It was back at CES 2010 when the Parrot AR Drone was shown off, a RC drone that was controlled through an iPhone. It has come a long way since then, at CES 2013 a number of new accessories to enhance AR Drone 2.0′s performance were unveiled. Those products weren’t available for purchase back then. Nearly six months down the line, those accessories can now finally be purchased. They include a GPS Flight Recorder, the Director Mode feature and a bigger battery.
The Flight Recorder works in similar fashion to black boxes that are found on conventional airplanes. It can save GPS localized information and flight data. The collected data can be analyzed through AR.Drone Academy maps and can also be viewed in 3D. Since its equipped with 4G flash memory, the Flight Recorder for AR Drone 2.0 can record up to almost two hours of HD video. It costs $129.99 can be purchased online as well as at select stores.
The Director Mode feature is available through the AR Drone 2.0 piloting app. It lets pilots create smooth videos by using nine pre-registered movements, speed can be modified before or in-flight. It also offers camera settings such as white balance, exposure, saturation etc. There are also a host of post production settings such as selection of sequences to edit for better image stability. These sequencs can also be edited to create a new video, or they can be deleted altogether. It costs $3.99 and requires that the piloting app must be up to date. The Android version of this feature will roll out in September.
Last but not the least, we have the bigger battery. Its a new High Density Lithium-Polymer unit which allows the drone to fly non-stop for 18 minutes. Priced at $69.99, it is sold online as well as through select stores.