French company Parrot started to change the home entertainment world when it made a remote control helicopter you could control with a phone or tablet. This year, it could do it again with two additions.
Launched at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the newbies to Parrot’s high tech remote control line-up will focus on making things smaller, and more grounded, at least for one of the products.
First there’s a new version of the Drone quad-copter, which is now smaller and running off Bluetooth Smart, the lower energy consumption version of Bluetooth that runs on Parrot’s Flower Power garden monitor.
This new smaller model is called the MiniDrone, which makes sense because it’s just that: a miniature version of the Drone sized to be lighter and more compact.
Parrot’s MiniDrone isn’t just limited to flying in the air, though (limit seems like the wrong word, mind you), as you can attach two wheels to the side of the MiniDrone and it can move across the floor, ceiling, or climb on a wall, and then fly using the quad-copter mechanisms.
All of this sounds pretty cool, but if moving around in the Z axis or 3D space is a little too troublesome for you, Parrot’s other toy looks like it could be a little easier to play with.
The second of the toys showcased this week, the Parrot Jumping Sumo is a device that looks like a tiny remote control car, and yet can roll, jump, and move very quickly.
This one is handled over WiFi from a smartphone or tablet, and is all about fast movements across the floor, sneaking up on people and racing around their feet as you control the Sumo and view where it goes through the built-in camera at the front.
Pricing and availability isn’t a known thing on either of these yet, outside of the pretty generic “2014” we’re being told, but we’d expect them to hit Australia later in the year, likely during the second half.