Drones used to be treated as a thing of the future, but the future is now right about here. Popular French drone-maker Parrot unveils a new model in its line-up of high-tech flying objects: Bebop drone.

Gathered research says Parrot Bebop drone is exceptional in its own right, having been built on two AR Drone generations and running on Linux. The company became popular in the industry with its AR Drone quadcopters.

Bebop is made smaller, weighing less than a pound, but smarter, and can be maneuvered better than the other drone generations ahead. If the propellers come in unexpected contact with just about anything, it stops spinning automatically. The propellers are also made of softer plastic now so that it gets lesser damage in such possible contacts.

The biggie here is an impressive high-definition video recording. Allowing much-detailed shoot and a pioneering image stabilization feature with a wide-angle 180-degree view, thanks to its 14MP fish-eye lens. The stability came from the 3-axis gyroscope, 3-axis accelerometer and 3-axis magnetometer, plus an ultrasound sensor of 8-meter range, a vertical camera and a pressure sensor. It has a stable camera, no moving parts of sort, as compared to drone-maker rivals such as the DJI Phantom 2 Vision+. Other drones would require a huge cash shell-out to stabilize images from drones. Images and videos can be saved in MP4 and JPEG/DNG formats.

The Bebop drone uses location technology with a GNSS chip set to receive signals from the Global Positioning System, Galileo satellites and GLONASS. Such data assist the drone to fly independently on a predefined flight course and automatically return to its original take-off position. Data of flight is recorded on the Parrot cloud. The drone can only fly for around 12 minutes, though.

What's best, the drone can be combined with a Skycontroller, for the more ambitious pilots, so that the flight on shoot can be seen on real time through a smartphone, tablet, HDTVs or virtual reality headsets like the Oculus Rift providing a drone eye-view. Or when you plug the drone into your Mac or PC, it appears as a removable device. It is controllable through an app available on Android or Apple devices.

"Equipped with an amplified Wi-Fi radio and with 4 antennas, the Parrot Skycontroller extend the Wi-Fi range up to 2 kms.
The piloting smartphone or tablet is fixed on a shelf that is compatible with the vast majority of the tablets available in the market.
 The pilot takes the helm of the drone via 2 joysticks," the company writes in a blog post.

Parrot CEO and founder Henri Seydoux says in a press launch last week in San Francisco that it can also be used for business clients and that include architects, besides a hobby.

"I think it's going to appeal to the hobbyist market that Parrot knows well, but also to videographers and real estate and architecture-based customers," Dronelife website managing editor Andrew Amato says to USA Today. 

The Bebop Drone and the optional Skycontroller will be up on sale, in solo or bundle purchases, in the fourth quarter of the year. No pricing has been provided yet by Parrot. SlashGear's source from the company, however, speculates price could be between $600-$900.

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