Parrot’s Disco drone takes paper planes to the next level

Think of a drone and you’ll think of a buzzing quadcopter hovering above a park. That, or war. But four motors are so 2015, it seems, as drone manufacturer Parrot has unveiled a prototype of a new, semi-autonomous, single-wing aircraft at CES in Las Vegas.

The Disco drone weighs in at 700g, can fly up to 50mph, has a radius of 1.25 miles and features a 1080p 14-megapixel camera – the same as the one in the BeBop line of drones. The aircraft is intended to make the world of drones more accessible to users, especially in terms of getting it off the ground. No fiddly controls here. Simply fling the drone like a paper airplane and the motor will automatically kick-in.


Automatic mode will keep the drone going in the air, but users with a little more flight experience can take over using a Skycontroller pad and Parrot’s FreeFlight 3 app, or with standard RC controllers. There’s also the possibility of connecting up a set of FPV (first-person view) glasses to let you see what the drone sees as it soars majestically above your head.

To stop the drone from careening unmajestically into the ground, the Disco comes with a gamut of sensors including an accelerometer, barometer, gyrospcope and triple-axis digital stabilisation. All of that kit means the drone can automatically land after 45 minutes of airtime drain the rechargeable battery dry.


No word on price yet, and as the drone is currently in the prototype stage it likely won’t be available until the tail end of 2016. Then again, if you really want a paper plane drone, there’s always the Orizuru a drone that resembles a traditional origami crane.

Next: DJI ​updates software to block drones flying into restricted areas.

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