Toys that Fly and Jump Hop on to CES Podium

January 8, 2014, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

French company Parrot has unveiled a new two-wheeled “robot insect” right in time for CES 2014, along with a “miniature” flying drone. Both these can be controlled using a smart device like a phone or tablet.

The firm already has broke ground for making the best selling consumer drones, though gadget experts have already questioned the safety Parrot’s latest machines can provide.

The Jumping Sumo, as the robot insect is called, gives itself a too vigorous push to make itself jump. That could mean there could be a possibility of someone getting smacked on the face or the like, it has been pointed out.


The prices of both toys have not been revealed yet. The Jumping Sumo has two wheels and can make sharp 90-degree turns, as the wheel is independently controlled. But the most striking feature it can offer will be the ability to jump 80cm (31.5in) into the air, which allows it to leap over gaps or on to objects.

A promotional video also shows the machine jumping between two kitchen surfaces and then on to shelves, making a mess of the place. It can be controlled via Wi-Fi, and also features a camera that can stream video to the connected smart device. This one can last about 20 minutes between charges.

The MiniDrone, on the other hand, is only a fraction of the size of the firm’s best-known flying drone, AR Drone 2. Like AR Drone 2, it has four plastic rotors to get airborne and also uses a gyroscope, speed and height sensors to hover in one spot fly around or flip over in the air.


There are consequences as the machine’s size reduced. The battery can last only up to eight minutes while flying, it connects to a smart device using Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy and this reduces its range limiting it to not stream a video from its camera. But the advantage is it can be clipped onto a two-wheeled structure which will allow it to roll around floors, ceilings and walls.

Also, it is expected to be cheaper than the larger models, which comes for £300. There were also other flying-themed electronics at CES like PowerUp Toys, a piece of kit featuring a small rotor and Bluetooth radio that attaches to a paper plane. It can use a smartphone to control its speed and direction.

Also seen is a Rotor Concept that shows off quadcopters, which support GoPro cams or even DSLR cameras. A Chinese firm DJI has launched Phantom 2 Vision, a quadcopter that allows its owner to take 14MP photos and 1080p high definition video even from a distance.

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