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Parrot introduces MiniDrone and ground-only Jumping Sumo
At CES 2014 Parrot is bringing us two brand new phone-controlled robotic devices, the MiniDrone and the two-wheeled Jumping Sumo robot. The first of these is essentially a miniaturized version of the popular AR Drone quadrocopter, albeit lacking when it comes to the recording/viewfinder camera found on the larger version.
One major difference between the AR Drone and the MiniDrone is the later’s removable set of wheels, allowing you to roll along the ground and even on the walls and ceilings. Another change is that the MiniDrone uses low-power Bluetooth to communicate at a distance of up to 160 feet, as opposed to Wi-Fi technology.
When it comes to controlling the device, the MiniDrone still works about the same: using a special Android (or iOS) app. The MiniDrone also features a bevy of sensors including an ultrasonic sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope and a special downwards-facing camera (not for recording). The only major downside to the MiniDrone is its battery life, with a promised life-span of only 6-7 minutes per charge.
Looking for something a bit different than a typical drone experience? That’s where the Jumping Sumo comes in, bringing us a robotic toy that is somewhat similar to the Sphero 2B. The biggest difference here is that instead of focusing on just speed and app-related games, the Jumping Sumo can (as the name implies) jump as high as 3 feet by simply pressing a button. The Sumo is also more than capable of going fast and performing quite a few cool stunts as well.
The MiniDrone might not use Wi-Fi or have a recording camera, but the Jumping Sumo does. There’s also a battery life of about 20 minutes on a full charge.
Both the MiniDrone and Jumping Sumo aren’t quite ready for prime time just yet, though they are expected to ship sometime later this year at a currently unannounced price point.