Parrot Unveils Smaller Bebop Drone and Skycontroller Dock
The French UAV maker, Parrot, recently unveiled two new additions to its consumer lineup, taking the wraps off the Bebop drone, featuring a 14 megapixel camera and 12 minutes of flight time, alongside a physical controller accessory dubbed the Skycontroller. The Bebop drone comes equipped with a 14 megapixel front-facing camera that Parrot says is specially stabilized using a proprietary 3-axis system and can be rotated up to 180 degrees. Much like its predecessor, the AR Drone 2.0, the Bebop streams its camera feed in real-time back to the pilotís iOS device, which can also act as the primary controller.
Although the Bebop sports the usual array of sensors, including an accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, pressure sensor, vertical camera, and ultrasound, it weighs just 400 grams fully loaded, 20 grams less than the AR Drone 2.0. The battery is a bit more potent at 1200 mAh, but Parrot says the flight time remains the same at 12 minutes. The Bebop also comes with built-in GPS, giving it the ability to fly autonomously and return to its takeoff location on its own if a problem arises.
Parrotís new Skycontroller accessory in the meantime acts as a dock for the iPhone, iPad or other device being used to fly the Bebop. The Skycontroller gives users the ability to use physical joysticks for piloting, and a built-ion amplified Wi-Fi radio will allow users to control the Bebop from up to 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) away. Users can also plug an Oculus Rift or other virtual reality headset to fly the drone simply by looking around. A complete list of compatible headsets wasnít announced, though it will likely support the same hardware as the AR Drone 2.0, including the Epson Moverio and Zeiss Vison Cinemizer OLED glasses.
Parrot claims the Bebop and Skycontroller are set to ship in the fourth quarter of 2014 though pricing has yet to be revealed.
Are any of you interested in purchasing either of the two additions to Parrotís lineup?