The ability to take a camera places that we can’t is invaluable for photographers and cinematographers alike. This is exactly why camera drones have become so successful, now Parrot have a new generation ready for release, the Bebop drone wants to be you’re fish-eye in the sky.
The Bebop has been designed from the ground up to be the perfect shutter bugs flying platform. HD fish-eye video camera, GPS auto pilot and a slew of stabilization technologies make the Bebop a smooth shooter.
Presented for your viewing pleasure is the Bebop preview video, the drone video that is too smooth to be true, but is. Sit back, relax and let the drone do all the leg work.
Weighing in at only 380grams the Bebop is a marvel of miniaturization that has been designed for both indoor and outdoor flight.
Controlling the Bebop is via FreeFlight live view or the new GPS Auto pilot mode. FreeFlight mode uses the WiFi link to send real time images back to the Android or iOS app as the pilot controls the drone. The WiFi connection is good for 300meters with most phones and tablets. The GPS auto pilot mode allows you to layout a pre-programmed GPS route for the Bebop to follow.
Parrot have embedded some clever technology in Bebop’s eye, this is no ordinary camera and lens. The camera’s CCD is a 14 megapixel sensor that captures images using a 180 degree fish eye lens. The camera captures a far wider scene than the HD image requires. This extra resolution is used for image stabilisation and digital panning. Digital stabilisation uses a 3 axis accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetometer to allow Bebop to track its own position and adjusts the image accordingly, making for smooth images.
Alongside Bebop Parrot also demonstrated the very cool Skycontroller tablet extender. The new accessory adds 2 analogue RC sticks, a 2km antenna and Oculus Rift connection to any tablet or smartphone. The Oculus Rift connection allows live view to go fully immersive, even the digital panning works.
Bebop is expected to be released in the fourth quarter, just in time for the Christmas rush. The only downsides seem to be battery life which is short at 12 minutes, and price which is expected be around the $500 mark, $800 for Bebop and Skycontroller.