For those who have been following developments of the AR.Drone by Parrot, the iPhone-controlled quadricopter is now available for ordering.
The AR.Drone is the first quadricopter that can be controlled by an iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad via a WiFi connection. Made of carbon fiber and resistance plastic, the drone is very resilient to damage.
When everything is set up, users use an iDevice and just tilt and touch the iDevice to control the AR Drone.
The quadricopter is just loaded with tech such as a wide angle camera, a high speed camera, MEMS (Micro Electro Mechanical Systems), an accelerometer, gyro sensors, ultrasound sensor, and an onboard computer. The whole package reminds me of the flying robot from Terminator 3, especially when the drone takes flight!
How It Works
To successfully take flight, the AR.Drone creates its own WiFi network to which users connect their iDevice. Note that the WiFi network is open without security. Using the WiFi connection, the front camera of the AR.Drone is streamed to the iDevice.
By using the onscreen controls and simply tilting the iDevice, the AR.Drone will take flight and move in the direction in which the iDevice is tilted.
The piloting app for the AR.Drone is available for free on iTunes. Aside from the piloting app, there will be a few augmented reality games also available on the App Store which will feature single and multiplayer games.
The Parrot AR.Drone is available from the Parrot online store for $299.99USD.