Ahead of CES, French electronics maker Parrot has presented two futuristic spy gadgets that are bound to create a sensation in Las Vegas. The MiniDrone is a simplified, lighter version of the AR.Drone, the company's remote-controlled quadricopter, while the Jumping Sumo is an all-terrain remote-controlled camera that rolls along the ground and can jump to avoid obstacles.
Like its big brother, the AR. Drone, the Parrot MiniDrone can hover and move in any direction and is equipped with an accelerometer and a stabilizer. The main difference, however, is that this miniature version has been designed for easier manoeuvring, making it potentially suitable for children. The device is controlled by a mobile device over Bluetooth for flights of up to ten minutes. Parrot is demonstrating a prototype at CES, but it specifies that there is still more development ahead before the product hits the market later this year.
Perhaps even more surprising is the Jumping Sumo, a two-wheeled vehicle equipped with a camera and also controlled through a smartphone or tablet. While not able to fly, it rolls and has the remarkable ability to jump, rising up to 80cm (31in) off the ground. The Jumping Sumo is equipped with gyroscopes, and it can quickly change its orientation or direction or make an instant 180° turn. The model connects to a mobile device through Wi-Fi, giving it a greater range: it can be controlled from a distance of around 50m and has a battery life of around 20 minutes.
Parrot has not yet announced the pricing and availability info on these new gadgets.
Watch a video on the Parrot MiniDrone and Jumping Sumo in action: youtu.be/3LZgTgI0REk
CES 2014 takes place Jan. 7-10 in Las Vegas. Website: cesweb.org