By Daniel – December 17, 2014
I just ordered my Christmas gift: the latest drone from the French manufacturer Parrot, the cool Bebop quadcopter.
I’ll provide an in-depth review as soon as possible, in the meantime my mouth is watering while I’m studying all the possible info about the Bebop.
We already published a first look at the Parrot Bebop Drone, but in this article I want to give some more information about getting ready to fly it.
What you get
The next videos is about unboxing the Bebop, sure it’s gonna be a different story when I’ll hysterically unwrap the gift paper on Dec, 25th.
The box contains, as they appear in the video:
- a rather thin quick start guide
- the Bebop quadcopter of course
- the battery charger with international adaptors, in case you’re planning on international flights
- two Lithium Polymer 1200 mAh batteries, for a combined total flying time of 22 minutes (11 minutes per battery)
- removable bumpers for safe flying in&outdoor
- four three-blade propellers in polycarbonate
- a USB cable
- a cute tool for the ‘fast assembly system’ of the propellers
Setting things up
Fixing the propellers is a simple task. Insert the battery into the appropriate compartment seems more complex. It has been reported on forums and reviews that it’s not clear that you have to first pull the cable out of that compartment and connect it to the battery.
To be honest this is visible in both videos above, but I admit not everyone is a video-freak as me.
Once connected, the battery is hold in position by straps.
Beside the hardware setup, to operate the drone you’ll need to install on your IOS or Android device the piloting app, Free Flight 3.0.
This is the app already used for the Parrot Minidrone and is really well done.
As part of the pairing with the drone, the app will require to manipulate the drone following the animation on the screen to calibrate the sensors.
Flying the Bebop
In preparation of the first flight, Parrot has released a 4:23 minutes videos.
It’s possibly to set the maximum altitude, climb/descending speed, rotation speed, inclination (that influences the speed).
The ‘return home’ feature will take the quadcopter back on the take-off point. Just make sure that the app is set to Outdoor flying (not Hull or Indoor), otherwise the GPS won’t be active and this is needed for this feature to work.
Impressing girls has never been so easy: it’s enough to double tap on the screen and the Bebop will automatically do a flip.
The Bebop is made for decent aerial photography. It features a 14 megapixels “Fisheye” camera capable of recording 1080p @30FPS, and by default the drone will capture everything on its 8GB flash memory.
The camera doesn’t move like in more professional and expensive quadcopters.
Instead, Parrot came up with a software solution to change the angle.
The camera captures in fisheye (GoPro style) but the software shows a traditional image playing with the window of visibility, controlled by the flying app.
Pictures instead are taken in fisheye format taking full advantage of the camera resolution.
The Parrot videos presented here are filling the gap left by the very poor user guide that comes with the package and disappointed the early buyers.
Update: You can read our full review here.