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By 15 August 2012 | Categories: news

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The latest must-have tech gadget to land on local shores is the next generation Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 quadricopter, which has become available locally. This quadricopter is the physical embodiment of all your Airwolf childhood fantasies, being a fully capable, remote-controlled, HD snapping flying machine, controlled via Android-powered smartphone or tablet, or iOS-running mobile device (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch).

Local Android and iOS mobile device owners will be able to take to the skies via this Wi-Fi controlled quadricopter, and then capture photos as well as record HD-Ready (720p) videos from its bird’s eye view.

Like its predecessor, the AR.Drone 2.0 is piloted by way of Wi-Fi network signals and an intuitive graphical user interface (UI) that is overlayed on your smartphone or tablet display. This UI is part and partial of the AR.FreeFlight 2.0 piloting application, which users download for free from Apple’s App Store or Google’s Play store for their respective devices.  

A heavenly vista

Once the device is airborne, its onboard camera transmits what the quadricopter sees in real-time to the pilot’s device screen in HD (1280 x 720) resolution. The more competitive users will be able to utilise the AR.FreeFlight 2.0 piloting application to capture high-res images as well as record their own flight videos. These photos and videos are stored on the AR.Drone 2.0’s internal memory and can then be shared at a later stage with the rest of the AR.Drone community via YouTube or Picasa.

Orientating to the ability of the pilot

Parrot’s AR.Drone 2.0 sports a 3D magnetometer that enables the device to know its precise orientation with respect to the device that is controlling it. This device will then become the reference point for the quadricopter, meaning that the pilots no longer needs to concern themselves with the orientation of the AR.Drone 2.0, making things a lot simpler for newbies.

For those who have already logged a fair amount of hours on the previous generation quadricopter, a Relative Flight mode is selectable to disable the Parrot AR.Drone 2.0’s magnetometer and enable more seasoned pilots to manage the quadricopter’s orientation without any assistance.

In addition, users will also be able to pull off stunts using the AR.Drone 2.0's new Flip feature. You simply double tap the button on the right side of the piloting device screen in order to prompt the quadricopter to perform a loop.

The AR.Drone 2.0 can be purchased online or at leading local IT stores for the recommended retail price of R3 500.

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