Parrot unleashes new MiniDrone and Jumping Sumo ‘bot at CES

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Want to own a drone but can’t plunk down the (relatively low) $300 for the super-fun Parrot AR.Drone 2.0? Well, you’re in luck. To kick off CES 2014, Parrot debuted two new ‘bots that promise drone fun without leaving your wallet feeling lighter than air.

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Parrot MiniDrone

First up is the MiniDrone, which is, well, a tiny version of the robust AR.Drone 2.0. But don’t let its small size fool you. The MiniDrone packs four high-speed blades that give this puppy some big-time lift, while a slew of sensors (think accelerometer, gyroscope, downward facing camera, and more) keep it stable in the sky – even if you aren’t the most experienced drone pilot – and let it do some “high-precision acrobatics,” according to Parrot.

Unique to the Parrot MiniDrone is its detachable ultra-light wheels – yes, wheels – that allow it to roll around the floor, wall, or ceiling like some type of house gecko. Another cool feature: Users can detach the wheels mid-flight for less cumbersome flight, which has a maximum altitude of about 160 feet.

The MiniDrone is controlled via mobile app, and attaches to your smartphone or tablet via low-power Bluetooth 4.0.

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Parrot Jumping Sumo

Small, burly, and a master of terrain, the Jumping Sumo bot features precision ground control thanks to independently driven wheels that allow it to perform instant turns, zippy 180-degree spins, and a crazy pirouette stunt that just might blow your freakin’ mind.

Of course, true to its name, the Jumping Sumo also features a spring arm that launches it about 3 feet into the air (and can, apparently, pick up small objects). Finally, it packs a QVGA camera for out-of-sight navigation and recording videos of things you probably shouldn’t. (Seriously, don’t be creepy.)

The Jumping Sumo is also controlled using a mobile app, and connects via Wi-Fi 2.4 or 5GHz signals.

We’ll go hands-on with the MiniDrone and Jumping Sumo on the show floor at CES 2014, so check back with Digital Trends for more on these next-gen bots. And watch the video below to get a sense of the high-flying shenanigans these ‘bots are capable of:

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