Let’s face it, the AR.Drone can be a fairly fragile beast.
In an effort to make the drone as fast and manoueverable as possible, Parrot have utilised lightweight materials throughout. The compromise is a lack of shock resistance and, in particular, the gears & shafts are prone to breaking in the event of a blunt impact.
One Drone enthusiast has decided to do something about it and produced his own bumper kit:
The kit is fairly simple and uses foam similar to that seen in the AR.Drone’s main hull. As per the following video, installation is really easy and they don’t have any visible impact on performance.
You buy them on eBay for around £10 and the seller will ship worldwide.
AR.Drone bumper kit: installation & flight test
We think that the bumper kit is a nice idea but we have to question whether or not it represents good value, since Parrot sell a repair pack containing 4 shafts, gears & circlips for the same kind of money.
Given there is no guarantee the bumpers will (a) prevent any damage and (b) not break themselves during impact and thus need to be replaced, we suspect you would be better off buying the replacement parts. However, we would happily be proved wrong on this!