Parrot Rolling Spider Drone Review

Parrot Rolling Spider Drone Review and Analysis

The Rolling Spider minidrone is probably one of latest minidrones with the weirdest names, but surprisingly, the name fits. This smartphone-controlled drone is an innovation of the Bluetooth company Parrot.

Parrot MiniDrone Rolling Spider For Only $78.99 [/caption]

Just like other Parrot minidrones, the Rolling Spider drone features the best technology Parrot is known for, designed to connect seamlessly with smartphones and tablets. This quadcopter drone differs from others in its niche in that this one looks like a real lawn mower minus the push handle. The “rolling” part comes from the two wheels connected to it, which serves as protection against bumps, crashes, and landings.

We take a closer look at this much talked about quad in our Parrot Rolling Spider review.


Rolling Spider Minidrone Specifications

Dimensions7.6 x 2.6 x 8.1 inches
Weight55g (65g with wheels)
Battery550 mAh removable Lithium-Polymer battery
CameraVertical camera at 60 fps, 300,000 px resolution
Flight TimeMax 8 minutes of flight time (may vary with wheels on)

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It would be easy enough to tag the Parrot Rolling Spider minidrone as just another mini-quadcopter. And with an average retail price of US$100, it would be a pricey unit, too, considering there are other basic mini-quads for less than US$50.

But despite appearances and price tag, the Rolling Spider is not your ordinary mini-quad. Several quadcopter reviews praise it for the fun and features it brings. It might not be the best mini quad on the market, but it certainly is a contender.

What’s in the Box

The complete kit includes the Parrot Rolling Spider drone, (1) removable 550 mAh Li-Po battery, (2) wheels, (1) set of stickers, and (1) quick start guide.

The charger is sold separately, the same with an extra set of propellers, and batteries, which are compatible with the Parrot Jumping Sumo drone. The Rolling Spider is available in three colors: blue, gray, and red.


One of the biggest letdowns of the Rolling Spider is its limited battery life. While the eight minutes of flight time is understandable given its size, the charge time of one hour and 30 minutes, as well as the abrupt interruptions because the battery is running out, is annoying.

Whether you’re using the Jumping Sumo or the Rolling Spider minidrones, it’s easy to forget all the time you’ll be spending waiting for the batteries to charge. Even a spare eight minutes of flight time does not seem to justify the 1.5 hours of charging.

There’s also the problem of the charger, particularly the lack of one. When charging, you’ll need to place the battery inside the drone and run a USB cable from a USB port or wall charger to the appropriate port on the quad.

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Then again, it takes serious power to run those high-speed, highly responsive rotors. As it is, over 50% of the drone’s body is battery, so we don’t know what else Parrot can do here. Still, these short flight durations could be a good thing for those without the tolerance for flying lawn mowers buzzing around the living room.


This flying minidrone is, in some ways, a scaled down version of the HD-equipped Parrot AR.Drone 2.0. Just like its big brother, the Rolling Spider is equipped with sensors that make flying a child’s play.

Just like Parrot’s other consumer drones, assembling this mini quad is a relatively simple process. It comes with a giant wheel you can clip onto either end of the wheel axle. The wheels are optional, but they do protect the drone and its plastic motors from obstacles that will inevitably come into its path. It works like the flexible guards of the Blade® Nano QX 3D, but in the form of wheels instead of legs.

Most Parrot Rolling Spider reviews agree that the wheels are essential, but could have been designed better. This lightweight accessory set lets you fly (or drive) the drone up walls and on ceilings. It does, however, affect flight time, as it takes a little more effort for the minidrone to stabilize with such bulky accessories.

Another feature worth mentioning is the stickers that give this mini quad a distinct, angry ‘face’ that makes it look like a total badass.


The drone camera on the Rolling Spider can snap 0.3-megapixel stills, a far cry from the HD quality images the Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 or the DJI Phantom 2 Vision can take. The low-resolution photos are stored on board, downloadable via PC. Because the camera is vertical, you can only capture images straight down—so no panoramas or shots through the neighbors’ windows.


Parrot equipped this minidrone with an ultrasonic sensor, a 3-axis gyroscope, a3-axis accelerometer, and a pressure sensor which all work together to make flights stable.

Just like the AR.Drone, the Rolling Spider is smart enough to hover in place and is controlled via the FreeFlight smartphone app. Controlling from up to 20m away is fairly easy, as the flight app gives you three control options. On the phone, you can choose to control the quad using a joystick or tilt control function. With a few easy-to-learn commands, you can easily make the quad perform barrel rolls and backflips while flying.

Attach the wheels and you can make the drone do what it’s named to do, roll on smooth surfaces and climb up a wall like a spider. It’s probably more important, though, to use the wheels as protection, since the propellers are exposed without it. Crash into a wall or have the rotors hit something and the drone drops out of the air like a dead bird. Thankfully, it’s pretty tough for its size.

While others say it can be used outdoors, we figure this unit is best for indoor use, unless you like fighting against the wind.

The Verdict

Is this minidrone fun? Absolutely. Is it flawed? Yes. Even so, it’s one worth considering. If you’re looking for a toy capable of zipping around your home and backyard, doing a few flips and rolls, and snapping low-res photos, then this one is perfectly capable. Targeted mostly for children and novices, our Parrot Rolling Spider drone review finds that it’s enough to keep beginners entertained while letting them get the hang of piloting a drone.

There are cheaper, tiny quadcopters on the market, but thanks to the stable flight and beginner-friendly controls, the Parrot MiniDrone Rolling Spider is a pretty good bet—one of the easiest to pick up and fly (or roll, or drive).



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