If you keep up with the TC/Gadgets crew you know we can’t resist a good R/C anything. We’ve reviewed AR remote control cars, and just recently a Syma S107 R/C chopper, but those are toys compared to what launched today: AR.FreeFlight for Android. AR.FreeFlight is a free augmented reality piloting application you can use with the Parrot AR.Drone quadricopter, which will basically make you the coolest kid on the block. And probably the coolest grown-up too.
The AR.Drone first took to the sky back in 2010 at CES, and since, iOS users have been the only ones lucky enough to get in on the fun. But today an Android version found its way onto the market, along with a free SDK for developers to make their own AR.Drone games. FreeFlight is the primary piloting app for Parrot’s AR.Drone platform, but there are a few other games already available on iOS like AR.Race, AR.FlyingAce, and AR.Pursuit.
What makes AR.Drone so much more badass than your average flight simulator or R/C helicopter is that the connects to your phone via WiFi and relays images from the quadricopter itself. So, in other words, you’re flying this little chopper around not only by inputting directions into your iOS/Android device, but you’re actually seeing what the quadricopter sees on the screen of your phone/tablet.
The app is supported by any iOS device or Android 2.2 Froyo-powered device with a multi-touch screen at least three inches in size. As proven by multiple videos, the quadricopter works just fine outdoors and comes with not one, but two cameras. One faces forward and can pan around under the control of just one finger, while the other faces the ground. A small button on the interface lets you switch back and forth between forward facing view and ground view.
But there’s just one catch: Even though the app itself is a free download, the Parrot AR.Drone Quadricopter costs a pretty penny. The chopper is availble from Parrot for $300, and a full list of resellers can be found here (brick-and-mortar) and here (online).
Check out the video after the break.