Parrot MiniDrones get US pricing, August release date

Cramming a lot of fun into small packages, the Rolling Spider and Jumping Sumo MiniDrones will be landing in the US in time for the holidays.

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David Carnoy/CNET

In case you missed it back at CES 2014, Parrot unveiled a new MiniDrone line to go along with its larger AR.Drone models such as the upcoming BeBop.

The Rolling Spider (pictured above) and Jumping Sumo (seen below) are the first two in the line and will be available by the end of August.

A mini-quadcopter with detachable wheels, the Rolling Spider is capable of some pretty cool acrobatics including 360-degree flips and rolling up walls and across ceilings. It has a built-in vertical camera for snapshots, but mostly it's to help determine the speed of the Spider.

The Jumping Sumo has a front-mounted camera that can live-stream video to a smartphone or tablet as well as capture photos and video. The Jumping Sumo can also launch itself up to 3 feet (about 90cm) and its wheels can be set to wide or narrow positions for better speed and stability or navigating tighter spaces.

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David Carnoy/CNET

The two are controlled entirely with Parrot's FreeFlight 3 app for iOS and Android (Windows 8.1 and Window Phone 8.1 are coming in September). You simply connect to them via Wi-Fi for the Sumo or via Bluetooth for the Spider and start flipping, flying, rolling and jumping.

Both are capable of some autonomous operation, too. With the Jumping Sumo you can create a road map of commands, programming it with a series of actions like turns and jumps. The Rolling Spider's autopilot along with its three-axis accelerometer and three-axis gyroscope allow you to hover in place, complete flips with a finger tap, and fly preset moves.

You'll be able to pick them up online and at Apple, Best Buy, Sprint, and Verizon Wireless stores. The Jumping Sumo will sell for $160, while the Rolling Spider will set you back just $100.

 

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