One of the larger presences at this years Toy Fair was the Parrot AR Drone, a quadricopter (four bladed helicopter). Obviously a large part of that was because you need a big physical area if you’re going to be demoing large flying toys. What’s interesting about the AR Drone is that you can control it with your iPod Touch, iPhone or iPad using a combination of screen presses and tilting of your device (accelerometer controlled). Here’s a quick video I took where you can see the mechanics of it’s flight:
What you can’t see is the coolest part about this drone- it has a pair of video cameras on it and you can use your iPhone to not only pilot it but to see a live view with the cameras. One wide angle camera faces front and the other is underneath it facing downwards. It has an automatic takeoff system where it floats 2.5 feet up at the push of a button ready for you to pilot it away. There’s even a downloadable app you can use to play a chase style game against your friend’s AR Drone.
It’s made of a lightweight but durable plastic to remain intact when it inevitably crashes. The blades also stop spinning on contact as a safety precaution. The Parrot AR Drone is available now at Amazon for a bit under $300.