Parrot's latest minidrones do battle, clean up afterwards
Parrot has unveiled two new species of minidrones. Joining its siblings that fly, jump and swim are the Mambo, which can be equipped with a Nerf-like cannon or a grabber claw, and the Swing, a fixed-wing minidrone that can take off vertically.
With its modular accessories, the Mambo sounds a fair bit like a cheaper version of Wingland's S6. Its 0.3 megapixel camera is a far cry from the S6's impressive 4K offering, but that's not really the point here – this is the kind of drone you'll use for shenanigans like aerial Nerf wars or figurine kidnappings. The cannon connects to a Lego-like panel on top, carries six balls in the chamber and can unload them all in nine seconds flat. Parrot assures us the ammo is soft and safe, so although the video shows it popping balloons, windows and faces should come away unscathed.
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When the battle is won, the Mambo might even clean up after itself. Snapping the grabber onto the underside gives the drone the power to lift objects as "heavy" as 4 g (0.15 oz), so small toys, notes and its own ammo might be the limits of its payload.
The Swing meanwhile is all about speed and maneuverability. Looking like it's just returned from blowing up a Death Star, its X-wing design makes it the first "plane" in Parrot's minidrone arsenal, but it borrows a few functions from its quadcopter relatives. Namely, it takes off vertically, before leveling out midair to perform aerial stunts, either through the pilot's mad skills or preset aerobatics. With a top speed of 30 km/h (18.6 mph) and a bundled-in Flypad providing some more nuanced control, the Swing should make for a nifty little racer.
As with other minidrones, both models offer less than 10 minutes of flight time per charge, but a half-hour recharge isn't too shabby. The Parrot Mambo is available for US$119.99, while the Swing (with a Flypad) will run you $139.99. Watch them in action in the videos below.