Today, Parrot announced the next generation of their affordable Minidrone series, adding new capabilities such as remote-controlled LED lighting, Lego compatibility, speed-burst mode, and an all-new aquatic drone.
All of the announced drones are due out in the Fall of 2015, priced between $99-$189.
The most novel new addition to the Minidrone line is the Parrott Hydrofoil, which uses a traditional Minidrone quadcopter to power a detachable hydrofoil structure, creating a kind of RC airboat.
The drone can be detached and used on its own. When connected together, the Hydrofoil is capable of speeds up to 6 mph (5.4 knots). Battery life is around 7 minutes, with a charge time of 25 minutes. The drone/hydrofoil combo retails for $179 with no plans to sell the hydrofoil attachment as a separate accessory.
Parrot’s Rolling Spider Minidrone line will now be known as Parrot Airborne, and will ditch the lightweight wheels for a more traditional-looking horizontal bumper system. The Airborne will also come in two flavors, a “Night” model ($129) with interactive LED lights allowing for flights in the dark, and a “Cargo” model ($99) that allows toy blocks (aka LEGOs) to be mounted on top.
Both models have been internally upgraded with improved sensors (ultrasound, gyro, and image comparison) and an improved flight time of 9 minutes (up from 8).
The Parrot Jumping (formerly the Jumping Sumo) has been upgraded with improved speed, lighting, and telepresence.
Like the Parrot Airborne, the Parrot Jumping has been split into two models, Night and Race. The Night model ($189) has a maximum speed of 4 mph and is bestowed with a set of interactive LED lights, the intensity of which can be adjusted using the companion iOS or Android app used for remote control.
The Race model (also $189) forgoes the LED lights in exchange for an increased power boost mode that takes its top speed up to 6 mph.
And as the Jumping name suggests, both models are capable of jumping up to 2.5 feet in the air at the press of a button. Another feature, included on both models, is an embedded speaker and microphone allowing you to speak and listen through the Parrot Jumping remotely using the app. Battery life is rated at 20 minutes with a 25 minute charge time.
We’re looking forward to taking Parrot’s new drones for a spin when they go on sale this Fall. Let us know which one you’re excited to see and we’ll work to get our hands one and report back.
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