Parrot Drones Invade the Water this Summer

Image: YouTube

Image: YouTube

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water -- Parrot has a new drone ready to follow summer-lovers off the sands and into the seas. One of thirteen newly announced products from the manufacturer, the Hydrofoil Drone is a hybrid UAV and mini-boat. Parrot's first toe in the waters of aquatic-friendly drones, the Hydrofoil's flying abilities are actually powered by another of its new gadgets: the flying Airborne.

The Hydrofoil will sell for €169 (around $190), while there are two Airborne models: the Cargo, which will sell for €99 (around $110) and Night, which will be priced at €129 (around $145). There's no specific release date set for its summer launch window, so drone enthusiasts looking to sneak up on swimmers will have to stay tuned to learn when they can make their orders.

After activating the Airborne attachment, it flips vertically and sets the Hydrofoil for takeoff. You can then steer the Hydrofoil around the water using Parrot's smartphone app (FreeFlight 3, available on iOS, Android and Windows). The app provides a first-person view from the front of the Hydrofoil, which can buzz around still waters at around 6 miles per hour for around 7 minutes. That battery life means those looking to shock and awe with the Hydrofoil are on the clock in terms of getting it back to land before some swimmers start playing keep-away.

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As its name suggests, the Airborne Night comes equipped with LED lights for illuminating safe passage after the sun has set, and those lights can also beam Morse code signals. The Airborne Cargo model's functionality is slightly less obvious: it has a Lego-style grid of pegs on its top so you can lock figurines or other items into a position that looks like where a pilot would sit. Not that it comes with any Legos, but once you find a way to set that up, everything may in fact become awesome. Just check out this video from Parrot:

The Hydrofoil and Airborne are just two parts of Parrot's Summer 2015 line. New models of the company's ground-based Jumping Sumo drones -- the Race and the Night -- will sell for €199 (around $220). The Night features those same LED lights seen in the Airborne Night, and the Race goes almost twice as fast as the Night, able to hit 8 mph. More a leap forward than just a step up from last year's models, the two-wheeled drones that catapult themselves in the air up to 32 inches now record video to a 4GB memory card, as well as blast your voice out at unsuspecting older or younger relatives who will be scared by this brave new world that you're now dominating.

Source: Parrot (translated)

Henry T. Casey is a Staff Writer at Tom’s Guide. Follow him on Twitter @henrytcasey and on Snapchat at @henrytcasey. Follow us @tomsguide, on Facebook and on Google+.

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.