The advent of smart phones and tablets along with inexpensive and powerful microprocessors makes the high flying Parrot AR Drone 2.0 remarkably easy to control and enjoyable for geeks of all ages.
The AR Drone 2.0 is a small, semi-autonomous remote control quadrocopter. And unlike the remote control toys of, well, 5 years ago, the remote control isn’t a cheap plastic joystick with a whip antenna but rather a touch screen app that runs on an Apple iOS device or an Android smartphone or tablet. A powerful onboard computer keeps the drone stable in flight, automatically adjusting for small wind variations and piloting errors. It also keeps the drone relatively stationary in a hover mode when the controls are not being touched or the drone flies out of wifi range.
The drone is remarkably easy to control and the tablet/smartphone integration feels very natural. Press the ‘takeoff’ button on the screen and the drone will vault itself into the air, quickly stabilizing and settling into a hover mode while it awaits additional commands from the app. The drone autonomously lands after pushing the same button while it is in flight.
Watch Lon’s high altitude flight!