Parrot's first Bebop drone provided a first-person drone experience by allowing users to tap into the drone's point of view with Oculus Rift (along with other types of headsets).
Now, the French company is back with another entry to the drone world: the Bebop 2.
Drones have become an increasingly crowded market, but Parrot wants to edge out the competition with the Bebop 2's mid-range price of $550 (about £360, AU$770) and battery life that's slightly above-average at 25 minutes.
Alone, these two factors aren't anything to fuss over, but together, you're getting a decent deal. Most drones run upwards of $200 (about £130, AU$280), but their batteries don't hold out. For a flight time of 20 minutes or more, you're looking at price tags that range $800 (about £525, AU$1120) and up.
The Bebop 2 also has all the features of the first Bebop and more. There's still a 14MP fisheye lens camera, though Parrot says the actual lens is new. There's also 8GB of onboard flash storage.
The quadcopter is faster than its predecessor, able to travel at 37 miles per hour, while the first Bebop could only hit 24MPH. It can also reach maximum speed in 14 seconds, brakes in 4.5 seconds and rises vertically at 13MPH. According to Parrot, the copter can get up to 328 feet in 20 seconds or less. The Bebop 2 has a connection of 984 feet.
Though it weighs 500g and looks to be about the same size as the previous Bebop, there are seven sensors on board the latest drone. An ultrasound sensor analyzes flight altitude up to 16 feet, the pressure sensor can measure air pressure and analyze altitude beyond 16 feet, and the accelerometer and 3-axis gyroscope ensure that the drone remains stable during flight. A 3-axis magentometer helps define the drone's position like a compass.
The fisheye camera is stabilized on a 3-axis framework that captures images in 1080p (horizontally or vertically), which can be streamed live to the piloting device.
Drones for all
During the drone's reveal event, the Bebop 2 was demoed by Henri Seydoux, Parrot founder and CEO, who apparently is "really bad at flying drones" but still can manage to keep the gadget in the air.
Seydoux noted that the new Bebop is just as simple to fly as the first one, stating it's "the drone everyone can fly." The stability and maneuverability are due in part to a built-in autopilot system that helps guide fliers. Users only need to connect their iOS or Android phone or tablet via Wi-Fi to direct the drone. They can then tilt the connected device (forward, backward, left or right) or touch the landing button to control it.
The Bebop 2's big selling points are that boasts a longer battery life without completely breaking the bank. It's certainly not cheap by any means, but it remains in a solid position between the premium drones and the lower-cost leisure quadcopters.
You can connect a Skycontroller for an additional 300 bucks, or another type of headset. The bundle and the single Bebop 2, which you can pick up in white or red, will be available on December 14.