A lot of us own smartphones and tablets, and the entertainment we derive from it is usually… well, let’s just say pretty passive. That is, we’re watching a movie, swiping the screen or tapping it when we’re gaming. But, nothing physical is happening, and it’s probably a little hard to share your virtual achievements.
A new generation of smartphone and tablet games are now here, and they involve real life objects. Meet the Parrot AR Drone. This high flying quadcopter is controlled by an iOS or Android device, using one of many official AR Drone flying apps.
The way to connect the AR Drone is really simple. Download AR Freeflight from the App Store or Google Play onto the device that you want to use as your controller. Charge the battery, connect it to the Drone and it will automatically broadcast its own wireless network hotspot. Connect to the hotspot with your iOS or Android device – it will connect automatically.
Open the Free Flight app, and you will be presented with vision from the camera on board the drone. That’s right, it has a 720p camera built-in. If you’re a short film maker, you’ll love the opportunity to capture your drone’s flight and post it to Youtube or share with friends and family.
The AR Drone has a USB connection so you can secure a small flash drive and have the Drone record directly onto the drive for editing later after you transfer it. The other way is to use the wifi-connectivity to both control the drone and record the camera footage using the iPad. Simply press the record button on the screen to begin recording and once again when you have completed it.
The Drone will finalise the video, and you’ll be able to view it in your gallery. You can then use other third party apps to edit the vid, and post it to your favourite social network. Who knows, your clip might go viral!
Flying the drone brings everyone’s attention to the hovering object, and of course you’ll have to impress them! You’ll be able to flip the Drone in mid-air, and believe me, you’ll get some amazed gasps from your onlookers.
One big hint is to use the view from your smartphone/tablet as your frame of reference – that way you won’t be confused which way is left and right. It makes it easier to navigate obstacles and really fine tune your flying skills – which you will need in the ultimate aerial combat – racing and dogfighting against another Drone!
The Parrot is available in the following stores: Alexandria, Bankstown, Bennetts Green, Blacktown, Brookvale, Chatswood, Fyshwick, Haymarket, Hornsby, Liverpool, Mona Vale, Moore Park, Old Guildford, Rockdale, Rhodes, Rouse Hill, Shellharbour and Thornton.
Here’s a great example of the AR Drone being used to fly over the complete opposite of this lightweight quadcopter – the massive A380 aircraft. Enjoy!