Parrot AR Drone

Coming on to the market just in time for the holiday season is the ultra cool Parrot AR Drone.

Here we have a device that has very few redeeming qualities and not much in the way of practical uses, but it’s just so much fun, and it’s lack of practical uses is a part of its appeal: this one is just for fun, and there is absolutely nothing at all wrong with that.

Parrot AR Drone

Parrot AR Drone

Setting up is dead easy. First of all, you need to have an iPhone, and then you need to log on to the App Store and download the free controller app.

Make sure that the battery is fully charged, and then install it into the drone by removing the top cover, placing it into the battery housing, and connecting it to the cable. It’s simple, it’s obvious, and as soon as you do this, the systems start to boot up.

At this time, you will need to enter setup on your iPhone and connect it to the Drone using your WiFi settings.

The instruction manual cautions you to use the Drone in a large-ish empty area, and with good reason. That is good advice. I’d also strongly suggest that the area be cleared of all loose papers and the like, as they’re likely to be disturbed by the wind generated by the four propellers.

With the setup completed – yes, it’s that easy – start up the app on your iPhone, and press the Start button. The propellers will start up, and the Drone will take off, settling to a height of about one meter. Using the controls on your iPhone, you may now move drone around, changing its altitude higher or lower, turning it around, or just simply flying it around.

And while it’s that simple to setup and use, the fun starts in the learning of just how to fly it. Basic stuff is easy, but as you start to turn it around and fly it back to you, some of the controls’ functionality seems to change. It’s not actually true that it changes, but because the drone has changed its direction of flight, you need to consider how the controls on your iPhone react to its changed attitude towards your location.

Coming in at a price of around $350, the drone strikes me as being priced exactly right for its build quality, use of technology, functionality, and just plain fun factor.

If somebody wants to put one of these under my Christmas Tree on December 25, I would be most appreciative.