I got a chance to sit down with the folks from Parrot at CES and ask them about the AR Drone 2.0. Unfortunately, for existing AR Drone users, there isn’t a whole lot of good news to report. Virtually everything on the AR Drone 2.0 is brand new and is NOT, I repeat NOT compatible for the original AR Drone. The only thing that seems to remain the same is the main drive gear and the propellers, although they did say there is a change to the propellers as well.
The cross member is all new and will not fit into the original AR Drone nor will any of the electronics boards. Even the motors are new.
So what should you do with your original AR Drone? Well…keep flying it. The new AR FreeFlight 2.0 software WILL be compatible with the AR Drone 1.0. Expect the new software to arrive when the AR DRone 2.0 ships which is “sometime in Q2” which translated to “sometime between April and June”. Given that it is only January right now, don’t expect to see the AR Drone 2.0 flying near you for another 4 – 5 months.
Until then, here is some video I shot during CES and no, you cannot do flips and rolls with the AR Freeflight 2.0 software. ust like the current software if the AR Drone has too much of a tilt, the Drone’s motors will shut off. These demos are done with custom firmware designed for the shows.