Parrot Jumping Night DIESEL Image Credit: Supplied

I’m zooming towards the edge of someone’s cubicle. The boardroom where important people go to chat goes by in a blur. A corner is approaching. Should I stop and turn or attempt it on the move? A bead of sweat trickles down my forehead as I hit the brakes. Turn too soon and I’ll end up careening the navy blue vehicle straight into someone’s chair. Too late and my fate is even worse; there’s a drop. That would mean running over to retrieve the terrestrial drone, picking it up and setting it right. This would be pretty uncool. Meanwhile, the orange-painted competition zooms by, piloted by #GNTECH’s monthly men’s mag neighbour, alpha. Its drone was quicker off the mark and has a decent lead... 

Let’s pause the video. We’ll come back to this...

These ground-based speedsters from French brand Parrot, a name best known for UAVS and wireless headphones, connect to your smartphone via Wi-Fi through an Android and iOS app called FreeFlight3 — the same app used by the company’s entire drone roster. Through FreeFlight, you can pilot Jumping Night via its first-person camera, which can shoot video and photos. Retractable wheels let you choose between speed and agility and there’s also a programmable autopilot roaming mode. Turning can be done either at speed with a tilt or a standstill 90-degree turn. Most importantly, there’s the jump feature, which sends the drone soaring 80cm from either a still or moving position. It’s great fun to play with, though timing the launch takes some practice; you need to press the button about three quarters of a second early.

While the Night only hits about 7kmph, it features a set of LED light on its front, which makes it ideal for night expeditions. Don’t go too far out though — the battery life is about half an hour, and it takes roughly the same time to charge. The good news is you can do this through microUSB, so get a power pack if you’re heading out to the desert.

Going back to #GNTECH vs alpha.… well, we won, obviously. A few careless errors saw our opposition miscue a couple of turns in haste, while we patiently stopped at every corner and rotated our device. It wasn’t the most exciting victory, but a win’s a win!