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Futurist Thomas Frey reaches up to touch the AR.Drone Quadricopter

AR.Drone will soon become the world’s first available quadricopter that can be controlled by iPhone and iPod touch and Thomas & Deb Frey got a first-hand look at this innovative technology. (Pics & Video)

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Deb Frey playing around with the quadricopter at CES in Las Vegas today

The AR.Drone Quadricopter is a lightweight flying drone with two on-board video cameras. The device has been developed by the French company Parrot, a technology company that has been working on wireless  gaming concepts for the past four years.

“This is quite a revolutionary technology,” says Futurist Thomas Frey from the DaVinci Institute. “It has the potential to be used for transportation monitoring, on search and rescue missions, in areas of security and surveillance, as part of new video games, and much more. It creates an ingenious new input device for communications technology.”

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The first commercial units won’t be available until mid 2010. The company admitted they still have battery life and safety issues to contend with. Currently the battery life is only about 15 minutes.

“I found this to be a fascinating technology that I’d love to test out,” said Deb Frey. “But after working with it for a few minutes, something happened and the unit just dropped out of the air. The landing was anything but graceful.”

Clearly it’s not ready for prime time, but maybe soon.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Ejh–_56ic[/youtube]

No official word on the cost, but rumors were floating around about a $500 price tag.

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More at Parrot


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