A bot’s eye view

Yeah, we filmed a drone with a drone

As we were running hot off the buzz of opening Te Ahumairangi, the new ground floor of the National Library, and launching the Big Data programme, one of our staff brought in their AR.Drone Parrot quadcopter for us to see.

It was pretty much inevitable that we’d fly the Parrot around the ground floor.

Luckily, it comes equipped with a camera, and you can now revel in the drone’s joy as it swoops through the building, checks out the AV pods, casts an eye over the net.work space, and peruses the Big Data exhibition.

Alternate soundtrack: Ride of the Valkyries

The parrot flies! Footage by Campbell March (CC-BY), audio “Eye for a Telescope” by Doteyes (CC-BY-NC)

Campbell’s Parrot is an earlier model of what’s now available, and is missing the HD camera and some of the newer version’s more advanced stabilisation. But it still flies, and has a way of enthralling anyone who comes across it.

It’s very cool: four rotating blades around a little hub, controlled by smartphone, and encased in a polystyrene shell to keep it safe. And the Parrot’s a distant relative (though definitely related) of the drone you’ll find in Big Data.

I, for one, welcome...

The RQ-84Z Areohawk is built to capture data from the air, particularly aerial photography. It can reach 10,000 feet, flying at 150 km per hour, and when it’s done, deploys a parachute so it can be safely recovered.

It takes photos like this:

Aerial shot of open land taken by the Areohawk drone Click the image for the full-size version (2.4 MB). Photo courtesy Hawkeye UAV Ltd.

Quadcopters and other drones are getting a lot of attention and intriguing research. They can build structures as a hive, or just play a game of catch!

Only one thing I can say to that:

Parrot quadcopter shown in the Big Data exhibition, captioned 'I want to believe'Photo by Paula Banks.

By Lucy Schrader

Lucy is your friendly neighbourhood online editor.

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Kyle Smith January 16th at 1:31PM

Well, I have to say I am still a big kid at heart at love keeping up with technology in all aspects of life. The A.R Drone would be one of those gadgets that i would love to buy.

On a side note I am wondering if I could put this one down as a business expense! It takes photographs (business related) it entertains clients (certainly business related) and more.

Did the National Library Of New Zealand have the same approach Reuben?


Kyle Smith

Reuben SchraderNational Library January 16th at 1:51PM

Hey Kyle, I will say it was an enormous amount of fun, probably more than you can justify with something you claim as an expense. :)

The Parrot belongs to Campbell March, who's finished his contract, sadly meaning we don't get to play with it any more.