One of the more exciting things to come out of CES so far is the upgraded version of the Parrot AR.Drone. This quadcopter made a splash at last year’s show, with its on-board camera, WiFi connectivity, smartphone control, open source software, and under $300 price point.
This year, the Drone is back and it’s now sporting an updated 720p camera, HD recording, geo-location tech, automatable fly and record capability, and much improved flight control software and hardware improvements for better auto-stabilization and flying. The AR.Drone can be controlled from both Android and iPhones. The Drone is sold as a flying game platform — as a toy — but with these changes, this becomes a serious device and fits right in with PT’s prediction about 2012 being the year of the drone. The AR.Drone 2.0 will retail for the same price as the original and is expected to be available in Q2 2012.
To see some of the cool things that people are doing with AR.Drones, see Dronehacks.
Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.View more articles by Gareth Branwyn