First Look: Parrot Bebop Drone
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First Look: Parrot Bebop Drone3:05 /
CNET's Donald Bell shows off Parrot's compact, tablet-controlled Bebop Drone and uses a pair of virtual-reality goggles to see from a drone's point of view.
[MUSIC] Donald Bell here for CNET.com giving you a first look at the Parrot Bebop Drone. This is a small, lightweight quad copter due out this year at an undisclosed time for an undisclosed price. It's got a camera on the front here that captures a raw 14 megapixel image and then processes that down to a two megapixel footage. Can capture both still images and HD video content. A neat trick here with the camera, is that, it's a fixed camera. So you're not dealing with the weight, and the intricate delicate, you know, system of a gimbal on the bottom of this thing, like we've seen in some other quad copters. It is a fixed camera with a fixed fish eye lens. And by using that fish eye lens, it can reprocess the image inside the camera, so that you can kind of tilt it around. Capture the image you want. And play around with it but without the camera actually moving at all. So, it's a neat trick, and it helps cut down on some weight and makes the design a little bit more sturdy. Some other interesting things to know about here you've got a replaceable battery pack. Each battery pack will give you what I've been told is about 12 minutes of flight time, which is about average for something as small as this. It's got built-in GPS and with that GPS, you can use the app on either iPhone, iPad Android tablet. You can use the app to navigate a flight path that'll fly. You can use the GPS on here to trigger, to automatically return back to you, if you're a little bit confused about which way is forward and which way is backward on the control itself. That's neat feature. We've seen that from other quad copters, some competing products, too. But it's nice that Parrot is including an app on here. Another interesting feature that Parrot's built in here, that's the first I've seen, is that it will automatically detect if there's something intruding on the propellers. So say you got a finger in here. It's gonna automatically detect that, and shut down all the propellers. So that your not going to get totally maimed. That's a good feature to have. Really the whole system is designed to be flown indoors as well as outdoors. If your flying this indoors, there's a pair of bumpers that attach to this so that it's not going to you know, bump the propellers if you fly into a wall, or if you fly it into the ceiling. so, that helps protect the propellers. The whole thing is controlled over Wi-Fi using 802.11 and/or AC. That's going to be communicated to your tablet. Either an Android tablet or a, a an iPad. If you want some extra range or some more advanced controls, they're also selling a remote control rig that kind of docks your tablet and also extends your Wi-Fi range. And also has the benefit of being able to integrate with an Oculus Rift or they're just generically saying some kind of video goggle system. And with that you can get a literal bird's eye view of what you're seeing through the camera. And be able to control the camera tilt with your head. Really cool. Again we don't have pricing on this. We don't know when it's coming out this year, but we are told it's coming out in 2014. So that is a first look at the Parrot B-bop Drone, a very cool lightweight quad copter that I'm excited to see this year. For CNET.com, I'm Donald Bell. [MUSIC]