Parrot Bebop 2, autonomy and ease of ideal flight to enter the world of drones

We are faced with upgrading an existing product, the Bebop, who returns to position itself more strongly in a step market that we believe has much to grow if laws are not oppressing too. The Parrot Bebop 2 cannot we put in the category that new commercial products move DJI or other solutions that provide professional capabilities, but it is a toy, as you can see by his flying skills, recording, and price.

The quadcopter of the French firm is ready to fly right out of the box and within five minutes we are discovering many of its possibilities. For ease of assembly, we add the simplicity of its controls, and light it is. We have an ideal place to carry drone: fits in a backpack and is controlled by mobile.

Again, without fear of seeming heavy, is a gadget to be used with head, there is a lot of responsibility when flying him out. Our tests have been conducted in an enclosure, prepared for these purposes, with the help of certified pilots.

Returning to the analysis, before going to know what about the drone is carried in each of the major sections in this kind of gadgets, and apart from a final assessment, there is very little competition in the range, to record decently and fly with guarantees.

Parrot is a company with extensive experience in this field, at different levels, and it is certainly something that is seen in the family of Bebop devices, despite its apparent simplicity.

Parrot Bebop 2

With this Bebop 2 does not revolutionize the market, or improve an awful lot the previous, but polished errors and create a more rounded product. Before going further in the analysis said that the main improvement we have in the flight range.

A toy? No, it is well designed

Parrot Bebop wanted the 2 just have moving parts, something that is only for the propellers. Nothing hanging fact is included in the camera body, in the peak position of the ‘aircraft’. Despite its wide angle, does not mind propellers recordings.

With respect to the previous model versions highlight the absence of defenses on the sides, propellers if they hit something, there is nothing to stop them. In both much plastic material that allows it to be strong and light.

For my taste the design has become much cleaner and nice, and as we will know better understand that everything is pretty well thought there is enough wind tunnel work. I live in an area where the wind is strong enough, and the days that I got to fly in the open, I had occasion to appreciate the good aerodynamics presents, besides being quite efficient in flight.

It’s aerodynamic and power they manage well with the wind. In the tests we have done has eaten good gusts of wind, and the little one fit well into position. According to the specifications, you can fly with winds up to 60 mph

Speaking of lightness, in 480 grams of weight we have, they are largely new battery: 192 grams. The new drive doubles the capacity of the first Bebop, reached the 2700mAh. It is hooked to the body drone with a click, and you have to force to pull it out, something we believe well thought of facing the impacts.

Bebop Wings 2

Mount the drone is very easy, you just have to place him batteries and four helices in the position describes the manual: the system of propellers is color, there are also holes that determine us their position, and when anchor them not we need tools that we use (although comes to make things easier).

Once assembled, download the application FreeFlight, we discharge the drone, which calibrates, and fly. Communication between the two is via WiFi in the 2.4 and 5GHz bands.

To get the maximum performance out drone I’ve flown in an enabled, a model airplane club, with the help of people from place ICOdrones, which are authorized in all kinds of pilots flying unmanned vehicles. The first conclusions we can draw is that it is very stable and capable, even in windy situations, as is typical in Cadiz.

The drone is quick in his movements, quite configurable with options such as rotation speed, maximum speed, distance, and altitude.

Especially interesting is the performance of “Home” mode: If the drone loses connection with the controller, you can choose the seconds to those who want to obey his return, i.e. we say that 5 seconds back home. If you have lost the connection, returns to the starting point based on the GPS position held takeoff.

We do not reach the 300 meters Parrot says, but the reality is that the connection is much better than with the first Bebop, hassle us move one hundred meters from there the video fails. This also largely depends on the capabilities of our mobile phone, I have been using with OnePlus 2 without much trouble, switching to a low-end Xperia, conditions were significantly worse.

We conclude this section by saying that there is a number of predefined acrobatics – are twists or flips in every possible direction – that can be performed automatically, both moving and stationary in the air.

Good video, photo worse

We did not expect anything other than something pulling fisheye lens on, and that is 170 degrees of vision that do not interfere with other elements of the drone. But it really does not use this view to record video and is that by using image stabilization, part of the full format is clipped. The maximum aperture of the lens is f / 2.3.

Very good fluidity and stabilization, as you can see in the samples we share. It is also very nice colorful, but we cannot get excited in general, as particularly in definition, is not bright. It also suffers from some flashes or a limited dynamic range.

As we got on the computer and watch the video on a screen with good resolution, the noticeable lack of detail, but having said that, we can evaluate the recording as remarkable. We will not make quality productions with her, but we will go very well with what is able to record.

Responsible for carrying out this work is a sensor of 14 megapixels, the same amount as had the first Bebop. It is able to record video in format 1080p at 30 frames per second.

