $299, is available exclusively in Brookstone stores. Each AR.Drone includes:
- AR.Drone with internal hull
- 1 external hull
- 1 battery
- 1 battery charger and 4-pin mains adapter
- 1 set of stickers
- 1 quick start guide
The AR.Drone combines real and virtual worlds. A front camera broadcasts and streams what the AR.Drone is seeing onto the iPod touch, iPhone or iPad screen and provides the opportunity for augmented reality games. The AR.Drone generates its own Wi-Fi network at which you simply connect an iPod touch or iPhone. The AR.FreeFlight application is a free app in the App Store and allows for the AR.Drone to be piloted via the iPod touch/iPhone/iPad. Once in-flight, the accelerometer of the iPod touch/iPhone/iPad detects all of the movements and the AR.Drone will mirror all movements made by the iPod touch/iPhone/iPad while the pilot’s left thumb is on the control button.
The AR.Drone uses MEMS (Micro Electro Mechanicals Systems), three axes accelerometer, two gyrometers [one axe & two axes], one ultrasound sensor and one vertical camera to automatically stabilize once it takes off. This allows for stable flights for even beginner pilots, according to company officials.
The AR.Drone-Pilot Academy provides multiple videos and instructions that prepare pilots for flight. It also connects AR.Drone fans from around the world.