As the U.S. government spends millions on unmanned drone attacks in secret wars abroad, U.S. entrepreneurs are trying to find a way to bring some of that technology to the average citizen. Now, thanks to the Parrot AR Drone 2.0, the average citizen can guide a low-powered drone by using their smartphone.
The Parrot AR Drone 2.0, which costs roughly $300, allows average citizens to aerially spy on anyone they can. The miniature drone is controlled by using an app on the iPhone or iPad. The aircraft itself features multiple sensors that include high-definition front-facing 720p camera and a vertical camera that faces straight down from the bottom of the quadricopter. The machine itself is relatively lightweight and can be easily transported.
The Parrot AR Drone 2.0 is the second iteration of the device and is slightly more expensive than the outdated Parrot AR Drone 1.0. That's because the new model allows users to record video and take pictures while in flight. The app to the drone also makes it extremely easy to share any footage online.
Users of the consumer-friendly drone can direct the aircraft using intuitive controls on the iPad or iPhone controller. Once the drone is turned on, the four propellers begin spinning and lift the tiny aircraft up off of the ground. With the push of a button, the aircraft will automatically lift up one meter higher and sit and wait for the next command. Users can control the drone from thereon out by tilting their iPhone or iPad.
The WiFi remote connection from the iPhone or iPad only extends about 200 feet. Although that sounds like plenty of distance, many of the users have complained that it's not enough on blogs around the internet. Nonetheless, by using the AR Freeflight 2.0 app, users can see exactly what the mini drone camera is seeing in real-time.
Hackers have particularly taken to the device because of its intuitive controls and accessibility. One of hte many hacks that have been created with the device turns the drone into a hunter-seeker and can also make it follow a user around like a pet. Exactly what the practical applications of hte functions are remains unknown, but the fact that the default controls can be hacked is alluring to many.
Here are some specs and features of the Parrot AR Drone 2.0:
- Record and share videos and pictures directly from the piloting interface
- Store and share your flight data (time, speed, altitude) to unlock community achievements
- Geolocate your flights and connect with a community of pilots to see flights and videos from all over the world, and check who is flying in your neighborhood
- HD Camera: 720p 30fps
- Wide angle lens: 92 degree diagonal
- H264 encoding base profile
- Low latency streaming
- Video storage on the fly with remote device
- JPEG photo capture
- Traveling, Pan, Crane predefined autopilot modes for video recording
- 3 elements 1,000 mAH LiPo rechargeable battery
- Foam to isolate the inertial center from the engine's vibrations