WowWee’s Lumi—available this September—takes the stress out of flying a quadcopter. Designed for kids ages 8 and up, Lumi is not only a breeze to fly, but it also features one-touch tricks and some pretty sweet dance moves. Included with the drone is one Lumi Pod, one clip, one USB charging cable, one battery, a quick start guide, and a user manual.
When it comes to aesthetics, the Lumi Gaming Drone is sleek. The body is white, and features a luminescent surface that’ll I’ll talk about later. The four blades are two different shades of blue, and the outer ring that protects them is gray. Overall, it gives off a very tech-y vibe.
Before kids can begin flying Lumi, they’ll need to pop the included battery into the base, throw one AAA battery into the Pod, and download the Lumi app from the App Store, Google Play Store, or Amazon Appstore. Once that’s all squared away, kids can boot up the app and follow the onscreen instructions.After my application was up and running, I turned on my Lumi Pod and my phone’s Bluetooth. The Lumi Pod is basically a beacon that relays information to the drone so it knows where to stabilize itself. If the Lumi Pod moves, the drone will follow. Using a clip, the Lumi Pod can be snapped onto kids’ devices, but it was a little too snug to snap onto my iPhone 5. That said, placing it on the floor worked just fine.
A few moments after turning on my Pod, the app located my drone and dubbed it “LUMI 5148.” At that point, it all got so real. Soon after, I reached the main menu screen. Here, kids can explore a number of different modes, including “Free Flight,” “Build a Choreography,” and “Lumi to the Beat.” During flight (and within the Lumi app), kids can use their device’s camera to record their flight and stunts. There’s a library on the main menu to view those videos as well.
Free flight mode is pretty self-explanatory, but it’s still loads of fun. Lumi features one-touch actions and tricks, so unlike other drones where flyers have to keep their fingers on a throttle, the Lumi Gaming Drone does as operators command with the push of a button. Simply tap the “Take Off” button for example, and Lumi will rise to a height of about two feet and stabilize itself in autopilot mode. Then, flyers can tap the various on-screen buttons and watch the drone react. Kids can move the drone left and right, up and down, side to side, and do tricks such as sways, flips, and spirals. They can even control direction using the on-screen joystick. Tricks were incredibly easy to accomplish, and I found the drone to be very responsive to my commands. And don’t worry, there’s an abort button that will immediately shut the drone down in case of emergency. (I may or may not have used this a few times during my testing.)In “Build a Choreography” mode, flyers can choose a song from their personal music library and create an aerial routine for Lumi to follow by simply dragging and dropping actions onto a timeline. Once flyers are satisfied with their sequence, they can press the play button and watch Lumi dance to the beat and put on an air show for all to see. This feature was neat, and a simple interface made it easy to create my routine. It also teaches some basic programming skills, so no worries, Mom and Dad, it has built-in STEM learning.
With “Lumi to the Beat,” flight enthusiasts are challenged with following along with a color sequence as the drone hovers. It’s essentially a game of rhythm and reflexes. Remember that luminescent surface I mentioned earlier? As Lumi hovers in autopilot, blue, green, red, and yellow lights will flash on its body. At this point, it’s up to kids to follow along and press the appropriate color buttons on their mobile device. If they string together a number of correct hits, Lumi will respond with tricks. Check out the video below to see how “Lumi to the Beat” works.
WowWee’s Lumi Gaming Drone is not your average aerial toy. With one-touch tricks, dances, and interactive games that can be controlled through a phone or tablet, there’s no reason for kids not to get up and boogie alongside this dancing drone.