Shaped like a plane, the Parrot Disco drone has a HD front facing camera and can fly flies at up to 49.7 MPH for up to 45mins.
Parrot’s latest drone has ditched the quadcopter design in favour of a contour wing shape. The oddly named Parrot Disco, (which makes it sound like a terrible Caribbean themed nightclub) is capable of reaching speeds of up to 49.7mph and it is launched by throwing it in the air, just like a paper airplane.
Once it is airborne the Parrot Disco drone’s accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, barometer, pitot and GPS sensor fly the plane on autopilot. Before you taking control of the drone with the controller it will simply circle round autonomously until you start to fly it, and once you have the controls, the sensors will make sure that you don’t lose control and crash it. Parrot describe it as being ‘as easy to pilot as playing a video game’
Sticking with the video game theme, the Parrot Disco has a 14-million-pixel camera mounted to the front of it. The camera is also capable of recording HD video, which can be streamed back to the Parrot Sky Controller,which can in turn stream the video to a pair of virtual reality glasses so you get a real first person perspective of the flight.
An in-app Flight Planner allows for autonomous flight whilst video recording, allow you to plan the precise shots that you want, and the lightweight wing design means that the Parrot Disco can achieve a flight time of up to 45mins.
The Parrot Disco is an interesting design, and when we saw it at CES Unveiled it certainly looked great. However, there are some downsides compared to a conventional quadcopter design. Obviously there is a far greater turning circle, so weaving in and out of more confined spaces is going to be a non starter, and then there is landing the Disco. As it comes in to land it must either glide and land on a good surface, or be caught as it comes in. Still, in large open spaces it looks like a lot of fun.
We hope to test the Parrot Disco when it is released in the coming months, and then we’ll see just what the video capture of the 14-million pixel sensor is capable of producing.