As drone, noobs we were worried that the Parrot Travis Drone, also known as the Airborne Cargo Drone, would end up in pieces within seconds of us turning it on. We could not have been more wrong.
The Parrot Travis Drone is tiny, and a perfect drone for those who are scared, but curious about the world of drones. It can carry LEGO on the top of it, and act as a cargo drone, if you want to put it that way. The Parrot Travis Drone is robust and although it is small, feels sturdy in every way. It comes with plastic protectors around the edges that protect it from damage, and things that you might hit while flying it around. The Parrot Travis Drone only weighs 64 grams, and has a pretty sleek front design that makes it look like a Transformer waiting to turn into a walking robot.
Setting up the Parrot Travis Drone and preparing for flight was simple enough. After downloading the FreeFlight app, and charging the battery for an hour, we were ready to give it a whirl. The best feature from the start was the take off feature, which lets you leave the drone on the ground and press a button. This way we did not have to worry about hitting anything on the way up, we just pressed a button to take off and again to land the Parrot Travis Drone.
The app is pretty cool and makes use of the gyroscope in your iPhone to keep the Parrot Travis Drone balanced. It was the slight flick of our wrist that gave the drone that extra boost we needed, and that quick dodge before we hit the tree. With that being said the touch screen joysticks don’t offer that refined movement you would expect from a physical controller, but it is convenient nonetheless.
There are also very cool tricks that can be performed with just a press of a button on the app. Backflips, and front flips, really make you feel like a pro, even though you are doing no work from your side. These tricks even worked very well in small spaces. When we tested out the different control modes, the flying experience changed. From a normal mode that leaves the joysticks just the way they should be, to a touch control mode that lets you drag a dot in a certain direction to move the drone. There is more than enough versatility here with the Parrot Travis Drone.
The one great feature, that could have been better, is the camera included at the bottom of the drone. Sure a camera on a drone seems fun enough, but the quality is so poor, and it can only take photos, eliminating any cool video footage that you could get from it. It takes a photo at a small 640×480. It is also aimed directly below the Parrot Travis Drone, which makes it hard to take shots.
In terms of battery life, the Parrot Travis Drone lasted around 10-minutes with a full charge, which is short, but normal for a drone of that size. You also need to consider that it has a measly 550mAh battery. At least charging was quick as it never charged for longer than 30-minutes. It also helps that the app tells you when the battery is going flat, and automatically lands the Parrot Travis Drone when it is reaching 5% or so.
With a tiny battery, some might see this as a pointless experience, but the Parrot Travis Drone is a great starting drone, that is pretty cool on its own, and with the use of the app and the tricks, makes for an awesome little gadget to mess around with. The Parrot Travis Drone is available from R1 799.