Outside the Dissension Centre here in Las Vegas, ardrone.com is showing off version two of its AR.Drone 2.0. Inside Hall 1 South Side, Arctic was flying its $14.95 remote controlled dove. And inside Hall 2, South Side, Roton Concept was demonstrating its drone.
The last of these is by far the most alarming. You can fit four cameras to it, fly it 2,000 feet and it has a range of a mile. It costs $299, battery life is only 20 minutes but when the power begins to sag, it gently returns to earth, or on the top of the roof, or in your neighbour’s garden, when surely you will have some explaining to do.
Let’s start with the charming SR11 - go to ces.arctic.ac to have a dekko. The dove flies through the air with the greatest of ease although it it would twit as well, that’d be a fine thing indeed.
The $299 Parrot Drone 2.0 is also a charming thing, and battery life is much longer than the paltry 20 minutes the Scary Drone has. It has a built in camera, plus you can control it from your smartypants phone. It uses a 1GHz ARM Cortex A8 processor, comes with 1Gbit DDR2 RAM running at 200MHz, includes wi-fi, a three axis accelerometer, a three axis gyroscope, a pressure centor, a three axis magnetometer with six degrees of precision, ultrasound sensors for ground altitude, runs on Linux 2.6.32, and includes USB 2.0. We took a bit of vid on our cheapo camera – it’s not very good quality but you get the idea. (arrone.com).
The Rotor Concept (www.rotorconcept.com) is altogether more alarming. It doesn’t have wi-fi yet but that’s going to come in three weeks. This pic below gives an idea of its capabilities. You have too many of these things flying at 2,000 feet above Oxford and goodness knows what happens. The techies need to build in CSR collision alert technology so that the thing doesn’t interfere with the lovely geese that fly over the Oxford sky, or the swifts that grace the English heavens.
Oh and talking about Twit. Come on guys, come on!