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Discussion Starter #1
Back in May of this year Parrot previewed the Parrot Bebop Drone. Now this was not their first entry into the Drone Market. Years ago they introduced their first and second model (AR Drone), so this is their third version. They use an iPhone/iPad App or other Smart Phone App to control the Drone. The stated range is 300 feet, but with their improved controller ($400), the range extends to 1.2 miles.

The main improvements are:

> AR limited to 720P, the Bebop is now 1080P resolution.

> AR no image stabilization, the Bebop has electronic image stabilization.

> AR has a fixed view, the Bebop uses a 14MP image sensor that they pan and scan the sensor to look left/right and up/down.

The image quality appears to be really improved in the Bebop. The months passed and it looks like their ready to release in the USA. BestBuy shows the price of $499.99

Parrot Bebop Drone Red 44265BBR - Best Buy

I also understand that as of this past Saturday they began selling in France.

Main WEB Page: Parrot Bebop Drone | Bebop Quad Copter

One of many initial reviews: We take flight with Parrot's new Oculus-friendly Bebop drone

Video review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fg3ijIX8SIE

Companies official video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ZdSMAG90Rs








Bob Diaz
 

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Discussion Starter #2
One more thing to add, it appears that for the world, Tuesday, November 18 is the official ship/sale day.


Bob Diaz
 

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Many here know I used to have an AR.Drone 1.0. It actually got bricked during an update, hence it not working at any of the rallies I brought it to. I sold it on eBay for parts...

I'm definitely picking up a Bebop eventually. Hopefully Parrot has figured out how to allow users to restore bricked firmware.
 

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Both :p

Nah, for some odd reason it froze during an update. Following the instructions, I didn't touch the drone at all, hoping it would finish the update. Nope, the battery died.

I restarted the drone after the failed update and it flew just fine...and that was the last time the thing ever worked again...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Another update...

For the USA, December is the ship date. Now what day in December????? I have no idea.



Bob Diaz
 

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It appears that December 1 is the first "official" ship date for the USA, but several people are now posting BeBop Videos to YouTube. I guess some places are allowing them to be sold early.

This guy in Canberra, Australia has an impressive video of how well the image is stable even while the BeBop is shaking in the wind.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VVQH9qm3Hv0


Another video the person said, "Winds were out of the east at 14... gusting to 22 !!!! - I'm amazed at how stable the platform is." Take a look at the flag in the video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ht8-kP8Rxrk



Here's a third video where the camera seems to glide through the woods:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VKd5f-lxmdg


One thing to look for in the videos is when they pan the camera to the far right of left, you can see the sides of the BeBop. In all three videos, you can see the BeBop bounce around, but the background is rock solid.



Bob Diaz
 

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Love it, now all I need is a smartphone :rolleyes:
I believe you can control it with a tablet as well. Better than a smart phone, IMO.

I'm wondering, is it possible to increase the range substantially? I've seen a number of YouTube videos where they went out of range. And, it didn't seem like they were that far away. I read 100 meters. If that's right, I'd want more, LOL.

But, all pipe dreams at the moment, since I'm unemployed.
 

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I believe you can control it with a tablet as well. Better than a smart phone, IMO.

I'm wondering, is it possible to increase the range substantially? I've seen a number of YouTube videos where they went out of range. And, it didn't seem like they were that far away. I read 100 meters. If that's right, I'd want more, LOL.

But, all pipe dreams at the moment, since I'm unemployed.
Do what I did with my AR.Drone 1.0: Extend the antenna. The internal antenna is adorably tiny. It's a wonder it can even get the range it gets with the standard antenna.

I've seen some antenna modded drones achieve well over a mile and all it took was a little backyard engineering and a few dollars (as opposed to the new $400 controller).

I've also seen some interesting lighting and battery mods. Since the drones run Linux, it appears they adapt to user changes pretty well (though at the same time, are equally prone to irreversible bricking).
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The 100M range limit for the basic unit is 328 feet. There is some debate if this will end up being 200 feet is solid performance and 200 feet --> 328 feet is questionable connection performance. This appears to be untested as far as YouTube Videos go and every day I look for new videos.

Some are extending the range using battery powered WiFi Range extenders. I have no ideal how well that works, but at least it doesn't require you get inside the unit to modify it. At least with a WiFi Range extender, you can install better antennas on the Extender.

I am going in loops deciding between the BeBop and the DJI FC40. Both cost $499 and both come with cameras. The BeBop has the image stabilization built in, is smaller/more portable, and makes less noise. The DJI FC40 has a real nice RF controller, holds up very well to crashes, the control range is about 1,500+ feet, and allows for more options. However, it does NOT have any image stabilization. Thus you have to either add your own gimbal to stabilize the image (added cost and easily damaged) OR use image stabilization software. As a test I used the YouTube image stabilization feature. The link is a hidden link because the video is not mine.


This link is after YouTube did its image stabilization:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKJb2zBrgEY


Here's the source video I used for the test:


https://vimeo.com/103892646


Decisions .... decisions .....



Bob Diaz
 

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For the record, the Parrot drones will take untold amounts of abuse as well. One of the last times I flew mine, the wind started taking it up and away very fast; and I was already on the edge of range.

With some luck, it briefly reconnected and I didn't waste any time hitting the "EMERGENCY" button. The thing dropped from the sky like a brick and landed on hard packed dirt. Other than a chipped rotor the thing was ready to take to the skies again. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #16
The user reviews are starting to show up.

Parrot Bebop Drone Red 44265BBR - Best Buy

Parrot Bebop Drone Blue 44266BBR - Best Buy

For Best-buy, looking at Red & Blue (only one review for Blue), out of 18 reviews, 11 give it 4 or 5 stars and 7 give it 2 or 1 stars.


Customer Reviews: Parrot Bebop Drone - Apple Store for Education (U.S.)

For Apple, 4 out of 11 give it 1 star and 7 give it 4 or 5 stars.

Out of a total of 29 reviews, 11 give it low marks; roughly 38%. Now people who are unhappy tend to speak out more than people who are happy, but the number seems a bit high anyway.

This makes me believe that the product was rushed to market before everything was worked out. They didn't even enclose a user guide in the box. It should be interesting to see after 6 months what the happy/unhappy ratio turns out to be. For now it appears they have a QA problem.


Bob Diaz
 
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