Parrot is a company that focuses primarily on in-car electronics, but you wouldn't know it from the more eye-catching technology in its portfolio. A quadrocopter hobby drone? Some seriously smart headphones? (We can't wait for more on those Ziks, by the way.) With AR.Drone 2.0, which we got a taste of at CES 2012, Parrot has taken a hard look at the strengths and weaknesses of its first generation flier, and has come back with something that feels like a vast improvement over its predecessor. Read on to find out why I'd feel comfortable handing the controls of this drone over to my own grandmother.
Our favorite quadrocopter is back and better than ever. Parrot's AR.Drone 2.0 boasts improvements in camera resolution, a more robust app that lets you share your recordings and two different hulls for indoor and outdoor flying. Basically, the AR.Drone 2.0 is the new best quadrocopter.
There is something mesmerizing about watching these quadrotor-robots hover and precisely place blocks in neat patterns to create a structure over 19 feet tall. These flying robots are cool, but one day they could also have practical applications.
This is a cheap air drone that's got a computer on board, allowing it to search for unprotected Wi-Fi networks and hack into them from above, putting them under someone else's control without ever touching the ground.
We've seen the agile quadrotors of the Georgia Robotics and Intelligent Systems Lab (GRITS) fly around in perfect formation (and, uh, less than perfect), play ping-pong and even a little piano. Now, GRITS has a new ensemble to compliment the quadrotor: a group of automated 'bots that come together to offer a place to land.
Quadrotors are pretty cool vehicles, able to be tightly controlled from afar to do any number of things. We usually see them when they're performing well, but this video from UPenn shows them failing, often spectacularly.
We've seen quadrocopters learn a couple of new tricks now, from working together to lift objects to playing ping-pong, even. This one is a little eerie, though: four of the units flying autonomously in formation. It's easy to picture them swarming over the battlefields of the future.
Remember those crazy quadrocopters? First, they stunned us with their amazing aerial prowess. Now, as promised, they're teaming up with one another to lift all kinds of things.