Every time I visit CES, I like to dig around looking for something other than the usual big-brand announcements, and this year is no exception. My favorite off-the-beaten-path thing of the year so far? The ID-1SWAT copter from RotorConcept.
I’ve seen plenty of remote-controlled cars and helicopters over the years, but I can honestly say this is the first one that I’ve seen that starts out driving on the ground, then instantly takes to the air.
We featured this 8-rotor helicopter a few months ago, and even then it was pretty evident that the DraganFlyer X8 is not meant for recreation. Now that it’s been released and we can see it’s specs and configurations, you can definitely cross out this thing on your Christmas wish list.
Breaking news! Three kids were harassed this past Halloween by an unidentified flying object. Its body was white and shapeless, it had a menacing expression, and it had rotor blades for arms:
Creepy eh? Actually, that’s Mr.
All Dr. Evil wanted was sharks with frickin’ laser beams on their heads. For now, he will have to settle for helicopters with bad attitudes instead. A group of researchers at the University of Michigan has figured out how to use lasers that can survive the stress of helicopter flight to confuse missiles into not hitting their intended target.
I really thought the Parrot AR.Drone was sweet when I first saw it. The thing is a four-propeller helicopter device with a camera you can control from your iPhone. I know the AR.Drone is really just a toy, and the Draganflyer X8 makes it look just like the toy it is.
This remote-controlled Millennium Falcon seems to have had a slight design modification from the one in the movies. Instead of giant hyperthrusters (or whatever they’re called on the back of the real Falcon), this version is propelled vertically into flight like a helicopter.
The University of Pennsylvania’s autonomous quadrotor helicopter reminds me of a dog. It’s just waiting to be unleashed, to do tricks, to zip from one place to another.
It can do backflips, even triple backflips, pass through narrow spaces without breaking a sweat, and can even be upgraded with Velcro.
If you didn’t already have enough of James Cameron’s Avatar, you can get more of it thanks to this awesome LEGO Avatar Battle Helicopter. Before you start drooling, there’s more to it than meets the eye, so read on!
I have to say that I have always wanted to pilot a radio-controlled helicopter, though I’ve learned that doing so isn’t as easy as I initially had thought. Experienced R/C pilots have told me that helicopters are really hard to pilot.
This new toy is so cool that I’m almost speechless. It’s a quadricopter and it’s got a camera on board!
The AR.Drone from Parrot is one amazing toy. It can be controlled via iPhone or iPod Touch thanks to WiFi and it will provide a live video stream of what it sees.
Here’s another one of them MAVs that’ll soon be flying all over the place. A group of MIT students – Abe Bachrach, Anton de Winter, Ruije He, Garrett Hemann and Sam Prentice (I think I got +10 to my IQ after spelling their names) – developed an autonomous flight system that could sweep and analyze it’s environment in real-time.