Since DJI started manufacturing drones and put some extra effort to make its models into a pro category, some companies, like Xiaomi and 3DR, announced similar models. Right now, you can find drones from beginner, advanced, intermediate and pro category. Parrot mini drone Travis was in my hand for testing today.
Parrot is the company that creates and develops wireless tech products. Company offers products for the retail and professional markets. Its best known products are Civil Drones (UAVs), widest range of Hands-free communication systems and Infotainment Solutions for the car and Connected objects, in the area of sound as well as gardening.
I’ve got opportunity to play with one mini drone named Travis. Very affordable price, easy controlling via smartphone and mini camera makes it very attractive.
Let’s see what’s inside of the box for 91 eur (mobileshop.eu price on 6th of September 2016. )
Yellow quadcopter drone is coming with usb charger for charging the battery, user manual, couple of stickers for customization and small lego-like figure of pilot.
On front side, two LEDs are placed like eyes of some animal. It shines green when drone is ready for flight, yellow during connection and red when it goes off or batteries are low. Seems like angry air animal, in my opinion.
Flying and controlling
You can use iPhone or Android device to control this little fellow. To do that, you’ll need to download app from App Store or Play Store. As soon as you launch the app, if drone is turned on, it will make a connection over the Bluetooth with your smartphone. Among promo options, you will find Discover Parrot Drones, Drone Academy (to learn how to control drone), Buy Flight Plan (for advanced piloting), Help and Buy products. When drone is on and connected to smartphone, you will find option to launch your done.
After you press launch button, drone will fly around 130 cm high and will wait there for tour commands. You can move it higher, lower, left, right, forward, backward and even making some rotations and small acrobatic flips.
Indoor, it provides a lot of fun. If it hit the obstacle, it will go down. Outdoor flying is a challenge. Since 20m is maximum recommended distance from the smartphone, you will lose connection and drone will fall down. If it’s a big height, it might get crushed, if it’s in neighbor’s yard, well… depends.
During the flight or even if it’s in standby mode, you will be able to take pictures, since drone have embedded VGA mini camera (480X640px). Camera isn’t capable of taking videos, still images only. You will not be impressed with results probably. Images are coming in small resolutions, good for phone wallpaper.
You will spot compartments which can be used for holding small objects. You can also attach mini figures or blocks on top of the drone, where lego-like base is located.
Lithium-polymer 550mAh battery promising up to 9 minutes of driving. I was using Lenovo 2A adapter which recharged batteries fully in 32 minutes. Flying time was usually from 8 to 10 minutes, depending on speed, acrobatic stunts and distance between phone and drone. App will let you know when battery goes down. Also, you can see battery percentage on display of your phone in app. You can buy extra batteries and provide extra time for flying.
Parrot designed this drone very well. Travis is easy to spot in air, a bit loud, easy to control and durable. Camera is capable of capturing still images in VGA resolution, which isn’t impressive. On the other side, look at the cameras in the phones with this price mark. This is excellent drone for beginners, images are fair enough for occasional aerial pictures and price makes it as a perfect gift. Additionally, attaching Lego blocks sounds like fun for kids and people who likes Lego.
Special thanks goes to www.mobileshop.eu for providing me this sample. If you like this review and Travis seems to be your choice, head up to this website and order one.
From official Parrot website
|3-axe a accelerometer +/- 50 mg precision||3 axle +/- 50 mg precisionon|
|Storage||1 GB Flash memory|
|Camera||On-board mini camera|
|Screenshot||VGA (480×640) 300 000 pixels|
|Speed||Up to 18 km/h|
|Connection||Via Bluetooth® Smart / Bluetooth V4.0 BLE|
|Max distance||20 m range|
|Battery||550 mAh Lithium-Polymer|
|Battery life||9 mins (7 mins with frame)|
|Charge time||25 minutes (with a 2.6 A charger, not included)|
|SDK||available for developers|
|Dimensions et poids|
|Size with frame||180 x 185 x 40 mm|
|Size without frame||150 x 150 x 40 mm|
|Weight without frame||54 g|
|Weight with frame||63 g|