The parrot inspired by a dragonfly
This is possibly the ultimate app for your iPhone. A French team have designed a toy helicopter which is controlled by an iPhone, using wifi. Strictly speaking it is not a helicopter, but a quadricopter (four rotors, one at each corner). It is called the Parrot AR.Drone and the team drew their inspiration from the dragonfly.
It is equipped with two cameras: one on its belly to calculate its speed and another on its nose that streams its field of vision back to the phone’s screen. The view on the iPhone, or iTouch, is from the front-mounted camera giving you a pilot’s view and not only making it easier to fly, but also adding to the pleasure. The company say they will use the quadricopter in future games, making use of augmented reality.
The device, I hesitate to call it a mere toy, measures its speed, performs spectacular hovers and even compensates for turbulence using embedded accelerometers and gyroscopes. This technology has only previously been seen in professional and military applications. As yet, there is no word on the price. A promotional video is available from the Vodpod section, bottom right hand side of this page.