Parrot Bebop drone hits the UK with lofty price tag

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.

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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.