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

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

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

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?