If you are a remote-control toy kind of guy on the lookout for better helicopter, you must have heard of AR. Drone some time ago. It is notable that AR. Drone has a lot of compatible mobile games made by Parrot themselves, which make use of the camera included (2 of them) to play augmented-reality games. The controllers can be iOS or Android, seeing that they included the Google variants recently.
The new AR. Drone is apparently in response to user’s complains and requests. The update to AR. Drone 2.0 includes 720p HD camera and a compass to help it fly in the right directions, able to fly up to 50m into the air instead of 6m. It can now record the video and take photos which can be uploaded to Youtube and Picasa. There is still no word regarding the battery life, which was a serious issue (it only lasted about 15minutes back in 1.0). But seeing that the battery is noted as the same size as in AR. Drone 1.0, there will be no surprises if it still last 8-12 minutes. The controller app is also made much simpler to use due to the fact that they included a magnetic compass in the Drone, which corresponds to the direction faced by the smartphone.
AR. Drone 2.0 will be available in June 2012 for $300.
Great toy, utilizing Apple’s iPhone as a controller instead of traditional RC, but the price and the battery life is surely a turn down for many, albeit the fact that a lot of users enjoyed capturing video using the AR. Drone. Parrot done a pretty good job so far, buffing the camera and hardiness of the chopper, including multiplayer games, sharing of stats with fellow Droners. They now just needs a better battery, and probably include fancy LED lights for further customizations.
BOM Cost Analysis:
1. Motor: $4
2. Plastic and Miscellaneous metallic parts: $7
3. PCBA: $7
4. Manufacture cost: $5
5. Polymer battery: $5
6. Bluetooth module & Apple cost: $11
7. Packaging: $1.5
Total: USD $40.5