Thursday, January 09, 2014, 05:50 am PT (08:50 am ET)
First look: Parrot's new MiniDrone & Jumping Sumo, plus Zik headphones tuned by Lou ReedDevice maker Parrot this week showcased two new drones that can be wirelessly controlled from Apple's devices: A new wheel-equipped MiniDrone that can defy gravity, and a unique Jumping Sumo bot. Also on display: New headphones tuned by the late, great Lou Reed.
AppleInsider got to take a look at Parrot's new drone models at this week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nev. The new MiniDrone builds on the success of the company's original, significantly larger AR Drone models, which can be purchased at Apple's own retail stores.
The new small and lightweight design adds wheels, which allow the device to scale walls or even roll across ceilings. Intended generally for nearby indoor use, the MiniDrone connects over short-range Bluetooth instead of Wi-Fi.
The smaller drone is set to hit a lower price point than the $300 full-size model. As a result, the new Mini AR Drone will not include an integrated 720p camera for recording flights.
Parrot also showed off its new Jumping Sumo bot, which rolls and leaps into the air. Unlike the MiniDrone, the Jumping Sumo is controlled over 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and this model does include a camera.
Pricing for the new toys has not been announced, but Parrot hopes to make these devices more affordable and kid-friendly than its premium AR Drone 2.0. Both devices will be controlled by a dedicated application available on Apple's iOS App Store. Parrot said the products remain in beta, and are scheduled to be released by the fall of 2014.
Finally, Parrot also showcased its newly released Lou Reed Parrot Zik collaboration. The Zik is now available in four colors: Classic, Yellow Gold, Black Gold, and Rose Gold.
Henri Seydoux, CEO of Parrot, was close friends with Reed, and the musician's tuning work on the headphones was one of the last things he did before he passed away in 2013. The tuning can be obtained by using the headphones with an iOS app.
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