It does not have a ‘Gimball’ with which we can further stabilize or change the camera in all directions, here content ourselves with a very good digital stabilization, and a shift in 180 – degree camera (handled by touch, in a menu different). So we can point down and create shots – like a map – very attractive from the heights.

Returning to stabilization, say the area of the chamber is anchored to the drone with four spherical part dampers that absorb vibrations well.

On the quality of the photos, are not bad if lighting conditions attached, and its wide aspect gives an attractive touch to images. We appreciate the fact that samples can be recorded in RAW (DNG) if we need to get more of those shots.

The photos and videos are recorded in an internal memory of 8GB, but cannot access it, and no way to enlarge. The way to get the contents is through FreeFlight application or a micro USB cable.

How much fits into that memory? For about 50 minutes of video in MP4 (H264) format. I would expect to collect the contents at the time have power, and its silly drone eat batteries in this operation.

More than 20 minutes in the air

With 2700mAh battery, the new Bebop get best figures of autonomy, also greater weight (100 grams). Fortunately, it is now even more comfortable to get into any bag, and thanks to that used with a telephone, an ideal place to fly around pileup about 23 minutes. It is possible to climb it, but with moderate use and little resistance from the air.

The worst aspect was clearly the first battery Bebop, had complications to overcome the 11-minute flight. A figure the new model doubles without much difficulty and the Drone figures puts more expensive and with greater ambitions (DJI, Yunnec) models. There really are few commercial drones to play more minutes in the air.

How long to charge the battery? Well, in about 70 minutes we will have loaded .This makes us think how important it is to have several units if we take a day out with the drone and forget about charges. They have a different connector than the original Bebop, so we forgot to use it.

The seven sensors

The central point is a camera pointing down at his right ultrasonic sensor

The information needed to analyze situations flight arriving from seven sensors. To treat and calculate quickly, we have a dual core. What are these systems?

  • The vertical stabilization achieved by having the camera you shoot every 16 milliseconds, compared to the previous ones for determining position and speed of Bebop 2.
  • An ultrasonic sensor in the bottom of the drone, the floor height measured in a range of 5 meters.
  • The previous sensor is accompanied by a pressure sensor that determines the height when we went to that strip.
  • A gyroscope of 3 axes to determine the angle at which the drone is located.
  • There is also an accelerometer which helps with linear position and flight speed.
  • A digital compass positions the drone in space.
  • Features with GPS and GLONASS system to geotag your computer.

FreeFlight 3 driving with mobile

Bebop good 2, and we have repeated several times, it is that we can use without just learning from a mobile device. This requires a mobile application called FreeFlight 3.

I do not like to the touch drive, this cries out for a physical control – would be much more fun – but at least it works and we used to do almost everything without too much trouble.

The mobile has its good and bad side. It is positive to have a control over fewer things to carry to fly, but also conditions much mobile we have: is not the same a powerful phone with good antennas and a good screen, a simple device that cost you move the application and offers less power connectivity.

Skycontroller, the control

I have not had a chance to try this option; I hope to do so soon. Black Skycontroller improve the connectivity and range of action significantly, reaching a theoretical two kilometers away.

If you use the Skycontroller, there is a WiFi connection to the command and another with a mobile phone or tablet that we are using. The joysticks are much more comfortable to drive the touch screens; some would even like more than those using DJI drones or Yuneec.

The Skycontroller opens the doors to interesting features because we can connect a pair of glasses through the HDMI port. There is also a USB that allows us to connect to a computer and control it from there thanks to ARDRoneSDK development kit.

It costs about $500 and it us for the first and second Bebop. It is easy to find in packs with the drone, and the play leaves us a better price. The problem is that it already gets in a price range in which it operates DJI.

Autonomous flight? Flight plan

The flight plan is the name Parrot has put an extra application that created for Bebop 2. What allows us to do?

With it we can make the Bebop 2 meets a trajectory marked by GPS coordinates, point to point. They may tell you to take pictures and videos, playing with what the camera at all times. When in operation we can stop at any time and take control.

Can it be repaired?

I like the idea that we buy a pile up and we can repair it easily accessing parts. In the Parrot website is all that make up the drone from the legs to the camera and some accessories.

They are not particularly cheap, but it is easy to replace and repair. They are not in the same league as DJI, but at least not ruin us with changing parts.

We are not facing a toy and not cheap but it is much more affordable than other drones that are starting to sound strong market.

In that case and I think enough to buy another solution to record better video, but of course, everyone has their needs, if the priority is to fly, the Bebop is fantastic for their capabilities, ease of use and transportation.

A strong point is its autonomy drone, comfortably beat the 20-minute flight is a striking fact in this world, it seems little, but competition does not get more. In addition, batteries are not expensive and can get hold of a few.