The Parrot Bebop Drone is a small light weight quad copter being produced by Parrot. The quad copter’s image is processed by on board down to a 2 mega pixel finished image. The camera feature is unique because it uses a stationary fisheye lens. The software built into the drone allows users to digitally look in any direction using the fisheye lens, while the camera actually remains stationary. This is revolutionary to the commercial drone industry because it reduces moving parts and it also makes the quadrocopter a lot lighter. Software algorithms on board also helps to stabilize the video. The drone carries 8 gigabytes of on board memory to record the entire flight.
Flight time for the quad copter will be about 12 minutes, which is pretty standard for a quad of its size and capabilities. The Bebop drone uses swappable battery packs. The drone is controlled by a free app on either android or IOS tablets or smart phones. Built in GPS can be used to fly a pre-programmed flight path. It can also be used as a safety feature to recall the drone to its launch point in the case that the user looses control or track of the drone.
The Parrot Bebop is controlled over wifi using 802.11 and a WiFi connected tablet. Live video is fed to the tablet and can be used as First Person Video, or can be used to monitor video and picture shots in real time.
The drone is designed to fly both indoor and outdoors. For indoor flight the quad copter can be outfitted with bumpers to protect the props from accidental impacts. The quad also offers safety features. If a propeller detects that an obstruction is not allowing it to spin, it will automatically turn off all props. This safety
Optionally, the users smartphone or tablet can be docks into what Parrot is calling the “Sky Controller“ which amplifies the WiFi radio using 4 antennae. Using this feature, the WiFi range will be boosted to about 2 kilometers. Through the “Sky Controller” a user can also connect an Occulus Rift (or similar) VR headset. In this mode, the drone can be controlled using just movements of the users head.
Parrot has not yet announced the price or release date for its new Bebop Drone, but it should be released in the fourth quarter of 2014. We can expect the price to settle between $300 and $400 dollars.