CES 2012: Parrot A.R. Drone 2 Quadricopter Debut

At the Mecca of everything electronics (CES 2012) techies and geeks went into a gadget induced stupor, when Parrot unleashed the A.R. Drone 2.0 on the enthusiastic crowd. For the uninitiated, the Parrot A.R. Drone 2.0 is a remote controlled quadricopter that improves on its successor and is made of stuff gadget aficionados dream of.

The A.R. Drone 2.0 is a revised version of the A.R. Drone, which was first spotted at the CES 2010. Those unfamiliar with the Drone series, should know that the A.R. Drone in a nutshell; is a remote controlled WiFi quadricopter, that has a plethora of uses, ranging from capturing videos, playing augmented reality games, or even running military and paramilitary applications.

The latest incarnation of  the A.R. Drone features a spanking new form factor, comes with a more intuitive piloting application and is equipped with new sensors and gyroscopes and also offers increased stability. The first noteworthy feature that comes to the mind is the addition of the front camera, which has a 1280×720 resolution and lets one be privy to stunning HD images and also experience augmented-reality elements on the smartphone’s screen. The included AR.FreeFlight 2.0 piloting application compliments the drone perfectly, since  it records HD videos, lets one share it with like minded individuals and comes with an uber-cool “traveling” feature, where the pilot can film HD video sequences like a pro. The application is available for free on both iOS and Android markets and includes an “Absolute Flight” control scheme for beginners.

Apart from the 720p HD video-recording capability, the new streamlined design also impresses. The latest avatar has two hulls with specially designed contours, two ultrasound sensors, which analyzes flight altitudes up to 6 meter, a 3-axis accelerometer, a 3-axis gyroscope, a 3-axis magnetometer and a pressure sensor. The black-and-white cockpit, underlined with a red stripe makes quite a striking impression and the light-emitting diodes (green in front, red in rear) end up being both stylish and functional.

So if you want to enjoy some AR goodness or capture creative HD video, then keep aside $299, as the AR Drone 2.0 will go on sale in the spring. The Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 runs on a rechargeable lithium-ion battery and developers and members of the Apple and Android communities can log on here to develop new flying games and applications.