There is no doubting the popularity of the Parrot AR.Drone and its second generation version also. Hugely popular, a real head turner and each year at CES in Las Vegas the crowds gather to watch them do their thing. This year, Parrot have revealed a new member of the family, the Mini AR.Drone – EFTM took a look.
2014 is no different, huge crowds gather around a netted convention centre booth to watch quadricopter drones controlled by smart devices take to the air and perform tricks and generally bamboozle the crowds.
The Mini though is a bit different to its big brother. Mini AR.Drone is the size of your hand, it has no camera, nor does it come with an indoor protective cover. Instead the Mini’s trick is to have wheels – yes, wheels. These two large wire wheels attach to the Mini AR.Drone to allow you to “drive” it along the floor, up walls or even along the ceiling.
There is no camera so the gimmick is just the flight and the wheeling about.
So why get it? Well, have you ever bought one of those cheap remote control helicopters? Terrible to fly, hard to control and difficult to teach the kids. Enter AR.Drone. With more smarts than 100 of those crappy choppers, this drone knows how to fly in a stable pattern. All you need to do is tell it to turn, tilt or go up and down. Simple!
Likely to launch by mid year and with no price set we can only speculate that with the big brother AR.Drone 2 sitting around the $350 mark this little fella would want to come in at $150 or less, or it’s just not worth the fun.