|Parrot’s AR.Drone without styrofoam bumper guard (top) and with (bottom).|
A growing business within Parrot S.A., (PARRO:EUROLIST B) is their AR.Drone line of products, parts and software. Their first quadcopter product was developed internally by (1) observing the $1 billion market in radio controlled helicopters, (2) seeing gamers interest in using their game devices to drive cars, planes and copters, and (3) the increasingly widespread use of MEMS inertial sensors and high-definition digital cameras in consumer products. These were the building blocks from which came the AR.Drone, a super successful quad-motored copter flown partially autonomously and also by an app on your iPhone or smart tablet. AR.Drones have been sold to an eager audience of global consumers 400,000 strong!
As an aside, part of the business plan for selling the AR.Drones is to also sell parts to repair the devices when they crash – an inevitable outcome of the adventure of flying them. Parrot has made buying replacement parts easy and provides visual tutorials on how to install replacement parts and make needed repairs. A bit like printer companies selling their own brand of paper and ink.
|Henri Seydoux, Founder, Chairmen and CEO, Parrot SA.|