Parrot this week became the first major drone manufacturer to capitalize on the drone racing craze, announcing on Thursday the Parrot Mambo FPV.
The new, $179.99 drone is actually a modification of Parrot’s $109.99 Mambo toy drone. With Thursday’s new FPV product launch, Parrot announced that it now sells the regular Mambo drone in a new FPV kit, which also gets you a miniature HD camera for live streaming, FPV (first-person view) glasses to see what the drone’s camera sees , a controller and a new battery.
The new kit includes a miniature HD camera which livestreams to the pilot’s smartphone. An optional microSD card (sold separately) can also be connected to record pictures and videos. The Parrot Cockpitglasses 2 serve as a mount for a smartphone (up to 6 inches in size), which can be inserted into the glasses to replicate the FPV experience. Pilots can use the Flypad controller, which operates much like regular RC transmitters via two joysticks.
The Parrot Mambo can fly up to 18 miles per hour and also does aerial, acrobatic stunts.
Parrot is no stranger to repackaging its existing products as new ones. Earlier this year, the company took its existing Bebop drone (which was initially targeted at prosumers and photographers) and repackaged it under the moniker Parrot Professional, packaging the same drone along with Pix4D software. Parrot also gave customers the option to make similar enterprise upgrades with its Disco fixed-wing drone, and with thermal cameras.
Parrot in 2012 acquired a minority stake in Switzerland-based company Pix4D, which produces photogrammetry and 3D computer graphics software.
Parrot has also made a niche in the toy drone market, selling MiniDrones geared toward kids.
With the Mambo FPV, Parrot is the first major dronemaker to capitalize on drone racing. DJI does not manufacture a ready to fly racing drone, though for the DIY crowd does sell a racing propulsion system called “Snail,” which consists of motors, ESCs and propellers designed for racing.