Journalism Tech Radar - Parrot Bebop

Name: Parrot Bebop


What is it: A new (relatively) affordable drone has come on to the uk market.

Use for News: The Guardian says ‘The Parrot Bebop is a fantastic toy that allows users to go beyond just flying it around and crashing into things and make interesting videos and take photos from a completely new perspective’.

Upside: At around £430 the Parrot Bebop has an expensive toy price tag, and is likely aimed at hobbyists. It can be piloted by iOS and Android smartphone or tablets. The software allows you to control the 14 megapixel camera which is fitted with digital stabilizers which ensure the horizon stays at the right angle and can record 1080p video at 30 frames per second. It also has an add on function which allows it to be connected to first person view glasses.

Downside: The necessarily small on-board battery only gives around 12 minutes flight time, although it does come with two batteries. When flying on a commercial basis permission must be sort from the CAA and drones are not to be flown within built up areas, within 50 meters of a person or building or more than 500 meters away from it’s pilot. A little more here from the BBC on where you can and can’t fly a drone.