Bebop drone rocks steady with Oculus Rift capability

12 May 2014

The Bebop, by Parrot

The first drone to feature Oculus Rift compatibility, known as Bebop, has had its first public unveiling and is expected to launch towards the end of this year.

The company behind the consumer drone, Parrot, has created a quadrocopter designed for extended outdoor use. The device also features a 14MP Fisheye camera that allows the user to hover and stream HD video that can be controlled from a smartphone using either the Android or iOS operating systems.

To keep this balance, the Bebop features a three-axis accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetometer that can manage even the strongest of breezes with relative ease.

The obvious key feature is its Oculus Rift compatibility, which, once connected, will give the user perhaps the best capable means of creating a representation of human flight outside of a video game.

By moving his or her head around, the user can control where the camera is looking, but that does not control the Bebop’s movement, which may be rather difficult if the user is not familiar with the controls.

In terms of battery life, the Bebop is hardly going to set any endurance records as it supposedly has a running flight time of only 12 minutes on a single charge. It does, however, have an impressive range of 2km for those who know how to time their distances and make sure the Bebop gets home in one piece.

Early reports suggest that when the Bebop is finally released, it will be available in the US for US$300-US$400.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic