Parrot's new smartphone-controlled toys and flying and jumping across CES 2014.
International CES is packed with all kinds of weird and wonderful gadgets, with some of the best being tech-infused toys. Here are some highlights.
Parrot Jumping Sumo
This two-wheeled robot can jump 2.5 feet into the air.
This little two-wheeled robot is controlled by a smartphone or tablet via Wi-Fi, has a camera in its nose and can make 90-degree turns at high speed. But its party piece is the fact that it can jump up to 2.5 feet in the air and always land back on its wheels. It’s like a cat robot.
Parrot Mini Drone
The Parrot AR Drone strunk and with wheels on.
A shrunken version of the Parrot AR drone, this mini drone is small enough to fly around indoors without destroying everything in its way. The flying toy is controlled via a smartphone or tablet over Bluetooth and is highly stable in flight thanks to a kind of built-in autopilot. Add-on wheels make sure it can roll up walls, across the ceiling or along the floor if Top Gun you are not.
Orbotix Sphero 2.0
Orbotix has upgraded the Bluetooth controlled ball to make it even faster.
The latest iteration of the Bluetooth connected smartphone-controlled rolling ball is now faster than ever, and can even be kitted out with rubber tread for a better grip.
Two wheels make the 2b a mini speedster.
The younger brother of Sphero, 2b takes the control and fun from the ball and creates a two-wheeled speed demon. Controlled by a smartphone, 2b can shoot along the floor at up to 5 metres-per-second, or about running pace, and has an IR camera for a bit of multiplayer battling. Expected to be available by Christmas 2014 for under $100.
Yuneec E-Go Cruiser electric skateboard
Why both pushing when you can power your way along the street?
Skateboards still exist, and at CES they get an upgrade with added electricity. This longboard has an electric motor and sends riders flying along the pavement at the touch of a remote-mounted button. The board will manage hills and travel 18 miles on a single charge.
Is the Onewheel just a toy or a genuine new form of transport?
The Onewheel is essentially a single-wheeled Segway, which self-balances a wooden board around its rubber tyre using gyroscopes and accelerometers to produce a smooth ride. It will run for around 20 minutes per charge, and can be had on Kickstarter right now for a minimum pledge of $1,200.
This little guy could transform boardgames.
This tiny robot is about the size of bottle cap or 50p coin can recognise codes and sensors it runs over. The codes can be displayed on a mobile device, like a tablet, but also be built into board games and other real-world items.
The Ozobot can be used in games like race tracks or other robot-orientated board games, with lights built into the body to indicate what the little robot is up to. It doesn’t do a lot at the moment, but there’s a lot of potential for a modern twist on board games here.