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Eyes-On: Parrot Introduces New MiniDrone and Jumping Sumo

by Brandon Russell | January 7, 2014January 7, 2014 1:10 pm EST

Parrot this week brought on some reinforcements to its Drone lineup, introducing a new Jumping Sumo and MiniDrone for you to play with. The company’s gadgets have always been on the periphery of the consumer market, but its newest lineup might very well become a mainstream hit. I wish I had cool toys like this when I was younger. With its newest additions, Parrot says it’s trying to “reinvent the pleasure of playing for children of all ages.” I can’t decide which one I like more.

Parrot’s MiniDrone is more typical to the company’s previous tech, just on a much smaller scale. The design is a little different from last year’s big boy Drone—this is something you’ll be able to fly around in your home, assuming Mom lets you. By connecting through a smartphone or tablet, the MiniDrone is just as capable as other professional drones, equipped with numerous sensors and an awesome autopilot capability, which Parrot says makes it the “easiest-to-fly quadricopter.” As you can see in the video, it looks almost effortless (of course, that comes with lots and lots of practice with the device).

Moving on to the Jumping Sumo—Parrot calls it the “insectoid toy”—Parrot calls its new toy a robot of a new genre. The Jumping Sumo comes equipped with a gyroscope and accelerometer, which allows users precise controls and easy piloting; it’s capable of rolling, turning 90 degrees, and it can obviously take a beating thanks to its solid design. This thing is capable of jumping up to 80cm on its own and always landing on its wheels, giving it a sort of animal kingdom ability. The Sumo also comes equipped with an embedded camera, which you can stream right to your smartphone or tablet, giving you a unique view of your surroundings.

Both new gadgets will be available sometime this year, though an exact timeframe wasn’t shared. Out of Parrot’s lineup, these two will likely appeal quite a bit to a wider consumer market; they’re smaller, easy to handle, and will (this is a guess) likely come at a smaller price point. We’ll have to find out later this year when the MiniDrone and Jumping Sump hit.

Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell likes to rollerblade while listening to ACDC.