iPad-controlled helicopter hits US shelves in September

AR.Drone toy can also be controlled by an iPhone or iPod Touch

Pad-controlled helicopter hits US shelves in September

Pad-controlled helicopter hits US shelves in September

A helicopter that wirelessly sends video to its controlling iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch will be available in the U.S. in September, France-based Parrot announced this week at the E3 game expo in Los Angeles.

The AR.Drone made its debutat the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January and will sell for US$299 when it goes on sale later this year.

To see video of the helicopter at CES 2010 click here.

The helicopter has four fans that allow it to fly in any direction. It streams video from the cameras mounted on its front and bottom back to the controlling device. The software on the phone includes controls to increase and decrease the altitude of the toy and tilting the phone controls the motion of the helicopter.

At first the AR.Drone will be controlled by Apple products, but Parrot has made an SDK available and anticipates that the controlling software will soon become available on other platforms.

Henri Seydoux, founder of Parrot, said during a phone interview that the reason the company didn't develop the platform for Android initially was because it wasn't available when the company started working on the AR.Drone five years ago.

He said that the target audience is children and gamers and that Parrot set out to "make it easy to fly by any kid."

In one of the augmented reality games the object is to destroy an enemy plane. There is also a two-player mode that also takes advantage of the system's AR capabilities.

In addition to AR.FreeFlight, Parrot announced two other games: AR.Dronegate and AR.FlyingAce. They will be available in the Apple App Store for $2.99 each. The FreeFlight game will be free.

Trusting a $300 helicopter in the hands of a child could spell disaster, but Seydoux was adamant that the AR.Drone could stand up to it. "The AR.Drone is very strong and is made of high grade plastic and carbon fiber," he said. "You can repair everything with just one screwdriver."

Parrot will sell replacement parts between $5 and $40.

Going on sale just before the holiday rush, Seydoux hopes that it sells well, but wouldn't commit to any sales projections.

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags iPadgamesapple ipadE3 2010

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Nick Barber

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

James Cook University - Master of Data Science Online Course

Learn more >

Mobile

Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?