Thursday, October 14, 2010

«AR.Drone Flight Time»

I was playing with my AR.Drone yesterday. It was the first day I spent any real time flying it.

AR.Drone with the indoor hull.
AR.Drone with the indoor hull installed.

Click image to view full.

The first time I flew it was the day I got it, and I lost connection with it and couldn't regain connection. So it sat there 3 feet off the ground in autopilot until the battery level went critical and it landed itself. I figured out it was interference from my wifi that caused me to lose connection. So now I disable my wifi before I fly it and haven't had any issues since.

A bunch of the neighbors have wifi networks too, but none of them are as powerful as mine... I have aftermarket antennas on my router.

I was a bit afraid to try again until yesterday. I flew it inside with the indoor hull on it (pictured above) to protect the rotors. I got a feel of the controls and even managed to fly it through a doorway. It's nice that you can let go of the controls and it stabilizes itself. The battery life is painfully short, however.

Then I got daring and put the outdoor hull on it and took it outside. I was a bit reluctant to do this, because I've read stories of AR.Drones losing control and flying away... Never to be found again. Thankfully this didn't happen. It sure responds better without that bulky indoor hull.

AR.Drone with the outdoor hull.
AR.Drone with the outdoor hull installed.
Click image to view full.

I flew it around the building I live in a couple of times, and ended up drawing out every kind in the neighborhood it seemed. I had a crowd of fascinated kids watching me by the end. They were especially fascinated that the drone had a camera and I could see on my iPhone what the drone saw. I got the low battery alert, landed it and said "Well, that's it. The battery is dead, show's over."

Sorry, no in-flight images yet. I never think to photograph it while I'm flying it.


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