CES 2014: Parrot unleashes their Jumping Sumo and MiniDrone wireless robots
We have already prattled about fitness trackers and portable storage devices being showcased in this year’s CES. And, now it is time to move on to the fun side of things. Well in this regard, Parrot is responsible for unveiling two delectable contraptions that would put a smile on any tech geek’s face. The French wireless products manufacturer started things off with the aptly named Jumping Sumo, a wheeled robot with its ‘springing’ nature that allows it to adroitly leap up to 80 cm in the air. The jumping automaton was accompanied by the MiniDrone flyer, which as the name suggests, is a diminutive drone with flight capability.
The jump of the Jumping Sumo is powered by a spring loaded mechanism. Interestingly, the USB rechargeable robot tends to land on its fee…sorry wheels, even after a ridiculous yet charming tumble. As for its navigation features, the robot (with POV VGA camera) can be controlled via a dedicated app – with the device’s tilt steering the robot, and specific slider controls allowing back and forth motion. This is complemented by a specific button set that gives you the power to regulate the jump distances and heights, and a pre-set route (that also includes a rapid spin motion).
As for the camera-free MiniDrone, the bantam flying contraption can easily fit inside your pocket. Its controlling ambit entails your mobile device’s connection to the drone via Bluetooth LE. A dedicated app once again allows you to fly the contrivance, this time with the help of a joystick. The integrated accelerometer and gyroscope keeps the drone stable in flight, with a total 8 mins of flying time on a single charge. The gizmo also boasts of two lightweight wheels for breezily rolling over ground.
Both of the robotic mechanisms were successfully demonstrated at CES; while availability is expected to be within this year. Unfortunately, Parrot have still not divulged any kind of pricing figure for any of their advanced designs.