Parrot MiniDrone Is Most Lusted-After CES Revelation So Far [CES 2014]


Journalists flocked to the Parrot booth. Credit: Eli Milchman

CES 2014 bug LAS VEGAS — Maybe tech journalists are prone to ADHD, and simply attracted to things that flit about. Or maybe the rest of the gadgets strewn about the room at CES Unveiled, the press-only event that customarily kicks off CES for journalists, just weren’t all that zingy this year. Or maybe Parrot‘s Lilliputian drone really is that cool.

Whatever the reason, Parrot’s new MiniDrone — a miniaturized version of their AR Drone with no camera but detachable wheels that let it roll about on the ground or “climb” a wall — drew throngs of tech bloggers and had camera crews lined up to film.

Parrot says its MiniDrone is “the easiest-to-fly quadricopter.” Apart from a rare mishap or two where the little guy flopped to the ground and careened around, it definitely looked that way —- it was remarkably stable in the hands of Parrot’s pilots, who were guiding it with an iPad. Parrot says the stability is thanks to a multitude of sensors and an autopilot mode. The MiniDrone connects via low-energy Bluetooth 4.0 to eke out as much power as possible from its presumably tiny batteries.

Also on display was Parrot’s new Jumping Sumo, which lacks the gift of flight but gains the ability to leap around suddenly and wildly.

As is typical for Parrot, neither of these toys has pricing or availabilty info just yet. Nicolas Halftermeyer, Parrot’s chief marketing officer, told us they’ll announce details in about six months.

Parrot’s Jumping Sumo and MiniDrone, uncharacteristically at rest. Credit: Eli Milchman