The Nokia N900 continues to show its appeal this week; after getting Android 2.3 Gingerbread on Wednesday, now the Maemo smartphone has become the next way to control Parrot's AR.Drone. As we found in our AR.Drone review, Parrot only offers iOS remote control apps officially, and has left the APIs open for developers to create Android and other apps themselves. That's just what Maemo chief engineer Kate Alhola has done with her N900.
Video demo after the cut
Parrot's AR.Drone isn't short on intelligence - as we discovered in our recent review - but it's also the ideal platform for quadricopter-based experiements. Tinkerer Psykokwak has figured out Urbi integration - an open-source robotics software platform - to give the AR.Drone object-tracking abilities (in this case it can identify and follow a red ball) as well as broader control options, including a Wiimote, a joystick or pretty much anything else that can hook up to your computer, in a mere 25 lines of code.
Video demo after the cut
Parrot's AR.Drone was the surprise hit of CES 2010, breaking the French company out of its Bluetooth prison and instead taking to the skies with an iPhone-controlled quadricopter. Reminiscent of something out of a William Gibson novel, the AR.Drone promises to best all R/C helicopters before it, with its combination of four-rotor stability and onboard autopilot intelligence. Check out the full SlashGear review after the cut.
If you're a Parrot AR.Drone owner, the view below is probably something you're only likely to see after a particularly impressive - if overly organized - crash. The quadricopter is designed to make component replacement straightforward, but iFixit went one step further and stripped it down completely in their latest teardown.
This game is called AR.Pursuit and it'll make controlling your flying machine all the more fantastic with augmented reality - available at the end of November in the Apple App Store. It's a two-player game where you control your AR.Drone VS a friend's, blasting away at them with missiles and machine guns, playing cat and dog in a real world / virtual reality world simulation. It's so weird! It's so wild! It looks like so much fun!
Parrot's AR.Drone is one of the greatest pieces of gadgetry and tech we've played with in awhile, and that goes beyond our love for flying objects that we can control. The quadricopter, which we managed to get some hands-on time with back at the end of June, is keeping right on track with its time frame, and it's available for preorder right now.
Now with a solid release date and price, Parrot's AR.Drone is looking all the more exciting. A four-rotor indoor and outdoor flying machine, complete with dual-cameras and an iOS control app, the AR.Drone certainly ticks most of the geek checkboxes. We stopped by the London launch to try our hand at piloting the quadricopter, and to see whether - unlike some other recent R/C helicopters - it really is as idiot-proof as Parrot claim. Check out our video demos and more after the cut.
Parrot's AR.Drone was the surprise hit of CES 2010, and it seemed that even the French company themselves were overwhelmed by interest in the iPhone-controlled quadricopter. Since then they've been stringing us along with the promise of a full launch at E3 2010, and that moment has finally come. The Parrot AR.Drone will hit the US in September 2010, priced at $299.
Video demos after the cut