By Bob Hammell
CES is the worlds most popular consumer electronics tradeshow that takes place every year in Las Vegas and is know as the spot companies wait for to release new products and advancements.
The minidrone comes to us four years after the AR 2.0 made its debut. The 2.0 has gone on to become one of the most popular quadcopters available for sale, and we rank it among on of the top quadcopters out there.
The reason behind this is its easy control interface, an App downloadable on Iphone or Android, along with its high quality, live streaming camera.
First time users find it simple to get it airborne and start capturing cool footage from above. Parrot is looking to continue its trend of impressive quads with this new release.
The MiniDrone takes a bit of a turn from the AR 2.0. It is smaller in scale, it can fit in the palm of your hand. Its only one tenth the size of the AR, which is one of the bigger drones in the market.
The MiniDrone does not have an onboard camera like the AR.
Some users may find this lacking because they are used to the live video feed streamed to the phone app of the AR, but it won’t be a big deal for those who just want to toy around and have fun flying.
Previously the AR 2.0 connected to the phone app through WiFi, but the MiniDrone utilizes Bluetooth 4.0 LTE. The same basic app will be used for controlling the drone.
MiniDrone has a new feature we haven’t seen before on any small quads, but is pretty cool. It comes equipped with a pair of large removable wheels that flank its left and right side.
These wheels are only 20 grams in weight so it doesn’t effect the flying ability of the drone at all but does add some functionality.
They can act as a sort of buffer, preventing the blades from making contact with anything. They also give the MiniDrone the ability to roll around, almost like piloting an RC car. Fly it up to the ceiling and drive it around above you!
The drone itself weights only 50 grams, very light for its size. Crammed into its small frame are a variety of sensors; A high speed camera for aerial control, pressure, ultrasonic for range calculating, gyrscopes for stability, and more.
A 500MHz processor with 1Gb of RAM keeps the drone in flight by responding to sensor input and driving the motors.
The flight range is a little more than 150 feet, a good distance for short range flying. MiniDrone has a 7-8 minute battery life which is decent for the size. The battery is removable and rechargeable through a micro USB charger.
The price hasn’t been released yet but it is sure to cost less than the $300 price tag of the AR 2.0. We here at QuadHangar are looking forward to getting our hands on it to see where it fits in our list of drones.