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Review: Rolling Spider – Parrot minidrone

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)

price-and-specs-for-the-drone

Price and specs

It’s quite obvious that Parrot is keeping their prices low for the toy level drones. Amazon has quite some surprising prices, especially for refurbished items, that indeed work!

Specs
Camera Options
With Camera
Camera Resolution: ~
Gopro
Features
GPS
Gimbal
Phone Controlled
Transmitter
Motor Type: Brushed
Optical Flow Stabilization
Battery Life: 7
Flight Range: 50
Foldable
Micro SD Card
Under 250g
Drone Types
Beginner
Professional
Indoors
Racing
Price history for Parrot Mambo Fly - Code, Pilot and Play
Latest updates:
  • $78.09 - November 5, 2019
  • $49.99 - August 11, 2019
  • $49.94 - August 7, 2019
  • $54.45 - July 31, 2019
  • $56.14 - July 29, 2019
  • $59.99 - July 21, 2019
  • $68.99 - July 18, 2019
  • $49.00 - July 6, 2019
Since: May 19, 2019
  • Highest Price: $78.09 - November 5, 2019
  • Lowest Price: $48.00 - July 4, 2019

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drone-camera-quality
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Rolling spider camera- An unique angle

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.

Yes, you heard that right, the camera is facing downward and helps with stabilizing the drone by calculating where it’s at. It works almost like a GPS.

This downward facing sensor is very similar with what’s found these days in 
Phantom 4 drones and even on the Mavic pro.

Which, by the way, happens to be my favorite camera drone.

parrot-spider-camera-sensor

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.

These are images taken with the downward-facing camera on this drone under $30 and they can get pretty amazing, depending how creative you are.

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How well does the minidrone fly?

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.

parrot-minidrone-flying-with-phone

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 - easiest to pick as a beginner
  • JoyPad Mode - the one I recommend. With controls similar to a standard drone (it disables the use of your smartphone accelerometer)
  • Ace Mode -is a combination between the two
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Parrot Rolling Spider Flight tutorial

Parrot themselves made a great video tutorial to teach you how to fly. This can also help you decide if the drone is fun enough for you.

Watch the video bellow.

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.

drone-rolling-off a wall
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Battery and range

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 it’s easy to solve this problem if you get a spare battery.

parrot-rolling-drone-for-sale
parrot-rolling-drone-for-sale

Rolling Spider

$78.09 $109.99 Buy It Now
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How does it compare to other similarly priced drones?

parrot-rolling-drone-for-sale
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Please use the “Add to compare” button and then press on the icon on the right to compare them.

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I'm a big drone enthusiast, the owner of DronesGator.com and I also make weekly videos on my drone YouTube channel.

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