Hovering drone draws rave reviews at CES

Jan 06, 2010
An attendee photographs an AR. Drone helicopter by Parrot as it flies overhead during a press event for the 2010 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. The device, which is controlled wirelessly from an iPhone, is expected to be available in late 2010, and has two cameras on it making it useful for video game applications.

Hovering silently a few feet off the ground it looks like a flying saucer out of a Steven Spielberg film.

But it's no alien device. It's a new toy called the AR.drone from French company Parrot -- a small remote-controlled helicopter which is piloted using an or an through a Wi-Fi connection.

A demonstration of the miniature helicopter, or quadricopter for its four propellers, drew rave reviews at the opening here of the annual (CES) as it flew around the heads of exhibitors and journalists.

The pilot maneuvers the drone using the accelerometer in an iPhone or iPod.

Moving the iPhone forward makes the AR.Drone go forward while a sideways movement makes it turn a corner or change direction. Command buttons on the iPhone allow it to go up or down.

Parrot specializes in making hands-free wireless systems for cars and company founder Henri Seydoux said the AR.Drone is the first product of its kind from the Paris-based firm, which employs 450 people worldwide.

"We expect to have it on the market sometime this year," the Parrot chief executive told AFP.

He declined to name a price saying it had not yet been set.

The AR.Drone weighs just over 300 grams, or half a pound, and is equipped with a video camera that streams to the iPhone or iPod the view from the "cockpit."

The AR.Drone can be used for what Parrot called "augmented reality gaming" -- allowing "real world objects and conditions, like a tree or wind, to become a part of the video gaming experience."

Parrot said the AR.Drone is built on an open platform and the company is inviting outside developers to creates games for the device.

Explore further: FINsix small-size laptop adapter uses special power platform

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Augmented Reality: Science Fiction or Reality? (w/ Video)

Jul 07, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Computer graphics have come a long way since the birth of Atari Games over 30 years ago. Today, computer graphics seem very real and some day researchers will pull graphics out of your television ...

A drone for security and safety (w/Video)

May 29, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- European researchers have developed a small robotic drone capable of helping save lives in emergency situations or preventing terrorist attacks in urban areas.

Apple lets iPhone apps get down to business

Oct 17, 2009

Apple said Friday that it is allowing businesses to sell content or services through applications given away for free at the iPhone maker's online App Store.

iPod Touch offers video-game fun

Feb 25, 2009

My video-game addiction took on a new, smaller footprint after the holidays. Resigning myself to the fact that my four-year-old iPod was never going to die of its own accord, I proactively put the clunky, ...

Apple's booming App Store tops 100,000 programs

Nov 04, 2009

Apple on Wednesday announced that outside developers have crammed the virtual shelves of its App Store with more than 100,000 mini-programs for iPhones and iPod Touch devices.

Recommended for you

Sony's PlayStation 4 sales top seven million

2 hours ago

Sony says it has sold seven million PlayStation 4 worldwide since its launch last year and admitted it can't make them fast enough, in a welcome change of fortune for the Japanese consumer electronics giant.

Study: Samsung phone durable, but iPhone has edge

Apr 14, 2014

Samsung's new Galaxy S5 smartphone is more durable than last year's model and other leading Android phones, but the iPhone 5s outperformed all of them in part because of its smaller size, a new study finds.

Invention loves collaboration at Milan show

Apr 14, 2014

Collaboration drove invention during Milan's annual International Furniture Show and collateral design week events, yielding the promise of homes without mobile phone chargers, and with more ergonomic seating, ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

BetterByDesign
4 / 5 (1) Jan 06, 2010
Interesting since Silverlit came out with a radio controlled "X-Ufo." Perhaps Silverlit licensed the technology to Parrot (or perhaps there will be a patent infringement lawsuit if otherwise).

http://www.silver...5611.htm

More news stories

Sony's PlayStation 4 sales top seven million

Sony says it has sold seven million PlayStation 4 worldwide since its launch last year and admitted it can't make them fast enough, in a welcome change of fortune for the Japanese consumer electronics giant.

Robotics goes micro-scale

(Phys.org) —The development of light-driven 'micro-robots' that can autonomously investigate and manipulate the nano-scale environment in a microscope comes a step closer, thanks to new research from the ...

Biologists help solve fungi mysteries

(Phys.org) —A new genetic analysis revealing the previously unknown biodiversity and distribution of thousands of fungi in North America might also reveal a previously underappreciated contributor to climate ...