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Airborne Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 Shows Off HD Video Capture and Better Controls

LAS VEGAS — Everyone remembers the original Parrot AR.Drone from CES 2010, and with good reason. The quadrocopter robot was awesomely neat, controlled via an app on your smartphone to hover aboveground—completely stable—on four rotors. Today at CES Unveiled, we got a peek at the Parrot AR.Drone 2.0, which added a host of upgrades that made the toy even cooler.

As Parrot CEO Henri Seydoux explains, Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 now captures HD video in 720p format, which can be delivered right to your phone or tablet using Wi-Fi. An improved app with dead-simple controls came with this second version, too. (Check out our video to see this new interface.) Just tilt the tablet or phone with the toy's partner app on it away from your body, and the drone zooms away. Tilting towards you makes the drone draw nearer—there's no learning curve to playing with it.

Seydoux also noted that the drone features a developer kit that interested coders are free to access to come up with games—including races and fights between two of the robots. Like the first iteration of the toy, Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 still costs $299. Have you always wanted to own an airborne spy drone? Then ready your bank notes for the 2nd quarter of 2012, when the toy supposedly becomes available to the public.