ToysBulletin.com looks another type of drone from Parrot.
Having just concluded Drone Week here at Toys Bulletin, we decided to keep the fun rolling with another new and imaginative robotic toy in the same realm. Parrot is a major player in the drone space, and we set out to test their Jumping Sumo mini drone.
The Jumping Sumo first hit our radar in this spectacular video from YouTube star Devin Supertramp. Even though the Jumping Sumo is technically called a “Drone” this one doesn’t fly through the air. Instead it’s the one seen in the video jumping off tables and chasing the star of the video through the house on the floor via two wheels while keeping an eye on all the action with its Wi-Fi connected camera eye.
This camera eye is one huge aspect to this Drone that set it apart from anything else. You can control this from a distance and drive it rather easily without needing to see anything more than what the eye beams back to the controlling device. And that device can be an iPhone, iPad, Android phone or tablet, or a Windows mobile device. Simply download the FreeFlight 3 app, connect to the Drone via Wi-Fi and you’re off and running.
Speaking of controls, this is another highlight for this drone. A simple speed control on the left side of the screen slides up and down to move the drone forward and back at varying speeds. To turn, you turn the iPad (if on iOS) itself which uses the internal accelerometer to change the drone’s direction. It’s amazingly easy to control and steer, like a video game, since all your actions and input are based on what you see through the eye’s wide angle camera.
The Jumping Sumo can jump pretty high and far too. It might surprise you the first couple times. Given its light weight (1.2 lbs) two wheel design, it can jump over two feet high via a spring loaded jump switch on its back. This too is operated through a simple push of a button on the right side of the app screen. Another button enables the drone to jump forward and it can almost clear a person lying flat on the ground. After every jump the Sumo lands ready to keep going.
Using the “Road Plan” feature you can even program the Jumping Sumo to conduct a series of moves all in a row. This could include going forward, then turning and jumping, turning again and going forward, spinning or waiting for a period of time in between any commands. Our test kids thought this was great for setting a plan of attack for surprising friends as you can execute the series of commands quickly and without fail when timing is tight. I am also a huge fan of any toy or game that helps kids learn and develop programming command skills such as this. I think those might pay off as they get older.
To take it a step further, you can upload and share your creations with others through the Parrot Cloud, again all done through the app.
The Jumping Sumo uses a small removable Lithium-Polymer battery and charges via an included USB cable. In our tests, the drone took around 1-1:15 hours to charge and we were able to use it rather heavily for 15-20 minutes between charges. We found this to be more than adequate. An extra battery would really provide some long use times.
The Jumping Sumo, along with many other awesome looking products from Parrot, is available at Amazon.com for $110 (right now with free Prime one day shipping).