The exciting world of consumer drones just keeps getting bigger and better. After the successful release of the AR.Drone 2.0 and the announcement of the MiniDrone, Parrot is now poised to release the Bebop Drone in the near future.
If the experts are right, we may see this drone hit store shelves just in time for the 2014 holiday season.
Parrot Bebop’s Exciting Features
The Bebop may not be ready for sale, but Parrot has shared some of the drone’s exciting features.
The Bebop is ABS reinforced and light as a feather. The propellers automatically stop in emergency situations, and when in emergency mode, it will land immediately.
The Bebop’s GPS feature allows the copter to use the return home feature that returns the drone to its original takeoff point. The copter also includes EPP hills that protect the propellers when flying indoors.
Check Out: 7 Awesome Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 Accessories
Powerful and Advanced
The Bebop’s computer is eight times more powerful than Parrot’s AR.Drone 2.0 with a quad-core GPU, dual-core CPU and 8GB flash memory. Video recordings can be stored on the internal memory, and there is neither an SD or microSD slot available. The drone’s computerized components sit on a magnesium shelf that shields the device from electromagnetics and also acts as a radiator.
The drone features four brushless motors and a 1200mAh polymer battery. The Bebop boasts an average flight time of 12 minutes.
The Bebop offers an incredibly stable and smooth flight while still providing great maneuverability. To provide such a stable flight, it uses a magnetometer, 3-axis accelerometer and a gyroscope.
A vertical camera, ultrasound sensor and a pressure sensor also work together to further improve stability.
Bebop’s built-in camera is one of its best features. The 14MP camera uses a fisheye lens that is capable of recording 180 degree video in full 1080p HD and taking pictures at amazingly high quality. Even with abrupt movements, the drone’s image stabilization technology keeps the camera and the footage clear and steady. As an added bonus, the camera’s lens is both dust and splash proof.
What’s really great about the Bebop is that its video and photo stream is always in sync with your device.
So, you can share your flight videos and photos instantly on Instagram or Facebook. You can also share your videos on YouTube with just one press of a button.
Although things are changing, the vast majority of products on the market today require the use of a transmitter to control the drone’s movements. The Bebop, on the other hand, uses your smartphone or tablet to control its flight using Parrot’s Free Flight app.
The Free Flight app allows you to control the angle of the camera with just a flick of the wrist. The camera’s 180 degree angle is controlled digitally and never affects the drone’s movements.
The app is compatible with iOS and Android devices and allows you to do the following:
- Take or record photos and videos
- Create a flight plan
- Pilot the drone
- Perform one-touch flips
- Tweak user settings for speed and altitude
Using the app, you can create a flight plan by tapping waypoints on the map. This allows for an autonomous flight that’s extra stable in high altitudes and also allows for an automatic return to your takeoff position.
The Parrot Cloud allows you to keep track of all of your flights. From here, you can share your videos or photos and also interact with other users in the Academy.
Weighing just 14 ounces and measuring 12in x 1.5in, the Bebop is Parrot’s most compact drone yet.
While the drone’s small size is definitely a bonus, it does have its drawbacks as well. With such a small size, there really is not enough room for a larger, more powerful battery.
With the Bebop, you’re limited to a 12 minute flight time. On the bright side, you can purchase extra batteries to extend the fun.
Check Out: 6 Best Drones for Sale You Have To See
The drone is also lacking in the video storage department. Users are limited to the internal 8GB flash memory as there is no SD or microSD slot available. Considering the short flight time, you probably won’t need much more than 8GB of space.
Another concern with the Bebop is the fact that it does not come with a remote control. If you don’t have a smartphone or tablet, you won’t be able to use the Bebop.
While this may be a concern for some users, using a phone or tablet as a controller helps to keep costs down and allows Parrot to offer their drone at a more affordable price. Plus, users always have the option of purchasing the Skycontroller separately which will not only allow you to control the drone, but amplify your Wi-Fi connection as well.
The one thing that we aren’t sure of is how much this one will cost. The AR.Drone 2.0 GPS model sells for approximately $350, so you can expect the Bebop to cost more than this. Experts are predicting that Parrot will set the price between $500 and $700, but many are still hopeful that they will keep the price under $500.
Although the price still seems a bit high for the everyday consumer, it’s still far more affordable than the Phantom 2 and other high-end quadcopters. With limited options for new hobbyists, the Bebop may be Parrot’s opportunity to capitalize on the everyday consumer’s interest in the drone market.