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News Link • Drones

Parrot introduces Bebop Drone and joystick-totin' Skycontroller

•, By Ben Coxworth

Among its improvements over the AR.Drone 2.0 are a better camera, longer range, and an optional joystick-based controller.

The Bebop features a 14-megapixel/1080p camera (as opposed to the 2.0's 720p model) with a 180-degree field of view, that's isolated from the copter's vibrations by rubber shock absorbers. Additionally, a 3-axis digital stabilization system keeps the camera pointing in the same direction, regardless of subtle changes in the aircraft's orientation or movements caused by wind. Footage and stills are recorded on an integrated 8 GB flash drive.

As with Parrot's previous drones, video is streamed live to the user's iOS or Android smartphone or tablet, which is also used to control the drone via onscreen toggles. For the Bebop, however, users can also purchase the optional Skycontroller. It features a shaded receptacle compatible with most major brands of mobile devices, so that users can still watch the video feed and access certain functions. Its main controls, however, are actual physical joysticks and buttons.

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