Parrot AR Drone

By Enda Crowley on September 10th, 2013

How can we accept before we understand? This is a problem I don’t think Parrot were knowingly trying to tackle when they created the AR Drone, but they have certainly done a good job with it. The AR Drone is one of the first “consumer” drones on the market, controlled using WiFi and an app for Android and iOS devices.

It broadcasts live video from one of two cameras: a front-facing camera and one on the bottom of the device, for birds-eye view videos.

It’s hard to not look at one of these things and instantly feel like a 10-year-old. Unboxing it in the office, we were presented with bigger batteries, different coloured propellors and USB flight recorders. “What’s this for?”, we’d ask. “Who cares? It’s awesome!” was generally the reply.

The drone comes bundled with stickers which you use for the augmented reality games. If you and a friend both have AR drones, you can take them out and basically play laser-tag with them. Its awesome. I’ve been a huge fan of augmented reality for years, but this is by-far the best application I have seen to date.

It takes some time to get used to flying the AR Drone. I would recommend keeping the indoor bumpers on it and flying around a garden or (empty) park at first: it’s a lot faster than you think! We used an abandoned trading floor in our building to learn the ropes. You can run into some issues.

Feeling a bit more confident in ourselves, we decided to fly it into our office from the ground floor.

When it just hovers by your head, this thing is nothing short of menacing.

Milo Yiannopoulos in a stand-off with the AR drone.

Milo Yiannopoulos in a stand-off with the AR drone.

I’ve always enjoyed remote-controlled cars, helicopters and planes but the AR drone takes it to another level. The people from Parrot are coming to collect this one tomorrow and I’m absolutely going to buy one for myself. I recommend you do the same.