Watch all pilots replays:

 

#1 Kamikaze: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKMxfcuczXA
#2 Go-Henri: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VfBNFwMCFMQ
#3 Slateril: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0jy12DvOdEo
#4 Unikotoss: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEdvgq45tK0
#5 Yuvi: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nlxenrk6izY
#6 Maverick: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHH4Nlmpndg
#7 Exceltech: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZIjv_mf74w
#8 Spycam V2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvGtDQGJY7M
#9 Mars: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBm89A1x2ec
#10 Shine: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZG2QN4sqajo
#11 Tedzy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xGf2eMnp18
#12 Hollywood: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mA9iLPA88uo
#13 Hammardrone: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PaFVVbMVM74
#14 Danger: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmSrS8PhCV8
#15 Floclo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1XNilibtiKs

 

After being selected through an online competition, the 15 finalists representing 9 nationalities finally arrived to Las Vegas on January, 9th, for 4 amazing days:
Once arrived at their hotel, the finalists received an AR.Drone bag and their uniforms for the Grand Finale.

 

 

 

 

 

The first two days were dedicated to visiting the city, the famous hotels and casinos of the Strip. On the 11th in the afternoon, a true “Vegas-style” hummer limo was waiting for the 15 finalists at the hotel. Direction: the Parrot Booth at the Las Vegas Convention Center for a training session before the big Day!

 

 

The competitors discovered a booth entirely dedicated to the competition but also a very nice surprise: they will be using the brand new AR.Drone 2.0 for the Grand Finale! This second generation of AR.Drone was announced 4 days before during the CES Unveiled. This is how Parrot rewards its best pilots : )

 

 

The rules are then explained to the finalists. Each pilot tried out the AR.Drone 2.0 on the 3 challenges imagined by the Parrot team. After getting acquainted with the new product , referees felt that all of the 15 pilots were relaxed and that the full-blown pressure was n’t palpable yet.
All the referees played their part as if the rehearsal was the real competition so that everybody was highly involved in this session, and it started to be more clear who would be comfortable on D-Day and who wouldn’t.
The training session turned out being quite difficult for our 15 pilots, due mostly to bad weather conditions: the wind was really strong and it didn’t help to display their piloting skills! The day ended with the draw to determine who would be the first to go on stage for the real competition.

 

 

And then the big day finally arrived: The AR.Drone Grand Finale!
Finalists arrived very anxious but focused on the objective: $5000. Good news: the sun was out and there was no wind anymore.

 

Good luck to everyone!

 

The competition started with the Challenge #1: Stop and Go. This Challenge involved competitors achieving the maximum number of points by landing their AR.Drone on top of towers in less than 2 minutes.

 

For the first Challenge, Parrot had developed specific versions of AR.FreeFlight and of the AR.Drone 2.0 firmware. The new AR.Drone 2.0 were capable of detecting a target that was placed on the top of some of the towers of the installation. This stabilized the AR.Drone above the towers, thus facilitating the landing.
Some pilots chose to use the targets, some didn’t. But in the end, those who used them scored more than the others…

 

The first pilot to inaugurate the competition was Shine from China. He managed to rack up a decent amount of points, so being first wasn’t finally so much of a disadvantage…
But the best pilot on this accuracy and strategy challenge was Exceltech. By choosing to land on the 2 highest towers which earned the most points (300 and 400 points respectively) he managed to make the difference. His piloting accuracy allowed him to keep his AR.Drone 2.0 on his 4 feet all the time. Without a single mistake, he managed to master his AR.Drone 2.0 to score 1950 points. Well done! Our American pilot was closely followed by Go-Henri, who managed to place once his AR.Drone 2.0 on top of the 400 pts tower and fell only once to reach 1650 total. The third pilot to complete the podium of this Challenge #1 was the Portuguese pilot Unikotoss. With his very clean piloting skills (no crash), he scored 1600 points by choosing to land on a maximum of “easy” spots rather than a few difficult ones.

 

All other pilots scored between 1450 and 500 points, a special mention to SpyCamV2, one of the three French competitors who lost his ways and finally did not manage to score any point on the first round. Hopefully for him, he got back on track for the second round and reached finally 500 points. Pressure, pressure…

 

 

Newt step: Challenge #2: The Duel. This Challenge involves virtually shooting at an opponent’s AR.Drone 2.0 as many times as possible within a 1 minute round. A specific version of AR.FlyingAce was developed especially and used by the finalists. The duels were intense and all pilots played the game…

 

The entire Parrot team wants to give a special thanks to Maverick, one of the two Canadian pilots, for his energy and his involvement in this Challenge #2. We had some epic moments, especially when his AR.Drone finally flipped only 1 second before the time stopped: awesome! That feat allowed him to reach the 1/4 final, where he eventually lost against the finalist SpyCamV2 in 3 rounds.

 

Yuvi, our very enthusiastic South African pilot unfortunately lost in 1/8 final against Hollywood, the second Canadian.
Danger, despite his good moves and the will to go further was stopped by Maverick, as well as Floclo by Unikotoss in 1/8 final.

 

Hammardrone, after his victory on Shine and an epic air battle with Hollywood, finally lost in 1/4 final.

 

Despite long moments, flying out of the booth, Hollywood reached the semifinal with Kamikaze, Slateril and SpyCamV2.

 

Luckily, we had two great semifinals in 3 rounds. Kamikaze won the first round, lost the second one and finally managed to win the third one to enter the final level. Slateril, on his side, managed to lead his duel by hitting 5 times SpyCamV2 on the first round. But SpyCamV2 gave everything to win the 2 last rounds and joined Kamikaze in the final.

 

Kamikaze was definitely the best pilot on this Challenge #2 and won 2-0 by letting no chance to SpyCamV2 to react.

 

Well done Kamikaze!

 

 

Finally the “main” Challenge: Challenge #3 with its famous obstacle course visible to all CES attendees due to its location on the Convention Center’s main plaza. This challenge was all about time and speed… The finalists’ scores are so close…, the tension is palpable…

 

 

TeDzY, our youngest pilot, showed great skills during the training session, giving a glimpse to a future great AR.Drone champion, but it seemed the pressure was a little too heavy that day, and he finally scored a 00:50s time which placed him only on the 9th position of Challenge #3.

 

Impossible to forget the third French Pilot, Mars, after two unfortunate rounds, he finally managed to complete the course on the third round to finally reach the 5th place of this Challenge #3. He took 00:40s to complete this lap!

 

But on the whole, Slateril, our Russian pilot and winner of the online Challenges, was of the favorite for the Grand Finale. He scored an incredible 00:38s which was a great time to get 1600 points, but it turned out that 2 pilots were even better than him! Kamikaze with 00:37s was amazingly fast (2000 points), but the lightning speed pilot was definitely Go-Henri who took only 00:36s to score 2500 points, the Force was with him.

 

Time for a break!

 

Referees are calculating the points for each pilot…

 

And the big moment has arrived and, results are given out, starting by the 15th position, Floclo……3rd Slateril, 2nd Go-Henri… and the grand winner, the 1st AR.Drone World Champion : the Japanese, THIS IS KAMIKAZE who goes home with a big fat $5000 check!!

 

Congratulations to all the pilots from around the globe and thank you for participating to the online Challenges and the Grand Finale in Las Vegas, you are definitely the best pilots in the world!
Let’s watch the video of the trip.

 

A replay video will be posted soon for each pilot.

 

Who’s gonna be next?