I have covered Parallax for many years. My daughter got started with robotics like the BOEBOT using their Basic Stamp and the Java-based Javalin Stamp. She is now a MechE designing robots.
The latest robot flying around Rocklin, CA these days is the ELEV-8 Quadcopter. The kit is $550 but you need to add a remote control and battery. Now there are a lot of quadcopters out there like the Parrot's AR.Drone (see Smart phone Controls Low-Cost Quadrotor) but this the ELEV-8 is programmable. In fact, it is running one of Parallax's Propeller (see EiED Online >> Parallax Propeller) multicore processors.
Parrot's AR.Drone uses PIC micros for each motor and a Texas Instrument's OMAP processor for the main controller. Hackers can get into the system but the platform is more of an RC-style copter. Most users will fly it using a smartphone or tablet instead of programming it.
Figure 1. The ELV-8 runs a multicore Parallax Propeller chip. It is designed to be a remote control (RC) quadcopter but programmers have full access to the Propeller chip.
The ELEV-8 is designed for hackers. It is designed to be programmed after the kit is assembled. The Propeller chip is found on the Hoverfly board from Hoverfly Technologies. Hoeverfly sells boards as well as copters and systems. Its flight control system runs on the Propeller. It also has boards like the HoverflyGPS.
Figure 2. The ELEV-8 kit includes everything except the RC controller and a battery.The ELEV-8 handles payloads up to two pounds. Of course, payload weight will affect flight time of the battery operated system. Cameras are just some of the possible payloads. Parallax sells the Drift HD Sport Camera.