Your very own drone for $100: Parrot’s Rolling Spider
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Geektime’s staff recently took the $100 Rolling Spider drone for a spin. Their conclusion: it is the coolest toy on the market for gadget lovers young and old

 

So you’ve always wanted your own drone but the price tag was too stiff or you were daunted by the FAA’s regulations on flying unmanned aircraft?

Well now you can pick up Parrot’s Rolling Spider for a mere $100. You may not be able to take high-resolution aerial photographs, but you will be able to fly this mini quadcopter wherever you want as well as get it to do back flips and barrel rolls.

Geektime’s staff recently took the Rolling Spider for a spin. Their conclusion: it is the coolest toy on the market for gadget lovers young and old. With one caveat: it’s only a toy.

The Rolling Spider has a range of 20 meters and a top speed of 18 km/h. It weighs 55 grams and is controlled by an iPhone or Android.

If the drone crashes into an object, the rotors stop and it falls to the ground. But it is surprisingly durable, our test drivers said. That’s a good thing because it doesn’t come with replacement rotors.

What $100 won’t get you

The biggest bummer is that a 90-minute battery charge only lasts for eight minutes, although you can buy extra batteries: not enough time to take surreptitious aerial photos of your neighbors, I guess.

But our reviewers say that won’t really be an issue because the camera makes laptop cameras circa 2000 look advanced. At less than 1 megapixel, the resulting photos are blurry and lacking in contrast.

Basically, these are flying toys, and as such, supremely enjoyable with a very intuitive interface, our reviewers conclude.

How the Rolling Spider fits into the drone market

This is French company Parrot’s third drone since 2010, when they debuted their AR drone. The company has sold over 700,000 drones to hobbyists and consumers at an average cost of $300.

The Rolling Spider, at about $100, is their attempt to reach a wider audience.

According to a report from Lux Research, the market for commercial uses of UAVs, or drones, will reach $1.7 billion by 2025. However, it is not clear whether this will include toy-like drones such as the Rolling Spider.

Here’s a warning: If you to happen live in the United States, don’t try using your drone for commercial purposes because you might be breaking the law. But if you want to give a toy drone a whirl in your backyard, why not?

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Roy Latke

About Roy Latke


Technology geek with a touch of apple, with a bit taken out of it. Living and breathing technology with a measured obsession. Criminologist by training, fighting crime and the establishment simultaneously. Enjoys writing, reading and examining thoroughly everything that can be disassembled; from tech devices to the human mind. Editor at Geektime.

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