When comparing DJI Phantom 2 vs Parrot AR Drone 2.0, the Slant community recommends Parrot AR Drone 2.0 for most people. In the question“What are the best drones for hacking?” Parrot AR Drone 2.0 is ranked 1st while DJI Phantom 2 is ranked 2nd. The most important reason people chose Parrot AR Drone 2.0 is:
The team at NodeCopter team have assembled a [list] of modules that can be installed on the AR Drone 2.0 such as face recognition or controlling it via your web browser. There is also [SkyJack], a program for using your AR Drone 2.0 to hunt down and take control of other Parrot Drones. It uses a Raspberry Pi with an Alfa AWUS036H wireless adapter in order to interact with the WiFi networks of other drones around yours. : http://nodecopter.com/hack#npm-modules : http://samy.pl/skyjack/
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Pro Already has documentation of being used as a hacking platform
The team at Hak5 has been doing weekly updates on their show detailing their progress with turning the DJI Phantom 2 as a hacking platform. They have it carrying a portable battery, a WiFi Pinapple and a prepaid Android phone. Updates can be found on their show here.
Pro Already has an area to add a payload
The DJI Phantom 2 is made to carry a camera but your own payload, such as a small computer and antennas can be carried instead. The Phantom 2 can carry up to 300 grams of additional equipment making it capable of carrying a small computer such as a Raspberry Pi along with small antennas and a battery. Even if you don't have a compatible mount, the arms underneath make it easier to create your own "mount" for placing whatever it is you need to carry.
Pro Top of the line Flight Controller
The DJI Phantom 2 uses DJI's most advanced flight controller, the Naza-M V2, which has features such as advanced flight stabilization and hover, and a GPS waypoint flight planner.
Pro Many tools for hacking and modding already exist
The team at NodeCopter team have assembled a list of modules that can be installed on the AR Drone 2.0 such as face recognition or controlling it via your web browser. There is also SkyJack, a program for using your AR Drone 2.0 to hunt down and take control of other Parrot Drones. It uses a Raspberry Pi with an Alfa AWUS036H wireless adapter in order to interact with the WiFi networks of other drones around yours.
Pro The option Flight Recorder GPS adds useful functionality
As an optional purchase of about 127 USD, the Flight Recorder GPS can be added to the AR Drone via the USB port which adds a multitude of capabilities such as geolocation, selecting destination via a map, recording with a 4GB flash memory, returning to take-off point as well as stability improvements.
Pro Has a large community
The Parrot AR Drone 2.0 is very popular with modders and hackers and has large communities with events such as NodeCopter.js, a full days event where developers team up in groups of 3 to hack.
Pro Great value for money (~$300 USD)
For the amount of features you get with the AR Drone 2.0, the price is excellent compared to the other drones. For about 300 USD(or 420 USD with the GPS addon) you receive all the basic and some advanced features of most drones for about half the price.
Pro Easy to use
The Parrot AR Drone 2.0 is incredibly easy to use as it is flown just by using your iPhone or Android device. There are no complicated controls and it is easy to connect, just join the Drones network, launch the app and fly.
Con Most expensive option
Without any accessories, the Phantom 2 costs about $680 USD which makes it the most expensive option here (excluding a tricked out DIY drone.) Like the 3D Robotics IRIS, a gimbal and camera can be added which brings the full cost to about $1200 USD, meaning this is more than a device for hobbyists.
Con No API available
This drone has no supported API to control it from your own application.
Con Flight limited by GPS
After a Phantom 2 landed on the White House lawn, DJI released a firmware update that limits takeoff and introduces a max ceiling in certain areas.
All airports have a 1.5 mile radius no-fly zone. Between 1.5 and 5 miles, the maximum ceiling gradually increases from 35' to 400'
There is a 15 mile radius no-fly zone around the White House. DJI UAV's will not be able to take-off when in the White House zone.
Con Underpowered out of the box
For the cheaper price, the Parrot AR Drone 2.0 is less powerful out of the box. It lacks power, has a limited range and doesn't have a built in GPS. Out of the box the drone can only carry about 8 grams, which is extremely small compared to the other drones.The range can be increased with a simple range extender and the GPS extender can be bought from the website, but in order to improve the power, a motor and frame mod will have to be done, which is detailed in this video.