Another affordable iPhone helicopter follows the Parrot AR Drone.
French gadget maker Parrot was first with an iPhone controlled helicopter breaking cover last year. The Parrot AR Drone is still the most advanced iPhone controlled device, but it comes with a steep $299.99 price-tag. Other gadget makers are now offering iPhone helicopters with less features at lower price-points in hopes to ride on the Parrot AR success and get to the mass market.
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Griffin is the latest entry into the iPhone Helicopter segment with the introduction of the Griffin Helo TC at a low $49.99 price.
HELO TC is a twin-rotored, indoor helicopter built on a lightweight metal frame with a black polycarbonate body. It comes with a Flight Deck infrared module, which plugs into an iOS device to transmit control signals to the helicopter. Two modes of flight are available: Touch Control, using the Multi-Touch display to control HELO TC’s throttle and joystick; and Tilt to Steer mode, which uses the iOS device’s accelerometers: tilting the iOS device moves the helicopter forward, back, and side to side. The app can record and store up to three Flight Plans so you, or another pilot, can repeat a favorite flight pattern easily.
HELO TC’s built-in battery recharges from any USB power source, including your computer’s USB port. The Flight Deck module, powered by 4 AAA batteries, plugs into the iOS device’s headphone jack.
The Griffin Helo TC is on sale now at the Griffin Shop (currently sold out) and supposed to hit other retailers in time for the holidays.
See also the iRemoco iPhone helicopter, which is also a lower cost alternative to the Parrot AR drone. THe major advantage of the Parrot AR, besides its flight capabilities is the live video feed, missing in both low-cost iPhone helicopters.