I attended a event put on by Parrot where they were showing off their next generation of mini drones. You’ll recall that I reviewed their first generation mini drones a few months ago. But this next generation step things up in a number of significant ways. Let’s walk through the lineup:
Parrot Jumping Mini Drones – For those who want to have a ground based mini drone, Parrot gives you two options to choose from:
Parrot Jumping Night Mini Drones feature a pair of LED lights that allow you to pilot the drone at night.
Parrot Jumping Race Drones are designed for high speed action as they are capable of speeds up to 8 miles per hour.
Either way, you get these features:
- Wi-Fi 2.4 or 5 Ghz connectivity via the free FreeFlight 3 application.
- Embedded camera: they are equipped with a wide angle camera that streams live, immersive views on the screen of the piloting smartphone or tablet. They take pictures and videos which are directly stored on the internal 4GB flash memory.
- Embedded speaker and microphone:
- They talk: Depending on their mood, they ‘bip’, ‘ziiip’, ‘groutch’.
- Walkie talkie: You can talk and listen through them.
- A patented spring-mounted system: They can jump up to 2.5 ft. in height and length.
- Automatic movements: the Jumping perform acrobatics, without the need for training: spin around, jump, roll upside down, push or hit an object.
- Retractable wheels: large or compact mode to adapt to all driving styles.
- A programmable road plan: a ‘road plan’ enables you to program a course and actions. The itinerary appears on the app among the predefined movements. You just have to click on it to see the Jumping Drones maneuver autonomously.
Each model is available in three colors and will go for $239. Availability is slated for Q3 2015.
Parrot Airborne Mini Drones – Just like the Jumping Race Drones, you get two choices:
In either case, you get these features:
- Ultra-compact and light-weight at 1.2 lbs.
- Connectivity using Bluetooth Smart via the free FreeFlight 3 app for smartphones and tablets.
- Removable polyamide hull to protect the propellers.
- A 3-axis accelerometer and a 3-axis gyroscope measure and analyze each movement or inclination of the drone and, thanks to the autopilot, rectify the position of the Minidrone.
- A vertical camera compares, every 16 milliseconds, an image of the ground to the previous one to determine the speed of the Minidrone. It also enables the Minidrone to take snapshots, which are saved on the 1 Gb flash memory. Perfect for aerial “selfies.”
- An ultrasound sensor analyzes the flight altitude up to 13 ft. Beyond, a pressure sensor controls the Minidrone in altitude.
- The ‘Airborne’ can do high-speed flights: they rush up to 11 mph, turn right, turn left and perform flips with amazing fluidity and stability. A ‘swipe’ on the piloting screen and the Parrot ‘Airborne’ turn 90 or 180 degrees in a flash.
- Toss them into the air and their sensors detect it instantaneously: engines start automatically and the ‘Airborne’ stabilize in the air.
The Airborne ‘Night’ is available in three colors and will sell for $159. The Airborne Cargo is available in two colors and will sell for $129. Both versions will be available in Q3 2015.
Parrot Hydrofoil Mini Drones
A new addition to the Parrot mini drone family is this water based Hydrofoil mini drone which are flying Minidrones that can be attached to a hydrofoil. They rise out of the water to hover over the surface and hit speeds of 6 miles an hour in the water. Once the engines are on, the upper part of the Hydrofoil positions perpendicularly to the nautical structure. Thanks to the four propellers of the Minidrone, it slides through the water and stays about 2 inches above the surface with amazing stability and agility. Communication is via Bluetooth and the free FreeFlight 3. Two colors are available and it will sell for $229. Expect to see it in Q3 of 2015.
During the event that I attended, I got the chance to try out these new mini drones and I also managed to capture some videos of them in action:
I’ve requested them to review and as soon as I get them, you’ll see a review of these new mini drones online quickly.