CES 2010: AR Drone from Parrot is a helicopter you can control with your iPhone

ces 1-4 parrot-ar-drone-homepage.jpg

CES has thrown up a few little surprises as well as the serious gadgets you’d expect. Take the augmented reality helicopter that you can control with you iPhone for example. Oh yes. The AR Drone Quadricopter (that’s a four propeller helicopter) is a game accessory made by Parrot and looks like loads of fun.

Controlled by either an iPhone or an iPod touch, the AR Drone lifts up and flies. Raise the iPhone and the copter raises, tilt to the left and the device tilts to the left. The Drone boasts two cameras: one for controlling the device and another which streams images back to the iPhone/touch.

Just make sure you don’t take a phone call while controlling it or someone’s window is going to take a hit.

It’s great fun as a standalone remote control toy. But where the AR Drone gets really fun is when the augmented reality kicks in and you can use the helicopter as part of a game. While flying the copter in the real world, you can compete against other copters in virtual airspace over the web using a specially created Parrot site.

Parrot is also issuing an SDK in the hope that developers will create even more fun uses for the device. There’s no firm price yet but Techdigest suggest a figure of around $500.

[via TechDigest]

See all stories from CES 2010 here

Anna Leach