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Parrot Bebop drone hits the UK with lofty price tag

Luke Johnson


Parrot Bebop drone

Parrot is taking you back to the sky as the app-controlled Parrot Bebop drone hits the UK with a wallet-busting price tag.

Following on from the Parrot AR Drone 2, the £430 Bebop pairs a sleeker, more refined body with a massively improved 14-megapixel camera.

Falling somewhere between a general consumer and serious hobbyist device, the Bebop’s fish-eye lens camera offers a wide field of view over the 1920 x 1080p Full HD content captured at 30 frames-per-second.

“The Bebop Drone masters several challenges: performs amazingly while flying and films in 1080p in a stabilized manner; all of this with a size reduction of 25 percent compared to the AR.Drone,” Henri Seydoux, Parrot’s CEO said.

“To achieve these results, our engineers worked for more than three years. The Bebop Drone embeds high-performance processors, a graphics co-processor with professional-grade camera capabilities."

Weighing in at just 410g, the Bebop – which comes in red, yellow and blue colour schemes – is brimmed with all manner of sensors, including an accelerometer, altimeter, magnetometer and ultrasound.

These combine to keep the drone stable and agile during flight.

Featuring 8GB of flash memory – sadly no SD or USB expansion is possible – the flying machine comes bundled with two 1200mAh Lithium Polymer batteries, each offering just 12 minutes of flight time.

While the thought of a £430 outlay might have you weak at the knees, for those with deeper pockets, there is an even more extravagant option available.

The Bebop drone and Skycontroller bundle sees the quadrocopter boxed alongside an RC-style remote control.

This sizeable, iPad mini cradling remote features a Wi-Fi antenna to amplify your connection with the drone. Using the Skycontroller users can pilot the Bebop up to a range of 2km.

Read More: Parrot Jumping Sumo review

For those looking for an added party piece, the Skycontroller can be connected to a pair of first-person view glasses – think Oculus Rift or the Carl Zeiss Cinemizer – for more immersive flight.

“With Skycontroller, we enter a new dimension, one of immersive and high precision piloting,” Seydoux stated.

The Parrot Bebop drone is available in the UK now through a number of retailers including Maplin, Selfridges and Apple stores.

Dennis Mau

December 17, 2014, 10:45 pm

After following the instructions to the letter I took Bebop outside on a calm day and sat it down and hit takeoff. It shot up to about 6 feet and hovered perfectly. I was controlling it with my Ipad which for awhile worked really well and I was thinking this thing is cool. Then suddenly it started gaining altitude for no reason and I immediately tried to bring it down and it responded by shooting skywards at warp speed and there was nothing I could do to stop it. I tried the return home button to no avail. I had the maximum altitude set at 6 meters so it should not have went above that height. I looked skyward and I eventually lost sight of it. Thinking it lost and my $500 down the drain I started looking around and to amazingly it had fallen back to earth upside on the lawn about 300 yards away from me. Fortunately it wasn't damaged but rather than risk losing my $500 next time I took it back to Best Buy. It is possible it lost the Wifi connection because in testing often times it would lose the connection but it should have returned home. I noticed another fellow had the same problem so this is not an isolated case. I called Parrot and told them about it and they didn't even care and said the drone would not be covered under warranty if it happened again. So buyer beware! This is what happened to me. Get the DJI Phantom FC40. It is cheaper and way more reliable.


December 18, 2014, 3:37 am

When you connected the battery, did you hear the connector click into place? Did you try pulling on the connector to make sure was not lose? The reason I ask is that this seems to be the base cause of a lot of the problems with the Bebop. if the connector is loose and drops power to the CPU for an instant, the Bebop could leave the motors running full blast while it tries to reboot.

Dennis Mau

December 18, 2014, 3:49 am

Yes, the battery connector was tight and the battery was tightly strapped to the hull. Even after it crashed when I disconnected the battery it was very tightly connected. I feel the problem is in the software.


December 18, 2014, 7:42 am

Interesting scenario. If correct, even if in this instance a loose connector was not the initial cause, the underlying problem is that there is no fail-safe mode for when the CPU, for whatever reason, is out of commission. That is a serious design failure - for Parrot to stick their fingers in their ear and say "la la la - no warranty" is pathetic".

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