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Parrot unveils new, smaller Bebop drone & Skycontroller joystick control dock for iPad

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
French UAV maker Parrot on Monday unveiled two new additions to its consumer lineup, taking the wraps off of 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. Like its predecessor, the AR.Drone 2.0, the Bebop streams its camera feed in realtime back to the pilot's iOS device, which also acts as the primary controller.

While 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 beefier at 1200 mAh, but Parrot says that 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.

Parrot's new Skycontroller accessory, meanwhile, 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-in 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 was not 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 says the Bebop and Skycontroller are set to ship in the fourth quarter of 2014, though pricing has yet to be revealed.
post #2 of 18
I had the 2.0 and it wasn't worth the money if there was any wind at all outside. It lost connection constantly and then the worst thing ever happened- it's "autopilot" decided to fly it out over a hill somewhere on a military base where it's now laid to rest with my $300. It's a good idea if they had weight to them but sadly these birds are best used indoors. Good luck to anyone who drops the cash for one.
post #3 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by AjbDtc826 View Post

I had the 2.0 and it wasn't worth the money if there was any wind at all outside. It lost connection constantly and then the worst thing ever happened- it's "autopilot" decided to fly it out over a hill somewhere on a military base where it's now laid to rest with my $300. It's a good idea if they had weight to them but sadly these birds are best used indoors. Good luck to anyone who drops the cash for one.

 Not sure any military base would appreciate you flying anywhere near the base, every think they jammed you signal so you could not control it.

 

Near me there was an RC club who had a lease on a property to fly their planes, they been there for a long time, after 9-11 and the fact there was a jail across the street from where the flew and a few planes over the many yrs buzzes the jail air space and one plane lost radio contract with the controller and crashed landed inside the fence of the jail put an end to their flying planes anywhere near the jail. I not sure if this is true but the authorities claimed that the RC group was flying planes with camera's over and near the jail which was security risk.

post #4 of 18

I agree, do not even fly kites near a military base. I think its a violation of federal law to operate any flying stuff in their airspace. I have a Parrot AR 2.0, and I love the thing. It certainly is not perfect, but like the original Kinect on XBOX, it is an amazing amalgam of technologies available at hobbyist pricing. I like mine alot.

post #5 of 18

The Parrot looks terribly unstable. How could one stomach monitoring it via a head mounted display?

 

Compare it to the stability and range of the Phantom 2 with 3D gimbal mounted GoPro3+ camera--with twice the battery life, too.

post #6 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpsro View Post

The Parrot looks terribly unstable. How could one stomach monitoring it via a head mounted display?

Compare it to the stability and range of the Phantom 2 with 3D gimbal mounted GoPro3+ camera--with twice the battery life, too.

Right ... Dramamine not included ....

Talking of which, with the obvious problem of radio waves under water taken into account, I would think an underwater drone would be fun and less contentious. A high res camera and lights on a tethered consumer priced underwater drone could be a whole new market.
Edited by digitalclips - 5/12/14 at 11:06am
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Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
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post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpsro View Post
 

The Parrot looks terribly unstable. How could one stomach monitoring it via a head mounted display?

 

Compare it to the stability and range of the Phantom 2 with 3D gimbal mounted GoPro3+ camera--with twice the battery life, too.

 

I think the price differential puts them in different categories.  The Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 is $299, whereas the Phantom 2 sells for $679 with no camera and $1,009 with a camera (these are Amazon prices, retail prices are higher).  I would imagine that the Bebop would sell for $299 at the most, hopefully less, so I think most people looking for a drone for casual/toy use would look at the Parrot drones while anyone wanting to use a drone for anything serious would look at the Phantom 2 or similar.

post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrbofus View Post
 

I think the price differential puts them in different categories. 

The Parrot is in the "why bother?" category.

post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post

 Not sure any military base would appreciate you flying anywhere near the base, every think they jammed you signal so you could not control it.

Near me there was an RC club who had a lease on a property to fly their planes, they been there for a long time, after 9-11 and the fact there was a jail across the street from where the flew and a few planes over the many yrs buzzes the jail air space and one plane lost radio contract with the controller and crashed landed inside the fence of the jail put an end to their flying planes anywhere near the jail. I not sure if this is true but the authorities claimed that the RC group was flying planes with camera's over and near the jail which was security risk.
We were experimenting with it's capabilities, everything stayed unclassed (or I wouldn't have posted it) in a civilian used area. It wasn't the RF, it was the wind and how the props failed to keep it in place like it was supposed to. It's meant for light duty so if you take it up to a windy hill, kiss it goodbye. Mine just happened to stay up like a kite and never dropped. I'm not a physics expert but I would have thought gravity would have won that battle based on the aerodynamics of the drone. Nope.
post #10 of 18
Now, what I am looking out for is someone to post an alternative solution. Parrot has a good consumer idea for a product, but for the pro market there's too many to look at being cost effective without actually trying it first hand
post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by AjbDtc826 View Post

We were experimenting with it's capabilities, everything stayed unclassed (or I wouldn't have posted it) in a civilian used area. It wasn't the RF, it was the wind and how the props failed to keep it in place like it was supposed to. It's meant for light duty so if you take it up to a windy hill, kiss it goodbye. Mine just happened to stay up like a kite and never dropped. I'm not a physics expert but I would have thought gravity would have won that battle based on the aerodynamics of the drone. Nope.

Cows fly if the wind is strong enough ...
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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post #12 of 18
Love the AR.Drone 2.0 (cautiously flown in only the best conditions because I'm chicken), and if I didn't already have that, I love how one's more compact.

The Rift thing sounds cool... and utterly nauseating. And not stereoscopic, which defeats (much of) the point of Oculus Rift.

As for the controls, I never minded the on-screen control, especially tilt-based relative mode. I would consider joysticks a step down%u2014until you fly far away maybe. I'd love the added range, though. If it can use the Skycontroller for range, and still allow tilt for steering when nearby, that sounds ideal.
post #13 of 18
Is it just me, or is the word distortion spelled wrong at 2:02? (distorsion)
post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post
 

Not sure any military base would appreciate you flying anywhere near the base, every think they jammed you signal so you could not control it.

 

Conspiracy theory much? These drones use publicly-legal frequencies and the military would be violating the law if they jammed those frequencies. A lot of other products use those frequencies too; there would be other complaints by the public if there was jamming taking place.

post #15 of 18
The girl who lives next door to me who undresses every night at eight o'clock to have a shower is going to love this!
The problem with posting nude photos of Jennifer Lawrence on the internet is that it takes away all the mystique...
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The problem with posting nude photos of Jennifer Lawrence on the internet is that it takes away all the mystique...
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post #16 of 18

i'd like to know how to shoot these annoying fucking things out of the sky. 

post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by gregnacu View Post

Is it just me, or is the word distortion spelled wrong at 2:02? (distorsion)

It's ok in français which is what they probably speak. At least you understood what they meant.

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

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post #18 of 18
Originally Posted by mac_dog View Post
i'd like to know how to shoot these annoying fucking things out of the sky. 

 

The airspace over your property to 2000 feet is yours. It has obviously never been tried in court, but you could probably get away with shooting down anything like this that goes over your property. You’re almost guaranteed a win if the drone has a downward-facing camera.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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