Robots/Drones
WowWee’s simple Lumi drone aims to wow wee and large alike

The advent of drones over the past few years and their steady decline price has led to more and more people enjoying the fun of piloting one. So many, in fact, that even the FCC is more strictly regulating their use. Nevertheless, for all the attention paid to them and the progress they’ve made on ease of use, they can still be complicated to set up, pilot, and maintain over time — hardly a consumer-friendly device.

Developed by the company that produced one of the earliest robot toys, WowWee’s Lumi is an easy-to-use drone designed as a more palatable approach to the sometimes dizzying world of drones. It’s ready to go out of the box, with a simple setup consisting of the loading in of its battery, placement of its beacon, and activation of its app. Once done, its BeaconSense technology allows Lumi to interface with its companion beacon to always know where it is in space.

This allows users to use Lumi for both gaming and entertainment in the home, with single and multiplayer games, a choreography mode with which a timeline of actions can be constructed to the beat of saved music, and one-touch stunts and tricks all available. The Lumi also boasts a follow-me mode that uses the beacon clipped to a user as the point of reference. The inexpensive Lumi goes for just $59 and is slated to ship in August 2016 should its Indiegogo campaign reach the $25,000 funding goal.

Lumi is a smooth entry into a world where drones have gotten so far as to be the center of entire competitions. As such, while it may be limited in what it can do now, its creators were purposeful in their goal. With Lumi, they’ve achieved it. Children won’t be put off since it isn’t as complex while WowWee encourages adults to tinker with it since it’s fully programmable. For something slightly more advanced, the Gravitron V2 is a much better bet.

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