Imagine playing a helicopter combat simulator on your phone. Imagine it with crazy-realistic graphics. Now imagine that it’s no simulation — you’re controlling a helicopter over wifi! The imaginary subset of what you were imagining was in fact not imaginary. Mind blown.

If Santa told you you could have anything in the world except a Nexus S, easy decision bro, just give Santa the URL for this article. And maybe take some Thorazine just in case that was a hallucination – or let it ride because that’s a good trip now that I think about it, discussing things with Santa, especially if you have a shot at getting the Nexus S. Which begs the question, what if you delusionally (yet prudently) asked a hallucinated Santa for some antipsychotics in a psychotic state and took them, would they work (at least within your fantasy world)? Bet they didn’t cover that in Inception, chief.

Returning to Earth, dig this, I’mma hit you with some insane Youtube action:

It’s one of those RC quadricopters (no, it doesn’t look like Airwolf) with a drone twist, juiced up with some autonomous functions like making it easier for you to fly if you suck at flying, to hover or land if you lose the connection. Altimeter, yaw precision gyroscopes and whatever for that stability stuff. Indoors and out, can handle light wind like it’s nobody’s business. Two cameras, one in front, one below, perfect for antagonizing TSA employees and for innocently looking around military facilities, Indonesian prison yards and nude beaches. Also, for seeing what happens if you to the other side of the Korean DMZ. Name a better way to do that than with this thing. You can’t. You can’t do it. Sucka.

For whatever reason it has 128MB of DDR RAM, an ARM9 RISC processor at 468MHz (no word from xda yet on overclocking…), a USB socket and guess what, it runs Linux. You and your rich buddies can buy several, put different color hulls on them and play augmented reality laser tag in your apartment or dorm room. I’m serious.

Also works on iPod Touches and iPads. No Apple device? Hang in there boss, other platform support (Android obviously) is on the way. They’re going for $300 on Amazon (I know, ouch), though, hey, the app is free. Set up a VPN and fly the remote controlled chopper even more remotely for extra nerd points.

Doug Simmons, via Geeky Gadgets


  1. Let’s put together a wish list of suggestions for the guys who make this for what we’d want added or modified as a gesture of appreciation for our plugging their product:

    Imagine this thing with a cellular transceiver instead of wifi. You could go on missions. How sick would that be? How about a little more juice than 1000mAh which is less than our cellphones? The record for an electric RC helicopter is more than an hour and a half, probably much longer for a plane.

    And instead of an iphone controlling it, an Apple TV in high def so you can see more instruments (oh yeah, put in more sensors, including radar) and get higher definition, though you’d want much higher resolution cameras on it, especially the one aiming down. Plug in one of those multiple axis joysticks for easier control.

    And in addition to the cellular, also a redundant satellite link in case AT&T lets you down or to offload the vertical camera stream onto. Possibly microwave too. If you’ve got the satellite link, you could always switch to the satellite link in order to power up some cell phone signal jammers which you can find on the web.

    Also replace the virtual laser tag stuff with a 12-barrel potato cannon. The 468MHz chip may need to be overclocked to hander the higher resolution, but the need for that could be offset as the potato cannon doesn’t require as much CPU juice to operate as this virtual combat stuff.

    And some servos to control the front camera that could be operated by a friend, mounting the camera on the cannon so that you can see what you’re aiming at, killing two birds with the same amount of servos. Or potatoes I should say!

    Also I suppose you’d want to make the fuselage profile very narrow for radar evasion, might as well throw in some chaffes and other countermeasures. Maybe another potato cannon with the vertical camera in order to shoot straight down with better accuracy, gravity working as your friend.

    I guess basically what I’m trying to say is the Predator drone meets the A10 Thunderbolt meets the Apache meets a fixed wing version of what these guys made — that’s my contribution to the wish list. That would be pretty cool.

    They might want some cash for a few of those things. Where are we on our budget?

    (That’s my Kim Jong-un impression)

  2. I’ve always had iPhone envy when seeing this in action. The API is available and apparently they are interested in development on other platforms. Maybe I’ll download and look at this for .NET.

  3. Two weeks from today…

    AP (New York, NY) – A man identified as Doug Simmons (aka Battery Boss) was arrested outside a US Naval Airstation trying to take control on a Naval MQ-8B Firescout drone.

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