One of the most interesting things you can do with the shield involves the ever popular ARDrone. For those of you who don’t know what the ARDrone is, it is a quadcopter with a camera (actually two cameras) built in. You typically control the ARDrone using your phone or tablet and their gyroscopic sensors. In other words you tilt your phone around while looking at the screen to see the view from the ARDrone. As someone who has been a big fan of remote controlled devices all of my life, I found trying to use the ARDrone with a phone to be a big adjustment. When the Shield was introduced Parrot worked close with Nvidia and updated their Android app to support control with the Shield’s controller. Because of that I reached out to Parrot and borrowed an ARDrone to play with to see how well the updated controls would work.
Not surprisingly having two physical sticks to control the ARDrone made control much easier for me. Sadly, the Ohio weather didn’t give me a good chance to toy with the ARDrone outside. The day that the ARDrone came in we started having heavy rain and then over the next two weeks snow constantly. Because of that all of my testing was inside the house, terrorizing our cats. This did require a lot more control to prevent any damage to the ARDrone and anything in the house. In the end the weather helped show off the control that the ARDrone was able to afford us more than using it outside.
Anyone who has a shield and it looking for another toy to have fun with will find the ARDrone to be a blast. When you combine the cost of the Shield with the ARDrone I wouldn’t really recommend buying the shield specifically for the ARDrone, but if you already have a good reason for picking up one or the other they will complement each other very well.