Wednesday, December 06, 2006

PicoFlyer, the Furby of 2006

It's true that I tend to obsess about little hobby widgets. But this one is just too cool for words. A company in Norway called ProxFlyer has been developing tiny radio controlled helicopters for a few years now. More recently, they licensed some of the technology to a company called Interactive Toy Concepts which manufactured a toy for sale through Radio Shack last year. I tried to get one last year but they had sold out way before Christmas. Well, now they've outdone themselves. Check out their latest effort, the PicoFlyer.


Here are the stats from the ProxFlyer page:

Key specifications, components and materials used to build the small Picoflyer:



Main motors:
Tail motor:

Flight time:
    60 mm diameter (2 contra rotating 4-bladed rotors)
    Carbon rod 0.3 mm and 0.5 mm from WES-Technik
    Aramid 30 g/m2 fabric from CST, foam tape hinges
    72 mm long, 0.08 mm carbon plate, 0.3 mm rod,
    1.5 x 0.2 mm tube, brass bearings 0.7 mm from Didel

    4 x 8 mm, 11 ohm from Didel (2x)
    Plastic gears, module 0.2 from Didel (6.7 : 1)
    2.8 x 6 mm, 25 ohm from Shicoh, 0.16 grams
    1 x 3.7 V, 30 mAh Didel cell, 0.86 grams
    3 channels custom Plantraco 900 MHz radio control
    Atmel ATtiny26L with 3 x ESC
    Yaw control by differential speed of rotors
    Tail motor used for forward horizontal flight

    3.3 grams (incl. battery and control)
    Up to 1 minute, (0.5 minute continues)

Sadly, this one-off prototype isn't for sale, but you can get a slightly larger version manufactured by ITC at Radio Shack. Get 'em while they last. I'm ordering a bunch for all my nerd friends. And I might keep one for my four-year-old. Of course I'll have to help her learn how to fly it! Oh, and then I might also need another one for all the nifty little parts I could use on other projects....

Blog Image

Here's a video of the little copter in action.

High cool.


Anonymous said...

Boy, that'll drive the cats bonkers!

Anonymous said...

I want one of the new model! But where to fly it? I guess in the garage. Where is a parking building i could use in Atlanta? Phil

Anonymous said...

How about a high school gymnasium, thereby "killing [at least] two birds with one stone?" We had a guest speaker fly real birds of prey over an auditorium of students. Once you get good at piloting the thing, ...

Anonymous said...

We flew it in the living room. It should be noted, however, that this little critter cannot withstand the falling weight of a 21 month old. "Crunch!" :-(

Phillip Alvelda said...

True, it crunched. And what did I expect, really, doing low altitude passes by the toddlers. Fast little buggers, they turned out to be.

But now I have these nifty 3 channel radios hooked up to these nifty little motors....hmmmmm. What could I do with them now, I wonder?