How to fly a model helicopter from your iphone.

This is a strange ‘how to’ but these things are so cool I couldn’t help writing something about them – the ardrone – a helicopter controlled by your iPhone with a camera on the front that transmits the image to your iPhone screen! 

They are a ‘quadro-coptor’ – helicopter with 4 propellors, they have a camera in the front, they are controlled by your iphone, and you can see the image (640×480 resolution) from the iphone as you fly them. Basically this is one of those spy drone’s you see in the movies. And they are only $299. It’s incredible that something so powerful can be so cheap. They market it as a games device –  I’m wondering if there would be all kinds of privacy issues if they marketed it as a spy drone!

It has some built in intelligence so that it will auto-pilot itself if you stop controlling it, and I love this bit – ‘if you receive a call while flying the quadricopter, the autopilot stabilizes it and lands after few seconds.’

It can fly at 18km/hr for 12min on one battery, and operates by wi-fi so I’m guessing about a 50m range in open air.

They are for sale from for US$299, or check out the ardrone website, I’d love to hear from anyone who has one!


One response to “How to fly a model helicopter from your iphone.”

  1. Boyto

    We have three at work, for work purposes of course. Several people are planning on buying their own now after playing with them. They are rather cool, the video cameras work reasonably well. They are slightly laggy, I’ve heard bad things about the latest firmware and work better on an iPhone 4 than an iPhone 3G, but I’ve found them a lot of fun. I haven’t tried them outdoors yet though.

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