The Parrot Bebop quadcopter was a ground breaker, able to stream live drone’s-eye 1080p video to a phone, tablet or even virtual-reality headset. But its battery only lasted about 12 minutes, currently being sold by Harvey Norman the drone is set to get a major makeover.
The new Bebop 2, which is tipped to go on sale in Australia next year, can remain aloft for 25 minutes but it will cost more than the $1498 that Harvey Norman is currently asking for the current 12-minute model.
The new Bebop 2 drone, is more consumer gadget than toy, says Parrot CEO Henri Seydoux.
Parrot Bebop 2 has a 14-megapixel fisheye camera that can stream 1080p video via Wi-Fi to a mobile device, the extra flying time has been achieved by adding a significantly larger battery, the drone can use its GPS to cruise in predetermined routes or return home with the press of an on-screen button similar to the superior 3DR drone which delivers 25 minutes flying time and full access to GoPro controls.
With the 3DR drome using can shoot 4K content using the GoPro Hero 4.
As a result of adding a larger battery Parrot has introduced three-blade props that are 6 inches in diameter, slightly longer than the first-gen’s 5.5 inches.
As a result of the tweaking, however, the new model can fly faster, with a top speed of 37 miles per hour, up from 24. Parrot says the added weight and power give it more stability when the wind picks up.
Parrot says its soft plastic propellers don’t break skin, and stop spinning as soon as they come in contact with anything.
Like all of Parrot’s other remote-controlled devices, including its more toy-like air, land and sea minidrones, you drive the Bebop 2 with the Free Flight 3 app for iOS and Android. It can also be controlled by the optional Sky controller accessory, which houses an iPad in the middle and lets users pilot Parrot’s devices with traditional, physical joysticks.