Parrot is the leading company in the world when it comes to drones. While the are renowned for making serious surveillance and video monitoring drones, they are also proving they have a fun side. The company’s latest product release is in the form of what it is calling ‘MiniDrones’ - small drones designed more for play than utility.
Among these are two separate models - the Rolling Spider and the Jumping Sumo.
The first, the Rolling Spider, is similar to the quadrocopter design which has come to dominate personal drone technology. As well as flying via 4 balanced rotor blades, the Rolling Spider (as its name suggests) also can roll over seemingly unlikely surfaces. This it achieves through the use of two detachable wheels which make the drone able to ‘drive’ up walls and along the ceiling.
The second Parrot offering, the Jumping Sumo, is like a remote control car on acid. As well as driving the through areas at high speed, and making seemingly impossible 180 degree turns, the Jumping Sumo can also jump over obstacles. This enables it to accomplish feats like jumping through windows or ascending staircases.
Parrot’s MiniDrones are clearly designed with play in mind, both in terms of aesthetics and construction. The drones come in a range of bright colours and feature glowing ‘eyes’ which change colour depending on the status of the drone. Along with this, they feature a sturdy plastic construction which is designed to take a beating from inexperienced pilots.
While these are indeed high-tech toys, they retain the same basic functionality of the more ‘serious’ drones built by the company. These include the ability to take 60fps video and still photographs via mounted cameras, as well as ultrasonic and pressure sensors to help the drone determine its position in flight. In addition, both of these ‘MiniDrones’ can be remotely controlled by Parrot’s drone-flying app - ‘FreeFlight3’ - which uses the inbuilt gyroscope within your smartphone to control to control pitch and yaw. The only downside to their small size is their low battery life, which is only enough for a little less than 10 minutes of play before batteries are exhausted.
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