The new Parrot Bebop 2 HD Drone (quadcopter) is the latest in the range of ultra steady flying cameras from the French manufacturer. The product is a completely new build from the ground up, which means they’ve managed to incorporate some neat updated features, including 25 minutes flying time, while keeping the weight of the whole craft to just 500g. Pretty cool.
For those who don’t know the original Bebop model, the quad offers ultra steady flight and video, to the extent that it’s literally easy enough for a young child to fly. The thing can stay in one spot for ages, with no hands-on input, and now the new model is coupled with a 1080p HD camera, which should mean great footage. Check out our video below for first impressions.
The company claims that the craft will stay steady as a rock even in winds of up to 40 mph outdoors, which is tres impressive, and the 14 megapixel fisheye lens camera and digital 3 axis gimbal should deliver excellent video with minimal hassle. Add in the optional SkyController which gives a range of up to 2 km, and the ability to plug in a full FPV piloting system, and this update pitches the drone straight at the DJI Phantom class of quadcopters, at a significantly lower price.
As with the previous Bebop, you use a smartphone or tablet and the free FreeFlight 3 app to control the quad and the camera view, and again you get the full works, including auto take-off and auto-landing. One of the most impressive things about this range is the ability to fly both indoors and outside, using an array of sensors as well as conventional GPS.
The 2700mAh battery is the power behind the massive 25 minute flight time, and for those with safety in mind, the propellers are soft rubberized plastic and designed to automatically cut-out on impact, thereby minimizing the risk to any nearby pedestrian or property. In line with recent legislation, the company has also kept the weight low to avoid the need for a flying license, which will make the hobbyists very happy.
You get around 1000 feet of range from the standard default system, and it comes with automatic return to home in case of difficulty. Which again is great for newcomers. One of the coolest features is a new ultra bright red direction lamp on the rear of the quad, which instantly tells the pilot what heading the craft is on, when viewed from a distance. This could save a lot of heartache and loss we’re thinking, and is a welcome addition to the genre.
Overall this is a great upgrade to an already neat quadcopter. In the past the original Bebop had a few issues with firmware and reliability, let’s hope this all new machine removes those problems and delivers a solid robust camera platform for all.
Price: £439.99 (£759.99 with SkyController).
Available in December 2015.