Parrot has done a pretty good job making the Rolling Spider a drone that uses technology to it’s best advantage, even though it has an entry level price.
The relative small size of this quadcopter enables it to both fly inside in a controlled fashion thanks to its sensor and also outside, in not-so windy weather.
It comes out of the box with no remote controller. It operates from an app on your smartphone or tablet called Free Flight 3 with quite a few cool options.
Being not so much of a standard RC drone, it can’t be piloted with tight turns. This drone was made more as a technological show-off. The flight being more autonomous than other drones in this price range.(which is actually a pretty good thing, especially for beginners)
Camera-wise, the Spider drone is once again quite an interesting piece of technology. The downward facing camera takes pictures non stop while in flight so it can estimate the position relative to the ground and hover in the same spot.
Selfies and pictures can also be taken with this 0.3 megapixels camera, just enough to capture the surprised faces of your neighbors.
The altitude sensor is pretty much self explanatory.Another piece of equipment that makes this quad even more tech sufficient.
As mentioned before, the rolling spider is controlled by using an app called Free Flight 3 on your phone or tablet.
The drone does a great job at maintaining its position if needed. This makes it easier for beginners to fly as it doesn’t require much experience and prevents unwanted accidents.This also means it might not be as fun to pilot for some people as a standard remote drone, but each with his own preferences. You can even put your phone down and leave it to hover in the same spot for the entire battery duration.Something most other small RC drones can’t do.
Changing elevation and rotation is an easy job and is done with precision.
With the three control modes to choose from, flying this drone is quite a user friendly experience:
- Normal mode is said to be the easiest to pick up as a complete noob
- Even so, I recommend the joypad mode, the most intuitive one. With controls similar to a standard drone (it disables the use of your smartphone accelerometer)
- Left stick handles elevation and yaw
- the right one dictates the direction in which the drone is moving
- Ace mode is a combination between the two
The wheels enable the drone to roll on different surfaces like your kitchen ceiling or a tree trunk.Making matrix moves has never been so easy!
All kindzzz of flips can be performed with the help of the app(including barrel rolls), although you can’t flip to the side when the wheels are attached.
The only downside to using the app is that the sensors can bug sometimes and the drone might fly into the ceiling then stop and drop on the ground.
The distance at which the drone can be controlled is about 20-25 m.
An interesting feat is “hand launching” where you through the drone in the air from your hand and it starts hovering automatically.
It’s also good to know that it has propeller cutout in case of collision so it won’t continue spinning in case it hits a wall or a …human * cough*
Charging this drone takes quite a while (aprox 90 min) and it has a flight time of 7-8 min, depending on the usage and flips done.
Flying it without the wheels consumes less battery(about one minute less), but also makes it more susceptible to damaging the props.
Battery life is comparable to other drones of this size out there, but the charging process is a big downfall.
But really, if you don’t like the battery or the flying style of the spider.
Get a Hubsan x4 with remote control.Even cheaper!
slow battery charging
slight bugs when using the app