Super excited...the Parrot team sent me two AR.Drones as development kits! (One is for me and the other for a famous game designer friend). They just arrived, and here are some first impressions and closeups.

First, I haven't flown it at home yet because you've got to compile the source code with the iPhone SDK and then load it in ad-hoc distribution mode, and I'm not a iPhone developer (yet). But I did get to fly it at CES and it was just as awesome as you've heard. The coolest thing is that when you get in trouble you just take your finger off the iPhone screen and it snaps into hover mode exactly where it is and just stays there, totally locked. Amazing...

Here are some photos from the unboxing (these photos are all on Flickr, where you can mouse over them for notes. Just click on the photo and you'll be taken there):


This is the main board, with the Arm9 core in custom Parrot DSP silicon, the downward-facing camera for optical flow, the ultrasonic sensor and the WiFi radio.


This is a closeup of one of the brushless motors and ESC (the quad comes in either brushed or brushless models). This ESC runs at 200Hz.


It comes with a 1000mAh LiPo and charger.


You can see the carbon fiber rods through the battery compartment


Green LEDs in the front; red LEDs in the back


A USB-to-serial cable for hardware interfacing

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3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on January 13, 2010 at 1:59pm
Jack, WiFi chipsets are less than $10 in volume.
Comment by Jack Crossfire on January 13, 2010 at 3:10pm
Mouser's search engine is hitting "wifi" in the category field for 65kbps radios. The iPhone uses a Marvell 88w8366 only available in volume. Everyone knows about the Lantronix Matchport. Let's try to find one below $45.
Comment by Jack Crossfire on January 13, 2010 at 3:18pm
If Jordi orders a few thousand Marvells we can probably have the first 450Mbps iPhone compatible radios for $10. Can't find any SyChip store.
Comment by Chris McNair on January 14, 2010 at 7:50am
Where can we purchase one?
Comment by Simon Wood on January 14, 2010 at 9:10am
With WiFi you can take the 'Chumby Approach' and just use a USB based adapter plugged in.... that said there are a few other modules around the $30-$40. The main problem (for me) is that these don't provide the management frames and therefore can't be an AP.

This one does though....

Comment by Howard Gordon on January 15, 2010 at 2:08pm
We buy a lot of Matchports and are always on the lookout for lower cost modules with higher throughput (e.g. SPI), so the Redpine module looks interesting. There are USB wifi modules for sub-$10, but they require that you have USB Master or USB OTG capability in your processor. I've been waiting on something suitable from G2, ZeroG and others for a while.


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