You reach into your pocket for your smartphone to read a message, check your email, browse the web, or watch your favorite TV show, amazed at so many things your smartphone can do for you. Well, it turns out that they have become smart enough to fly a helicopter! With the new Parrot AR.Drone 2.0, unleashing your inner childhood dream of becoming a helicopter pilot is just a step closer to reality. This hi-tech smartphone accessory (yes! It is considered an accessory) is available for Android and IOS devices.
Features and Specifications
The AR.Drone 2.0 is basically a quad-rotor helicopter that is remotely controlled by a few selected IOS and Android devices. The blades are made of plastic, which is actually a good choice of material as it is flexible and can take a good deal of punishment and not to mention cheap to replace. It comes in two hull styles that are good for outdoor and indoor play. The indoor hull is lightweight but is strong enough to keep the blades from being damaged while the outdoor hull offers good aerodynamics. However, there are setbacks. Some gears on the rotors are made of a material that is easily chipped and cracked especially that these gears are somewhat exposed.
One good thing about this RC is that you need not have an expensive transmitter compared to other RCs. Control of the AR.Drone 2.0, is through a system that is made possible by the drone’s on-board Wi-Fi. This can be a limitation in range for outdoor play but should do well indoors. Once connected to your smartphone, all you need to do is open the drone’s application to control it. The control interface is very simple and highly customizable. Being able to limit the ceiling and the rate of descent or ascent prevents crashes especially for inexperienced users. The application also features battle mode for multiplayer situations.
Most people don’t know that the smaller a flying object is, the more aerodynamically unstable it is, which means that it becomes really hard to control. This has been a dilemma for RC enthusiasts. The Drone 2.0 easily overcame this aspect with its 3-axis gyroscope which allows the Drone to actually correct itself before it’s too late. It’s really amazing to see that the Drone can stabilize itself outside even in windy conditions.
The gadget’s stability is also because of the phone application as controls. Just by double tapping the screen of your phone will allow you to perform an aerial maneuver that any RC enthusiast could ever dream of. You can even leave it on fly mode and it will hover on its own without you having to constantly hold onto your smart phone.
The Parrot Drone 2.0 is probably one of the most high-tech smartphone accessories there is and is one that will bring the inner child out of anyone who uses it. This remote controlled device, in terms of performance can be at par with very expensive RC’s out there. However, this device is far from perfection.
Out of the box, though set-up can be less than a minute, the batteries are not powerful enough for sustained play so you might want to consider third party suppliers for this one. Some of the parts easily get damaged so it would’ve been nice if they were made out of a tougher material. The good thing though is that these parts are highly replaceable and easily fixed.