Mobile AR Drone Helicopter in Test

AR Drone is a radio-controlled helicopter with embedded cameras controlled by an Iphone. We have testflugit it.

In fact, it is misleading to call a. R Drone of a helicopter because the toy has all four rotors. Quadrocopter is the expression that the manufacturer himself uses the device. All rotors are driven by a brushless electric motor and with the help of a built-in computer and six sensors see it to keep his balance. Simplicity is one of the main merits of a. R Drone. Learning threshold for getting started and fly with it are very low and, unlike normal RC helicopters or planes really need no experience at all to be able to fly.

In the package to quadrocoptern follow the two outer shell that is mounted on top of the device itself. One shell is supposed to be used for indoor use and surrounds the rotors with styrofoam to protect them if they accidentally fly into a wall or similar. Utomhusskalet is the less and leave the rotors completely unprotected. I noticed no major difference on the flight characteristics of the various shells when I test flog the chopper outdoors so for those who are afraid of crashing apart quadrocoptern, I can therefore recommend to simply always use indoor shell because it provides better protection for the sensitive rotors.

R/c helicopter with four rotors is not a new invention, but what distinguishes a. R Drone is that it is controlled via the Iphone and it has two built-in cameras. Inside the quadrocoptern is a small Linux-based computer when the battery starts running a wifi network. By connecting to this with their Ipad, Ipod Touch, or Iphone and then launch the app used to control the device takes control of it. The scope of the network is approximately 50 meters. While the control system works well at a distance that is tangent to the maximum range, however, the video stream from the noticeably worse when the distance is long.

The two cameras on the quadrocoptern is placed at the front and at the bottom of it. Camera directed forward have 640 x 480 resolution and performs much like a cheap webcam when it comes to image quality. For the camera on the bottom is a very low resolution (176 x 144), which is a shame because it means that it is difficult to see what it actually is filmed with it. In the control, you can choose which of camera streams to watch in full-screen mode and you can even choose to view images from both cameras at the same time. This displays one image in full screen while the other is visible as a small box in one corner of the screen.

Control of quadrocoptern uses the built-in gyroscopes in Iphone to go forward, backward and sideways. To turn and change the height, press the controls on the screen, and you must also hold the a button on the screen to gyrostyrningen should be enabled. Control the feeling is really great, especially indoors. At the bottom of the device, there are built-in altimeter, which is best suited for indoor use only. By using them you can let quadrocoptern hover completely still across one place which is more difficult outdoors when the wind wants to grab the oehört lightweight construction.

Manufacturer’s egentuvecklade software supports unfortunately not recording, but there are third-party programs that do. In the program you can see both how high you fly and how the horizontal mode. While the management software is free to use, there are also games that make use of augmented reality functionality to download that also cost money to use. With them you can hunt down virtual enemies on the screen with their quadrocopter or chasing each other for several that have an a. R Drone. The charge for the games is a little too rich, I think, because the drive still costs brave 4 000 kroons which is a lot even for a cool toy.

Given the generous price also feels a bit flimsy device in their construction. It’s oehört easy and for the most part made of styrofoam. The circuits at the rotors are completely unprotected and even if the lightweight construction makes that power in case of a crash will not be very big, I think we should perhaps focused a little more on the hard plastic in the backbone for dronen instead of just the styrofoam. Even though I run pretty hard with quadrocoptern during my tests and crashed a lot both intentionally and unintentionally, it has not, however, a few scratches to speak of. It therefore seems more fragile than what it actually is.

Questions and answers

Does it work on Android phones?

At present makes it not. Because the software is open source, there are projects that caters both to the Android platform and to regular computers, so it’s probably only a matter of time before it pops up software for platforms other than iOS.

How high can you fly?

The range of the wireless network is 50 meters, but to fly so high is not recommended when a crash landing from the height would be pretty brutal.

How quickly can you fly?

It is difficult to provide any exact figure in metres per second, but by tricks with the settings, you can increase the maximum degree of inclination to get up speed. To run up your device once you got up to speed today atleast not.

Is it worth the price?

Yes, that’s it. Radio-controlled aircraft are expensive toys in General and you get a lot of money in this case.

What happens if you lose control?

If you lose control of quadrocoptern, one can press the emergency button on the screen to switch off the engines of down will always…


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