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Skynet isn't quite there yet, November 1, 2010

(radio control helicopter can fly in the iPhone) that Parrot AR.Drone Blue
Update Jan 2012: Parrot has announced version 2.0 of the AR Drone at CES. Shipping Q2/2012, same price. This review is based on v1.0:It was really love at first sight when I saw the first CES videos of the AR-Drone in January 2010. It reminded me on that one scene in Terminator 3 where they had one of small Skynet drones in a lab with scientists working on it... I wanted to have one - even at $1.000. I already owned a Hirobo Lama RC coax helicopter at that time and was very familiar with the problems of getting a device like that hovering stable or even flying it at all. The AR-Drone seemed to do all that automatically which is not only pretty cool but also extremely useful if you lose control of your helicopter. You would just take your hands of the controls and it stays where it is! The original idea was to start a little R&D project using the iPhone as an intermediate step and control the drone from a computer and let it automatically fly around the house from point A...

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... wow, lots of misinformation in these reviews. Let me just set the record straight and offer some advice on what do do when you first get your drone. Just FYI, I own 2 Drones.1. You're anxious to fly. You dont want to read the manual. Fine. Just read the first steps and take it to an INDOOR ROOM preferably with carpeting and LOW CEILINGS. With the indoor hull on fly it there as much as you want. Bang it against the walls, smack it against the ceiling. You'll crash it like mad and it won't break. Despite what you read here, it's actually very very tough. You'll also fall in love with how cool it is.2. Go the Parrot forums and read my long post about REALLY preparing to fly the Drone so you don't crash and break it. ...3. Don't take off the altitude limiter until you're ready. Everyone wants to go outside after a few flights and take the Drone up to see the squirrel's nest 100ft up in the tree (I did, and I trashed my first Drone)...
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Update Jan 2012: Parrot has announced version 2.0 of the AR Drone at CES. Shipping Q2/2012, same price. This review is based on v1.0:It was really love at first sight when I saw the first CES videos of the AR-Drone in January 2010. It reminded me on that one scene in Terminator 3 where they had one of small Skynet drones in a lab with scientists working on it... I wanted to have one - even at $1.000. I already owned a Hirobo Lama RC coax helicopter at that time and was very familiar with the problems of getting a device like that hovering stable or even flying it at all. The AR-Drone seemed to do all that automatically which is not only pretty cool but also extremely useful if you lose control of your helicopter. You would just take your hands of the controls and it stays where it is! The original idea was to start a little R&D project using the iPhone as an intermediate step and control the drone from a computer and let it automatically fly around the house from point A...
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If you are not into the RC plane hobby, you need to understand what you are in for. This is a fragile high tech piece of equipment. Those who have flown RC Planes know this but those of you that are new to RC flying would be well served to buy 2 of these. One to fly and one to take parts off of when they break, and they will break.Any fall from greater that the default (9') will cause extensive damage, a new system board is $99 and the costs of the parts quickly add up. Just a note replacement parts are not shipping at this time.Yes these are easy to fly, but they are easy to crash and break very easily. I have a broken, central cross, system board, body set, shaft and gear.It's fun to fly but even after about 10 hrs under my belt I am still using the indoor hull outside. Shaft and gear will break if prop hits anything. Any wind is a problem. My indoor hull is showing signs of stress and I imagine it will not last much longer.It is well...
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