Parrot previews wing-shaped Disco drone

Available later this year, the drone can fly fast

Parrot has developed a distinctive wing-shaped drone that swoops through the sky at high speed and can be automatically controlled from a smartphone app.

The Parrot Disco will go on sale later in 2016, and a prototype was unveiled on the sidelines of CES in Las Vegas on Monday.

The drone is about a meter in width and 50 centimeters deep, but a foam body means it weighs about 700 grams. That means it's light enough to be launched by simply throwing it into the air, said Frederic Pirat, a product manager at Parrot.

It's propelled by a single rotor at the rear and can reach speeds of 80 kilometers per hour (about 50 miles per hour).

Once launched, the drone will automatically climb to a height of 50 meters and circle waiting for instructions from the pilot. The drone is flown from Parrot's SkyController device or a standard RC controller. Alternatively, it can be set to fly a pre-programmed course uploaded through the company's Flight Plan software.

The drone uses a battery of the same capacity as the company's Bebop 2 drone, but because it takes advantage of aerodynamic lift, less energy is required to keep it in the sky, so it can fly for about 45 minutes, Pirat said.

"It's very fun to pilot a wing," he said. "The experience is very different from a quadcopter."

It carries the same high-definition video camera in its nose as that on the recently launched Bebop 2 drone. The camera has software-based image stabilization and can record video while in flight and stream it live to the control app.

The Parrot Disco is the product of two years of research and development, an effort that's not over yet. The company still has work to do before the Disco becomes a commercial product.

For that reason, Parrot couldn't give a launch date or price but said to expect it some time in 2016.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags playdroneCES 2016

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Crucial Ballistix Elite 32GB Kit (4 x 8GB) DDR4-3000 UDIMM

Learn more >

Gadgets & Things

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Plox Star Wars Death Star Levitating Bluetooth Speaker

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?