Rise of the Machines continues on schedule as Parrot announce two new miniature drones

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If you’re looking for a drone (let’s face it – who doesn’t need one?) and can’t afford the likes of the ultra-high-end DJI Phantom 2 Vision, then good news as Parrot have announced two new drones that you can control with your smartphone.

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The Parrot Minidrone connects to your phone via Bluetooth and uses its numerous sensors to keep the quadcopter upright and stable – making it relatively straightforward to fly. The design is apparently ultra-compact and lightweight, and the press release implies that it would be fine for indoor use… though you’d have to be far braver than me to try it out.

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Perhaps most intriguingly you can attach two wheels to the device – and the drone will apparently crawl up walls and even drive across the ceiling – before falling back into flying. Sounds bizarre.

Meanwhile the Parrot Jumping Sumo takes a marginally more down to earth approach. Described as “half parrot, half robot”, it is in fact perhaps most analogous to a radio controlled car. Again controlled with your phone but this time using wifi, it has two large wheels and can, at the press of a button, jump up (apparently up to 80cm), allowing it to climb surfaces.

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Excellently, both devices have a built in camera, and will stream back footage to your screen live – so you can drive it around remotely – as you can see in this promotional video:

We’ve no word on pricing yet, but both will apparently be available this year. We’ll try to review them at some point too.

James O’Malley
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