Professional drone company markets to kids

In 2014, Parrot, a French drone company, released two products intended for kids. The company specializes in making professional filming drones, and the drones designed for kids came as a surprise.

The two drones, Jumping Sumo and Rolling Spider, are intended for kids ages 14 and up. Jumping Sumo is a drone that stays on the ground and is equipped with a 1080p video resolution camera with live playback. This drone comes with a jumping mechanism which can launch it 180 centimeters high.

Rolling Spider is an aerial drone which comes with wheels for rolling on walls, ceilings and floors. Both drones are controlled through a cell phone and Parrot’s FreeFlight3 application.

Jumping Sumo is quite a fun drone, and the live video playback allows the user to direct the drone when it is out of sight.  However, after a few weeks of fun, the jumping mechanism on my drone stopped working.  The repair process was not expensive, but it was tedious.  Even after I took it apart and put it back together, the jumping mechanism still did not work.

The Rolling Spider drone is extremely sensitive, making it difficult to fly.  The touchscreen controls are not the best for a flying drone, and when Rolling Spider is crashed, it is easy to break.  I have had to replace two motors on the drone because of crashes, and once again the repair process is tedious.  In addition to the difficulty of flying, the battery life is extremely short.  The drone loses battery in a matter of seconds during flight, but on wheels it lasts a little longer.  I have found that I have spent more time on wheels than in flight,  due to the short battery life.

Rolling Spider is one of two minidrones Parrot has introduced. It comes with detachable wheels for ground or air operation.

Rolling Spider is one of two minidrones Parrot has introduced. It comes with detachable wheels for ground or air operation.

The company’s attempt to introduce younger kids to the world of drones does not reflect well on them.  Both drones are hard to handle and too brittle to last a while. These drones are certainly not for kids under the age limit.  For those who intend to buy either drone: the fun does not last very long.

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