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.
A single-piece version of the iconic Zikmu Parrot by Starck speakers, Zikmu SOLO is a
cutting-edge wireless speaker.
With a total power of 100W RMS, Zikmu SOLO produces a stereo sound image
thanks to its new side speakers, and flat-panel NXT technology has been deployed to
achieve an optimal sound radius on both sides of the speaker.
Zikmu SOLO enables a unique stereo experience with a minimal form factor, regardless
of the size of the listening room.
The challenge for Parrot’s engineers was to make it simple to use while maintaining
universal compatibility. The speaker’s main features are accessible on either side of the
docking station, by a remote control, and via a free dedicated app for iPhone and
Music can be accessed from any device or network: iPhone, iPod, PC, Mac, Wi-Fi, or a
Bluetooth and NFC mobile phone. Availability: Coming in 2012 Price: To be announced
Equipped with an active noise cancelling system, it insulates you from
surrounding noise in order to guarantee the purest sound experience,
whether listening to music or making phone calls.
And because music must be heard in all its harmony, intensity and depth, ZIK has powerful DSP (Digital Signal Processing) algorithms that
recreate the contours of the music in full. This is the “Parrot Concert
Hall” effect: the music is in front of you, like at a concert!
Access to basic functions is hyper-intuitive, thanks to a touch panel
located on the entire surface of the ZIK’s right earpiece. Swipe the panel
vertically to set the volume, or swipe it horizontally to skip music
ZIK also has a unique presence-sensor system. Removing the headset
puts it into standby mode automatically.
As with all Parrot products, ZIK is compatible with all mobile phone brands and accepts a large number
of music sources: connecting via a cable jack; transferring audio files using Bluetooth A2DP stereo or
using contactless NFC* technology, which has never been achieved before on a headset. Availability: Coming in 2012 Price: To be announced
By adapting AndroidTM for use in-vehicle for the first time ever, Parrot has created a platform for developing Internet-connected products: Parrot ASTEROID.
At the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Parrot unveils three connected solutions for cars based on its ASTEROID platform and running on Android Operating System: Parrot ASTEROID CK, Parrot ASTEROID NAV and Parrot ASTEROID 2DIN.
These projects, which will be released in 2012, illustrate once again Parrot’s technological savoir-faire and strengthen the company’s position as a key player for in-vehicle voice-recognition and infotainment solutions.
A Bluetooth® hands-free system with a 3.2’’ color screen, Parrot ASTEROID CK installs on the vehicle’s dashboard and comes with a wireless remote control.
Connected to the Internet via a 3G key or a tethering phone connected by Bluetooth or USB, Parrot ASTEROID CK accesses Internet services for geolocation, driving assistance solutions and playing music, either from web radio or ‘music on demand’.
The built-in voice-recognition technology can be used to make or accept phone calls while keeping hands on the wheel. It can also be used to search for an album or artist from various connected sources of music (iPod/iPhone, USB key, SD card). Music files may also be shared by Bluetooth stereo A2DP from a cell phone.
As with all Parrot products, the Parrot ASTEROID CK is compatible with all brands of mobile phones on the market and all operating systems. Availability: Coming in 2012 Price: To be announced
Parrot ASTEROID NAV: Telephony, Music, Internet and Navigation
With its wide, 5’’ color capacitive multi-touch screen, the Parrot ASTEROID NAV offers advanced hands-free phone features, multi-source music playing, access to Web services and includes a complete onboard navigation solution.
The Parrot ASTEROID NAV installs to the vehicle’s dashboard and comes with a wireless remote control that can be positioned on the steering wheel.
Internet access is possible via a 3G key or a tethering phone connected by Bluetooth, USB or Wi-Fi.
The built-in voice-recognition technology can be used to make or accept phone calls while keeping hands on the wheel. It can also be used to search for an album or artist from various connected sources of music (iPod/iPhone, USB key, SD card). Music files may also be shared by Bluetooth stereo A2DP from a mobile phone.
Additionally, the Parrot ASTEROID NAV offers many audio settings thanks to the Virtual SuperBass2 and the Sound Spatializer systems.
Equipped with Parrot Dual Mode (Multipoint) technology, the Parrot ASTEROID NAV simultaneously manages up to two Bluetooth phones, and, as with all Parrot products, is compatible with all brands of mobile phones on the market and all OSs. Availability: Coming in 2012 Price: To be announced
Parrot ASTEROID 2DIN: Telephony, Music, Tuner, Internet and Navigation
With its wide, 6.2’’ color multi-touch screen and its low form factor, the Parrot ASTEROID 2DIN is a 2DIN-connected multimedia car radio that fits perfectly into the central column of the dashboard in many vehicles.
Internet access is possible via a 3G key or a tethering phone connected by Bluetooth, USB or Wi-Fi.
It offers advanced hands-free phone features, multi-source music playing, an FM/AM tuner and RDS text+ service, access to web services and includes a complete onboard navigation system.
Additionally, the Parrot ASTEROID 2DIN is equipped with two inputs – one dedicated to displaying a rearview camera and one video output. Availability: Coming in 2012 Price: To be announced
At CES Las Vegas 2012, Parrot, a global leader in wireless devices for mobile phones, reveals the AR.Drone 2.0, the new generation of its renowned high-tech quadricopter that can be controlled by Wi-Fi using a smartphone or tablet.
With a new high-definition camera, video recording, flight data sharing, new piloting mode, increased stability and brand-new look, the AR.Drone 2.0 offers an experience like no other! Official website
A flying HD camera
While in flight, the Parrot AR.Drone 2.0′s front camera transmits real-time what the quadricopter sees onto the pilot’s device screen.
For the first time the AR.Drone 2.0 camera, with a 1280×720 resolution, shows a view from the sky in high definition with smooth and unbelievable images.
The pilot enjoys an experience like never before, as if he was on board. For gaming purposes, this camera also can recognize specific shapes and colors to show augmented-reality elements on the smartphone’s screen. Record and share flying experiences
Thanks to the new AR.FreeFlight 2.0 piloting application, players can record their own HD videos and watch them or share them with the AR.Drone community.
Additionally, with the “travelling” feature, the pilot can film HD video sequences like a professional! Simply select the direction of travel (forward, back, sideways) and the duration, and the AR.Drone 2.0 does the rest.
AR.FreeFlight 2.0, a new piloting and sharing platform
In addition to flying the AR.Drone, new application AR.FreeFlight 2.0 – available to download for free from the AppStoreSM and AndroidTM Market – offers players a new interface and several options.
- FreeFlight: Access to the piloting application. The pilot can record flights, take HD videos or photos and save them in the piloting device. All the flight data (altitude, speed, duration and place) can be saved, checked by the pilot and shared with the community. - Guest Space: Access an overview of the AR.Drone 2.0, the best flight videos and practical information. - Drone Update: Access the AR.Drone 2.0′s free software updates. - AR.Drone Academy: Get geolocation data of the best flight zones, watch other pilots’ videos and access their shared flight data. - AR.Games: Access applications/games available for the AR.Drone. - Photos/Videos: Directly access your own videos and photos. Watch or upload to YouTube for the community to enjoy.
Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 Coming in 2012
Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 will be available for purchase at selected retailers in Q2-2012 in the United States for $299 MSRP