My boys recently received a nano drone as a gift, and it's save to say, it's virtually impossible to fly the thing. So when a new drone comes on the market that says "anyone can fly it" my ears perk up.
WowWee is making just such a claim with their new dancing and programmable gaming drone called Lumi. The Lumi Gaming Drone is said to be easy to fly and promises a lot of features which would be appealing for a tech community.
Not only does the Lumi use Beacon Sense Technology to stablise itself in flight whilst being controlled via a hand-held device, WowWee have opened Lumi's API to allow the creation of your own games.
It's really attractive that Lumi encourages a multi-player experience, but you'll need two drones and hand-held devices.
There's a choregraphy mode which allows you to programme dance moves and record music for the drone. You can even select any song on your tablet or mobile and Lumi will challenge you to follow the beat by matching coloured LEDs on the drone with your device.
The drone connects to your device using Bluetooth LE, so older devices will not be compatible. WowWee have not yet published a list of compatible devices, but we did ask if it could work with the Amazon Fire.
The Lumi uses a telemetry system, a two way data stream, to observe what the drone is measuring and how it is reacting. You can keep track of measurements and variables including gesture information, stability measurements, battery levels, gyro and acceleromoter readings.
Using the beacon sense technology the Lumi can follow you around. The additional intelligent pods are larger beacons which can be placed around the house to create a virtual course for Lumi to follow. The intelligent pods will be compatible with multiple Lumis.
The Lumi drone battery requires 30-40 minutes to recharge. Simply click out the battery and connect it to your USB power source using the USB charging cable. One rechargeable battery and the USB charging cable are included with Lumi. If you want to extend your flight time, you can click in a new battery while the old one is charging. The early bird starter kit will include two additional batteries.
A fully charged battery will afford you 8 minutes of flight time. If you do the math, you'll only get a maximum of 24 min of play time with 3 battery packs. With long charging times, the Lumi will be a quick game.
Who is it for
My 9 year old loves quadcopters but definitely finds it a challenge to control them directly so I definitely get this product. (Tracy)The age range for the Lumi is 8 and up.
It's designed for indoor use, hence the obstacle avoidance feature, so you can play is a small space. It has been extensively tested in 4-5 feet of space and performed well. It's not advisable as an outdoor tech toy.
Thanks to the open API's, Lumi could be very popular with the tech community to experiment making their own games. We hope to see an accessible development platform for young coders and kids to learn about coding a drone and make their creations a reality.
Image Credit: WowWee