Fly Or Die: Parrot AR.Drone 2.0

Let’s just cut to the chase. The Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 is awesome. Pricey? Sure — it’s $300. It’s a toy that costs as much as the smartphone you’d be controlling it with, but it’s a grown-up’s toy, and one that makes a jaded John Biggs very happy. This is far more than I can say for most of the gadgetry on the market today. But John’s opinion aside, this thing just rocks.

The quadcopter has a 720p camera that streams the feed directly to your smartphone, along with a QVGA camera measuring the terrain below. Plus, it comes with a built in GPS and allows you to store to a USB key on the device and upload the footage later. Oh, and it can do a flip.

Now, they can be a bit difficult to maneuver. Matt nearly broke one at Disrupt this year, and flew it straight into a wall. But I think it’s one of those things you have to get used to. John didn’t have that much trouble weaving that thing around cameras and ducking it under lights in our studio. And I imagine that a game of chicken between two AR.Drones at once would probably be a pretty good time.

All in all it’s an expensive, but totally worth-it toy. Two flies.

[AR.Drone 2.0 website]