Imaging drones are not for everyone. Some just want to have fun chasing after one another with drones and for that, Parrot has the right stuff you. Encouraged by the success of the company’s first minidrones, Jumping Sumo and Minidrone, which have sold over 600,000 units, the French company has unveiled a slew of minidrones to prepare you for the drone world domination. In all there are 13 of them across three ‘families’, namely ‘Jumping’, ‘Airborne’ and ‘Hydrofoil’.
Kicking off the lineup is the Jumping drones which has two models: the Night that boasts LED lights for night maneuvers and the Race that is capable of 8 mph burst speed. Both two-wheeled smart device-controlled drones, like its name suggest, is capable of launching 2.5 feet high or far. In addition, they can made 90-degree and 180-degree turns and spins 360-degree. Also onboard are wide-angle camera, a microphone and a speaker for two-communication.
Up next is the ‘Airborne’ family which are essentially the Minidrone, available in two variants: the Cargo and the Night. Weighing in at mere 58 grams, these miniature quadcopters feature automatic stabilization and built-in downward facing VGA camera allowing you to capture stills while in the air. Videoing is not part of it, unfortunately, but at least you get to enjoy the speed it has to offer, which can be as quick as 11 mph and execute acrobatic stunts. The Night model is equipped with a pair of wide-angle LEDs for night flying while the Cargo is capable of ferrying small figures or toy bricks.
Last but not the least (and got to be our favorite) is the Hydrofoil family which is what it say it is, but not quite what you may have in mind. Parrot’s iteration of hydrofoil is powered by a flying drone which is attached to the hydrofoil frame and using the airborne drone’s rotors to provide the thrust needed to lift the hydrofoil to the surface. Parrot said this setup enables the Hydrofoil to achieve a top speed of 5.4 knots (or 6 mph), which is no small feat. But we are going to assuming that it would only make that mark on relatively calm waters.
Like the existing drones Parrot are offering, these upcoming minidrones are controlled with Parrot’s FreeFlight 3 app installed on your smartphone or tablet. With the exception of the Jumping drones, which is connected to your device via WiFi 2.4 or 5 GHz, the rest of the drones communicates through the means of Bluetooth Smart. Official press released in France said that these awesome little things will be hitting the market in “late July,” but since it was a French release, we are assuming late July would be for EU market. As for price, they range from 99 euros to 170 euros (or about US$112 to US$203).
Image via Hitek