Drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), are no longer confined to the battlefield as hobbyists and commercial uses are on the rise. The FAA struggles to take an official stance on the use of drones as the proliferation of the unmanned aircraft has resulted in some near-collisions and safety concerns. With Amazon and other companies testing delivery by drone options, one thing is clear: Commercial interest in drones is a new market waiting to explode.
Teardown.com analysts have recently performed a teardown of the Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 – GPS Edition and found that the $349.99 drone has a BOM cost of $137, including the GPS Flight Recorder.
Parrot News, the drone's flight recorder:
...turns into a real black box and saves more than 350 parameters including the exact position of the quadricopter throughout each flight. When flying more than 6 meters high, this will also enhance its stabilization. The collected data can be viewed in 3D and analyzed through the AR.Drone Academy maps. Equipped with 4Go Flash memory, the GPS Flight Recorder Module can also record approximately two hours of HD video.
Here's a short summary of our what we found in our teardown.
Upon opening the drone, we found two main circuit boards, one for processing and communication and one for motion control.
Processing and communication board
Figure 1 below shows Parrot’s use of Micron DDR2 256MB memory in a POP package over Texas Instrument’s OMAP3630 Applications Processor. Other major ICs are Micron's 128MB flash memory, Texas Instruments Power Management + USB solution, and Atheros Low-Power 802.11 b/g/n WiFi controller.