2018-09-04 10:08 #0 by: Niklas

If you want to try out drone flying without spending thousands of dollars, the Parrot Mambo FPV (first person view) series may be a good start. It is ready for use right out of the box. What you get is the drone with four hulls, a battery, a Parrot Flypad controller, FPV camera, USB cable and Parrot Cockpitglasses. You need an iPhone or Android phone to use the glasses.

Charging the battery takes about 45 minutes and will give you about 10 minutes of flying. The FPV camera mounts to the top of the Mambo. Combined with the Cockpitglasses the camera gives you a view like if you sit in the drone during flight. It makes it easier to steer when you race. You can fly without the glasses, standing on the ground like with other radio controlled vehicles.

In addition to the FPV camera, Mambo has a built-in down-facing camera that you can use to take photos. I find this to be more of a gimmick than a useful thing. The photo resolution is way too low.

Controlling Mambo is quite easy. The left control is for altitude and rotation and the right controls flying direction. Unlike radio-controlled airplanes, the drone is stable in the air. This means it stays put when you don't touch the controls. It gives you time to think when you are new to drone flying. If you are outside or in other windy conditions, the drone will drift when you don't use the controls.

There is a companion app to the drone. Download it to your phone or iPad and you can use that to control the flight. The app can also be used to change settings like flight mode, which decides how sensitive the controls are. As a beginner you probably want them to be forgiving, but once you get the hang of it, you might prefer race mode.

To me, one of the best things about Parrot Mambo, is that if you have an iPad, you can use Swift programming to program the drone. I found this to be very cool. The iPad needs the Swift Playgrounds app to be installed. Parrot has built an interface between Playgrounds and the drone. I imagine that schools could use this for teaching programming to kids. iPad, Swift programming and drones, how much cooler can a school lesson get?

There are many more things to be said about Parrot Mambo, but visit their website, watch the videos, read tutorials, and you will have all the information you need. The Parrot Mambo FPV kit is about 180 USD. There are other kits, without the FPV, that are cheaper. I paid less than 100 USD for the one I have.

If you have questions, feel free to ask them below.

» Parrot Mambo drone with FPV camera | Official Parrot® site