iPad-controlled quadricopter takes to the skies

Posted by Aharon Etengoff

An iPad-controlled quadricopter has taken to the skies above E3 in Los Angeles.

The Parrot AR.Drone is equipped a front-facing camera that streams what the quadricopter "sees" onto an iPad, iPod Touch or iPhone.

The camera also enables the quadricopter's augmented reality function, allowing it to recognize another drone and conduct virtual dog-fights between two ‘copters.

A second camera - which is connected to an Inertial Measurement Unit - helps the drone measure horizontal speeds, perform stationary flights and compensate for wind turbulence via an advanced system of "image comparisons."

Aspiring pilots can choose the camera they prefer or display the two  simultaneously to facilitate easy navigation via an iPad, iPod Touch or iPhone.

"With its shaped cockpit driven by four propellers with brushless motors, the AR.Drone offers excellent maneuverability and stability during piloting," a Parrot spokesperson explained.

"[The] quadricopter generates its own Wi-Fi network, [eliminating the] need for an Internet connection and router. Once the 'AR.FreeFlight' application has been downloaded, the iPod touch/iPhone turns into a true piloting station."

The $300 Parrot AR.Drone is expected to hit store shelves in September.