Lately we keep hearing the word Drone wherever we go. Normally we associated with autonomous aircraft for military use but the concept has expanded to such an extent that no longer difficult to see in any electronic catalog that boasts.
Parrot has developed a line of more affordable drones, economic drones for family fun and has been called minidrones. One of them, Swat, has fallen into our hands and we have taken it for a spin to see how it behaves. Come on, if you will, to enter into the analysis of this flying minidron Parrot: Swat.
What we find in the box?
The truth is that it is appreciated that the Swat Parrot has few components for that is more easily transportable, even when we decide to leave behind the box it comes wrapped and brought them to any backpack or briefcase that we intended for that use. The Swat it comes a little luggage but brings everything to work wherever you go.
In addition to the drone body with its top four propellers at the four corners, the Swat and brings an accessory flight, a kind of plastic shell that can be attached to each of the propellers and to confer both stability in the air as protection fight back. Something that until we get used to use, happen quite often.
Besides the body of drone itself and the outer shell, the Swat Parrot brings a small charger that can be connected to any microUSB cable, which is also included, and a set of three batteries. What battery is important because, as we shall see, do not have too much autonomy and will always have a loading well if we are to carry out long sessions of flight.
Once we extract the Swat box and assemble your outer shell, we just have to charge a battery, insert it into the body and download the application to the mobile phone in order to control it. It is one of the advantages, disadvantages and yet, Swat, we can control it with the mobile without any external control. But let ‘s see what this is and how it behaves.
FreeFlight 3, the control app for mobile
The app you have to download for Swat control the Parrot, and other minidrones manufacturer, is FreeFlight 3, the version that is currently. We have it available for Android, iOS and Windows Phone, which is covered the vast majority of phones on the market, which we have pocketed.
The app features a payment section, Flight Plan, which we should not go if we want and that cost, and containing scheduled pirouettes and different flight paths that can run or automate. Also we have Drone Academy, since we have access to our statistics flight with each registered drones, rankings, etc. Everything you need to train and become some experts.
Although what interests us most is the free flight, to lift the Swat soil and devote ourselves to go all around us. You only have to connect the Bluetooth of your mobile phone if you have not already, synchronize it with the drone so that both devices remain paired and if we assign a name to recognize among others, if we have several models registered.
Once we access the free flight area, we will only have to support your fingers on the virtual joysticks and prepare for the Swat lift the flight. With the right joystick will control the direction of flight and with the joystick on the left will control the right and left turns and height of the drone.
In addition, the app offers the ability to record the drone in flight. Not because the Swat contains a camera but we have to approach it with a camera phone when you fly and record everything you do with it. It will be added, of course difficulty, because if it is already difficult to handle well with little experience, try to place the phone in an admittedly awkward position. But let the fly, which is interesting.
The Swat in the air
To start flying with the Swat Parrot must place it on the floor in as horizontal as possible surface, not because the FDP starts in a stable manner but because the application itself can reach block us button takeoff not be the drone in that position. Once it is, we’ll just press Start and enjoy the flight.
The Swat behaves quite smoothly and the response to instructions is quite fast and accurate. We said that the smartphone was a help as well as a drawback and here we find that handle the Swat from a touch surface that cannot be paying attention to us will be a little difficult at first.
Once the learning curve, which already depends on each person, take a stroll through the park with Swat is an experience. Glides at different heights, spins at high speed and the ability to control the height of the virtual joysticks will can do almost anything with it, except invest in flight it would lose stability and fall, although in Flight Plan can get to do it.
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Should not make us afraid to fall, by the way, as the frame for stability and protects the drone appears to be relatively resistant. No doubt, it is a toy shockproof with which we can enjoy both we and the smallest of the house. In fact, you may learn to handle them before us.
As added, the Swat has a front light to fly at night that does not detract too much autonomy to the batteries; we can move from flights of 10 or 15 minute flights from 9 to 12 minutes, approximately. Always talking about the mean time we have obtained in the analysis. Of course, better to have it controlled if we are to fly at night on the street for as soon as it goes out will be sought, and it is black and dark gray. Good luck with that.
Advantages and disadvantages of Swat Parrot
First, we must bear in mind that Swat is a drone with a plastic body, except for some metal parts such as shafts of the propellers and screws, hence has little weight and can rise into the air with little power. Not to increase the weight of the equipment, batteries are also reduced input so we found a couple of drawbacks.
The first is that we have limited autonomy battery. Depending on how much stress is subject flight, with displacements, turns and elevation changes, a battery can last us Swat 10 to 15 minutes max. Depending on the type of USB charger we use, each can be ready in about 15 or 20 minutes.
So, with this autonomy and rotating the batteries, we can have an almost uninterrupted flying session long as we stay close to something where you upload. Hence, as we mentioned, the detail that the Parrot minidron count to three batteries, so that a charging while we play with the other two.
The second is that weighs very little and tends to undergo excessively to the designs of wind. While indoors has great stability and its height and position adjustments are minimal, the flight outside the Swat is a small odyssey. To test, we’ll just leave it static in the air to see how it changes its position by constant corrections based on the wind.
Your connection to the mobile phone via Bluetooth so here we find an ally rather than an enemy. If you turn away too willingly or unwillingly and loses connection, he just look how to land slowly descending to land on the ground. Theoretically it should withstand a distance of 100 meters, but in reality lose connection to just over 60. We will not have to run a lot behind it.
A final drawback is that the design of Swat does not help us to know where they stand at all times and often we try to start flying in the wrong direction, especially because the only clear distinction in appreciable nose distance is a set of lights, like small eyes that do not look very good on the outside.