30 janv. 2013

AR FreeFlight - How to pilot the AR Drone 2.0 - Guide

Hi everyone :)

Today I am a teacher. I want to explain to you the theoretical AR Drone 2.0 piloting method with all the things to know. I say theoretical, because practical is quiet different, there is potential obstacles, and other settings as the wind.

Here you read all the points to correctly use the Drone from the AR FreeFlight application! This is the app developed by Parrot to pilot the drone. You have to take care, I can't be held for any damage on your Drone.

Read the unboxing article: AR Drone 2.0 Unboxing + Links

I use the Android 4.1 OS with HTC Sense on my HTC One X. Some parts of the application are not developed for Android, as the AR Academy and I regret that.

1 – Menu
2 – Settings before take off
3 – Control screen
4 – Absolute control (perfect to start)
5 – Other mode (I use it)
6 – Play & Share
7 – Videos
8 – I have liked / disliked

I – Menu

In spite of its popularity, it's so sad to know that the app is only available in English. French, German, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Arabic languages & others must learn it in English…

Different part on the menu:

  • Piloting

This part is used to control the drone. I show you with it the theoretical part on this article.

  • AR Academy

I can't write so much about it because I haven't any iOS device, but I am looking for an iPad 2-3 or something like that… or not. This being, it allows to save your flight with altitude during the flight and other settings. Must I buy an iOS to discover it? :/

  • Photos & Videos

On this label you can found all your records during your flights. I say more on the Play & Share section bellow.

  • AR Drone Update

As it's named, you can update with that your AR Drone 2.0. On Android we are waiting for the v2.1 & more to be able to play more games, use AR Academy, and do more tricks.

  • Games

Not available for Android Devices… There is more than 5 games with multiplayer games on 3D augmented reality, but only for iOS users… so sad…

  • Demo

You can watch some demonstration on how to use the Drone, short.

II – Settings before the flight

The configuration before take the drone off is so important! Do never forget to set it before the flight because it control the stability during the flight, and more, for example the use of the drone for different tricks and allowed things, max altitude, tilt angle…
Those settings are cut on 4 different control screens:

MOST IMPORTANT thing is at the bottom right angle on your 4 screen: FLAT TRIM, this is the balance to know what the horizontal reference is during the flight. The drone stabilizes over this point 0.
Do never forget to do it before taking the drone off.

It's good to know that all those settings are accessible during the flight!!!

  • Personal settings:

With this interface you manage the possibility to use the drone with another paring to control it.
You can also change & rename the WiFi AR Drone 2.0 name.
The opacity of screens can be change. Example if you use settings during a flight, it's cool to know what your drone is doing.
USB Record: if you put it on, you record your files on the USB connected, if you turn it off you record on your smartphone by WiFi. You must have 100Mo free on your storage to start the recording.
Average: 1Mo for 2sec
Flip Enabled: allow activating the flip trick if you double tap the screen during the flight.

  • Flight settings:

Altitude Limit: When your drone take off it knows what is its altitude, and land is the point 0. So if you limit the altitude to 3m it's cool for a low-lying flight. A very cool precaution for indoor or inpark flights ;)
Vertical Speed Max: with it you limit the max altitude speed, from 20mm/s to 2m/s. I have started with 20mm/s to know how it works and this is just so cool, I am currently using about 700mm/s ;) Then you can grow the max limit :)

  • Piloting mode:

Joypad mode: this mode activate the joypad to move the drone (its located on the left for right-handed) it allows to control the drone, push on the top to move forward, on the bottom to move back, left to move left, right to move right… you understand :p you can also inactivate it. Inactivated you have to press the left part on the screen and your smartphone use the accelerometer to know where to go ;)
Absolut control: this mode is perfect to begin with your drone or let someone test it. It allows getting oneself as reference. If you press the joypad at the top or tilt the smartphone forward the drone go on the direction ordered by the phone!

If this mode is inactivated, the drone is the referential. If you tilt the smartphone forward, the drone move forward itself, on its own direction, and that no matter your position

The calibration is automatic

Left-handed: This mode switches right & left pads!
Tilt Max: this is the maximum angle allowed to your Drone. 5 is to begin, the drone go slowly, a calibration at 30 is really good, at 50 the drone can turn off easily if you test a go and back ;) (watch the end of my 1st video)

  • Status:

This screen gives information about the different software & hardware used by your drone. This is the less important for us.

III – Control Screen

1 – Back button
You can use it only when the Drone is on the ground, before taking the drone off, to go back to the main menu.

2 – Battery indicator
As it's named, it shows the battery still usable on the Drone. If you land the drone with less than 20 battery %, you can't take it off again, this is a security. No-way to take off, you must load it again. Less than 30%, no more flip.
The indicator is not sec by sec updated, sometimes you think there is still 30% and you land the drone then the % go down to 12 :/
The battery is mostly used to take the drone off and stabilize it. Moreover when it's windy you have to take care!

3 – Settings
This label goes to configuration screens decrypted before.

4 – WiFi signal
This icon show the WiFi reception, if it's correct or not. You have to make favors on clear places without case for your Smartphone to optimize the signal.

5 – Emergency button
So usable for beginners or dangerous places, with lot of people, one press and the motors stop immediately.

6 – Camera switcher
You know there are 2 cameras on the drone, the front and the bottom camera, you can switch thanks to this button. Moreover you can see the place to land the drone with that!

7 – Recording
When you push it, the record starts. The rec blinked!
Don't forget to stop the record to save the video, I have loose 2 videos by forgetting to quit the app after a flight.

8 – Take pictures
This is the button to take a picture from your camera.

9 – Left-hand JoyPad
This one permits to move the drone on the plan horizontal (// to the ground), go forward, go back, go to the left or the right

10 – Right-hand JoyPad
This second JoyPad moves the drone higher and down, with rotating functions.

11 – Take off / Landing
This is THE button to take off and landing the drone as you want!!!

IV – Absolute control

This is the best mode to hands the drone on for firsts flights or to let it to a friend to test it.
You are the reference, you tilt the drone to the front (of you) the drone go away on this direction, to the back, it come on the same direction.

V – Other mode

This is the one I use! But sometimes it's more complicate. The drone is the reference
You tilt the smartphone to the front, the drone go forward from itself! He go on its direction. If you tilt the phone back, it go back (its back direction)

VI – Play & Share

Taken with the AR Drone 2.0 

On the Videos & Photos you are able to play and share your records on different platforms:
  • -     Bluetooth
  • -          Facebook
  • -          Gmail
  • -          Google +
  • -          Mail
  • -          Notes
  • -          Picasa
  • -          Skype
  • -          Youtube

And all others installed on your smartphone. This is so practice.
Know that: you can also go on gallery to find your records, and this is a + for HTC users with Sense 4+ allowing taking a picture when you watch a record ;). Like if the video had been recorded by your HTC.


VII – I have liked / disliked

  • Easy to use

So easy to use with the absolute control it's splendid.
-          Configuration control
The Drone is completely configurable for its moving speed, its rotation, its max altitude, everything
-          Use the configuration during a flight
No need to landing to switch the flight settings, you can activate the flip also when you are flying :p

Only the English application, so sad for this amazing drone!

VIII – Videos

Flow. 1app4me