For a while I had been looking at buying one of the AR Drones from Parrot. I had just about fell off my chair when I get an email from the guys at needITwantITgadgIT asking if we would like to do a review for one.
I had been looking online before taking it for a spin, just to see how easy it would be to fly. It turns out, once you have downloaded the FreeFlight App on to your smartphone/tablet with Absolute Control Mode flying and control is a breeze, just tilt your smartphone in the direction you want it to fly and it goes in that direction.
For the first flight. I took it around the our open plan offices, up and around the rafters. This was ok for just a quick test before I took it home for the weekend. However it is recommended that until you get use to the flight controls you either do it in a large inside area or outside in a field with the indoor hull on. This will protect the rotors incase you bang in to anything. Then when you are more comfortable and outdoors, replace the hull with the lighter outdoor hull.
The AR Drone 2.0 is equipped with a rather decent 720p cameras, one at the front facing as well as a down facing camera, which are controlled via the App, use it to take photos or video on a USB Key plugged into the Drone.
The Flight Recorder GPS plug-in which for the moment is free for a limited time a new AR Drone 2.0 which is normally worth $150 allows you to program a flight path, direction with altitude, as well as a quick direct home button. As described in this video below. It also also allows you to record your flight with 4GB of storage. Once your flight is finished, then upload and share your flight to the AR.Drone Academy.
You can even have more fun with the new Director Mode (which is available as an in-app purchase through the AR.FreeFlight app), it lets you program automatic movements just like a real movie director would, controlling traveling, panning and crane movements.
It also has a stabilisation system along with video posy-processing to get nice clean smooth shots, tidy up the exposure and setting white balance as well.
Overall I had an absolute blast. I ended up buying this one so I didn't have to send it back.