Parrot's AR.Drone has changed only slightly in its short history, but today the company has expanded the line in a big way. They're showing off two new models at the pre-CES Unveiled event: the smaller and impressively flexible AR.Drone Mini and the ground-only roller/jumper Sumo. To see what makes each version special, check out the promotional video below.

The Mini is indeed a smaller take on Parrot's popular AR - the housing itself fits in the palm of your hand. That smaller size comes with the removal of the drone's recording and viewfinder camera, but as a consolation, it can carry a set of removable wheels that let it roll along the ground, walls, and even ceilings. The wheels can be remotely popped off at any time for a conventional flying experience, though they're light enough to go with the drone as it gets airborne. The connection to your Android or iOS device is low-power Bluetooth instead of WiFi as in the original AR Drone. Check out our hands-on below:

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The Sumo is a ground-only beast, equipped with two heavy-duty rubber wheels and a front-facing camera for remote viewing. This guy's claim to fame is its "foot," which can stop the rugged body on a dime or spring out to launch it 80 centimeters into the air or across small gaps. Like the original AR drone, this one uses a WiFi connection (probably to accommodate the remote video feature). Both drones have been shown with toy-style LED "eyes" or headlights. We've got some hands-on time with the Sumo drone as well.

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Parrot isn't saying when these guys will be available aside from "soon," and there's no price information either. But based on the size and capability of the AR.Drone Mini and the Sumo, I'd guess that they will be well below the original Parrot AR Drone's $300 MSRP.

Michael Crider
Michael is a native Texan and a former graphic designer. He's been covering technology in general and Android in particular since 2011. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

    These look seriously cool.

  • andrew__des_moines

    The Blade Nano QX and others already do this, so there is nothing new here. Had they sacrificed a little smallness for an onboard camera and short-range transmitter, that would have been novel.

    • Sean Royce

      No need to be negative.

    • Shaun Capps

      keep in mind, these are still toys. It's not like the average person is using these for covert military operations.

  • GrinigGammalGubbe

    TIE-Fighter! :)

  • http://litlclic.com/ Marc

    I can't connect this to my Spektrum Transmitter? Only bluetooth?
    Other than looks there's not much goign for this one.