When I was at Best Buy recently, I spotted the Parrot Rolling Spider drone. I checked it out before when I was in Best Buy, and I thought the wheel design that makes it relatively safe to fly indoors was clever.
I couldn’t resist buying it the second time I saw it. With a gyroscope, sensors, and a pretty sweet looking app, I figured you couldn’t go wrong for only $99.
Boy was I right. This little thing is a blast. Though my cat is skeptical at what must feel like an extreme vortex when it hovers overhead.
You can drive it around like a car with the wheels, switching to flight mode to go up stairs, or climb a wall or ceiling for fun. The app makes all of this pretty seamless. I was a bit worried about the app, but I must say, the app is really well done on iOS.
Take off the wheels, and this thing really gets nimble. It’s like driving a mini van (with the wheels on), and then getting into a corvette (with the wheels off). Increase the settings inside of the app, throw both virtual joysticks forward, and this thing accelerates extremely quick.
I have extensive experience with remote control aircraft, so when I opened up the package my first thought was, there is no way all this technology is packed into that little body. Then I thought, there is no way those rotors are going to last the day. But they did, and they lasted the next weeks worth of crashing into tons of things. As I write this the original rotors are still going strong. A little bent, but it still flies fantastic.
My only complaint is a lack of range. I seem to lose consistent communication at about the 20 ft mark. The copter starts to lag and eventually will lose communication and continue doing what it was last doing until it hits something.
But I don’t care. The range is good enough, and everything else more than makes up for that.
Here are a few interesting videos I found.