Parrot’s new Disco drone is a fixed-wing stealth bomber
The company that is famous for its AR Drone and various tiny mini drones, Parrot has just revealed its new entry into the drone space. The prototype called ‘Disco, a fixed-wing drone that looks more like a stealth bomber was unveiled at CES in Las Vegas.
“Parrot Disco is the first wing-shaped drone you can pilot with no learning process. Its autopilot and its many sensors (accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, barometer, Pitot, GPS) permanently control its flight,” says the company’s press kit. “You throw the flying wing, it gains its altitude and turns autonomously, and turns in the sky until you take control of it. During the flight, the autopilot prevents any false maneuver which could bring the flying wing down. Parrot Disco is as easy to pilot as playing a video game.”
It features a 14-megapixel camera on the front, and even comes with a pair of first-person view goggles so that you can stylishly fly the thing. The camera has software-based image stabilization and can record video while in flight and stream it live to the control app.
The drone body is pretty light at 700 grams (roughly 1.5 pounds), as it is made from foam. It’s propelled by a single rotor at the rear and can reach top speed of 80 kilometer per hour (about 50 miles per hour). The fixed-wing design gives better battery life than a quadcopter with Parrot claiming 45 minutes before you need to recharge.
It is flown from Parrot’s SkyController device or a standard RC controller or it can follow an automatic flight plan.
The wings on the Disco are detachable, which should allow it to become more compact for transport, and may also help to scatter impact if a landing is too rough. It even features nifty autonomous modes, like a return home button which flies it back to you on its own.
The drone is launched by throwing it in the air, at which point it takes off and circles automatically, awaiting commands from its pilot.
“It’s very fun to pilot a wing”, he said.
The Parrot Disco is the product of two years of research and development, an effort that’s not over yet. The company still has work to do before the Disco becomes a commercial product.
Parrot didn’t disclose too many details on the drone, other than that it will be available sometime in 2016 for an undisclosed price.
In the meantime, you can watch the video below and drool over what could be yours eventually.