Rolling Spider Mini drone review: conduct surveillance on your cat with this indoor drone

At £90 it's a pricey toy, but for budding drone pilots of the future the feeling of flying is still exciting (even if it only lasts for six minutes at a time)

Watching the Rolling Spider take to the air for the first time is hypnotic. After tapping a button on a connected smartphone the mini drone’s four tiny propellers whir into life and the toy is lifted into the air. Then it simply hangs there, glaring at you malevolently with a pair of LED ‘eyes’.

As toys go this is a pretty good trick, but the Rolling Spider from wireless specialist Parrot (before they started making consumer drones they were best known for hands-free systems in cars) is one of a new generation of flying toys that are slicker than any radio controlled model airplane.

The Rolling Spider works via low power Bluetooth, connecting to Parrot’s FreeFlight app (available for Android and iOS with Windows Phone arriving in October) to turn your smartphone into a controller. There's three different modes to choose from and while the Spider isn’t easy to control it’s at least easy not to crash and offers some built in tricks (backflips and barrel rolls) that make you feel more expert than you really are.

The Rolling Spider can be controlled by smartphones or tablets

This is most definitely an indoor drone mind, and although it has a range of around 160 feet, its miniscule size and weight (just 55g) makes it extremely susceptible to gusts of wind. To keep it safe indoors, Parrot supply a pair of detachable plastic wheels that let it ‘roll’ up walls and keep it from bumping into things with its propellers.

All this means that the Rolling Spider is at the bottom end of the drone market, which goes up through more sophisticated models like Parrot’s own A.R. Drone 2.0 and the DJI Phantom to the larger, custom rigs that are used for professional surveying. (To be clear here: apart from the smaller models used for surveillance, military drones aren’t anything to do with this type of machine – they share a name, nothing else.)

With that in mind, the £90 price for the Rolling Spider is perhaps a little high (especially considering that you only get around six minutes of flight time before you have to recharge the battery for an hour and a half) but the feeling of watching the thing buzz steadily around your living room is pretty unique.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Guru Careers: Software Developer / Web Developer

    £350 p/d (Contract): Guru Careers: A Software Developer / Web Developer (PHP /...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment C...

    Recruitment Genius: Data Scientist

    £20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: Full Stack Software Developer - Javascript

    £18000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Day In a Page

    Giants Club: After wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, Uganda’s giants flourish once again

    Uganda's giants are flourishing once again

    After the wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, elephant populations are finally recovering
    The London: After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

    After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

    Archaeologists will recover a crucial item from the wreck of the London which could help shed more light on what happened in the vessel's final seconds
    Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

    Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

    The invention involves turbojets and ramjets - a type of jet engine - and a rocket motor
    10 best sun creams for kids

    10 best sun creams for kids

    Protect delicate and sensitive skin with products specially formulated for little ones
    Tate Sensorium: New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art

    Tate Sensorium

    New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art
    Ashes 2015: Nice guy Steven Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

    Nice guy Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

    He was man-of-the-match in the third Test following his recall to the England side
    Ashes 2015: Remember Ashton Agar? The No 11 that nearly toppled England

    Remember Ashton Agar?

    The No 11 that nearly toppled England
    Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

    US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

    Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
    VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

    'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

    VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
    Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

    Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

    Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
    The male menopause and intimations of mortality

    Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

    So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
    Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

    'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

    Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
    Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

    Bettany Hughes interview

    The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
    Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

    Art of the state

    Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
    Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

    Vegetarian food gets a makeover

    Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks