Parrot Bebop 2 : The new Parrot racing drone ?

Parrot unveiled the Bebop 2, new version of its drone out a year ago. The strange flying machine provides several new features, including enhanced autonomy.

Despite all the advantages of Bebop, this drone suffered from relatively poor battery life: 12 minutes. The new generation offers a bit more, even if we can find it always a bit light: half an hour (the manufacturer announced 25 minutes).

Other important new features, we benefit in this new quadricopter a top speed of 60 km / h , either 20 km / h more than the previous model. No doubt the device will quickly being popular among drones races fans.

For the rest, the Bebop 2 retains the 14-megapixel camera with HD recording and image stabilization, 8GB of storage, all of which are controllable from the mobile application. In wireless, the range is up to 300 meters, but can be up to 2 km with SkyController remote. Prices start at $ 550, with availability by the end of the year.


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Comment by robert bouwens on November 18, 2015 at 2:31pm

will be interesting to see what's new under the hood.

Comment by Gary Mortimer on November 18, 2015 at 2:47pm

A bigger battery I think ;-)

3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on November 18, 2015 at 3:41pm

I love my Bebop but to race with it, you'll need the Skycontroller, and that adds up to pretty expensive package. Also, don't racers want to have the camera tilt with the copter to get a better sense of orientation? The Bebop stabilizes the image, which I understood to be incompatible with racing. 

Comment by Joshua on November 18, 2015 at 5:17pm

@Chris, the Bebop's camera and onboard image processors allow for it to have a solid-state / virtual gimbal - the camera is a 14MP sensor with a fisheye lens, and the pilot has the ability to control what sector of that image is viewed. For FPV racing, the pilot could simply have the virtual gimbal always facing the horizon (within the FOV of the lens).

The biggest restraint however will be latency - there's a lot more happening on the Bebop between the sensor detecting photons and you receiving the image on your VR goggles or video display. I'm sure they've optimised the process to be 'low latency', but it'll undoubtedly be a few / several times as slow as an SD CMOS outputting to an analogue FPV transmitter.

Comment by Randy on November 18, 2015 at 5:39pm

Good improvement on the battery life and the sleeker design is nice too.

@Joshua, a few months ago I measured the original Bebop's video latency at about 0.23 seconds from camera lens to (tablet) screen.  Not sure if the Bebop2 will be the same.

To add more details on the price, this wired article says, $550 for the Bebop2 alone, $800 for the Bebop+SkyController.  Looks like the Phatom3 is now a measly $700 so the competition is tough!

By the way, we've recently added details on how to load ardupilot onto the Bebop2 in case people are interested in doing that.  The Bebop's video feed and optical flow features aren't available yet with ardupilot but I think JulienB from Parrot is actively working on it.

Comment by Cliff-E on November 18, 2015 at 5:45pm

Skycontroller and video latency not so great for FPV racing (maybe just cruising FPV). We tried racing an old bebop in a studio with issues where basic naze32 racing drones on analog video flew laps (and flips) around it.

The Controller need to be rethought for fpv racing... really... And HD low latency video is for another discussion..

Still like the new frame design of this--very clean setup.

Comment by Joshua on November 18, 2015 at 6:18pm

@Randy - that's not too bad (though I wonder how much of a difference the distance / signal strength would play on latency (due to packet resending)). Still, if it's roughly the same on the Bebop 2, or even lower, then that should be good for most FPV flight or even casual racing.

Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on November 18, 2015 at 7:12pm

60 km/h?  For FPV racing?  

Comment by Gary Mortimer on November 18, 2015 at 8:15pm

Its for filming the back of races Rob

Comment by Piotr Esden-Tempski on November 18, 2015 at 10:26pm

Pretty nice new platform from Parrot again. It is also good news that Paparazzi UAV already provides support for that aircraft, so you can use advanced autonomous flight capabilities as well as controllers like INDI. We have posted an article on here too but it is still stuck in moderation. :)
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