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CES 2014: A Powered, Remote Control Paper Airplane (Video) 28

Posted by Roblimo
from the off-we-go-into-the-wild-blue-yonder-with-our-powered-paper-airplane dept.
Shai Goitein started with a powered paper airplane, the PowerUp 1, which was pretty cool. But he didn't stop there. The PowerUp 3 is a powered paper airplane you control with your smartphone. He calls this "a mixture of origami and technology." He also says it's a great toy, class project or whatever for the younger set, since kids start making paper airplanes at the age of six or seven. Adults? Why not? This is obviously a suitable toy for anyone with a two-digit (or three-digit) age number. And PowerUp 3.0 is a Kickstarter-funded project, with (at this writing) $928,091 pledged -- against a $50,000 goal, with another 15 days of Kickstarter funding left to go. There's also a smartphone-controlled PowerUp paper boat kit. Unlike the PowerUp airplane kits, it's not sold out (at this writing). Yet.

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CES 2014: A Powered, Remote Control Paper Airplane (Video)

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  • I have one of those $15 remote control helicoptors that uses a smart phone as the control. It's difficult to work because you have to look at the screen to make sure you still have your thumb over the throttle/"joystick" while at the same time looking at the aircraft. It has a motion control mode too, but that only helps with steering and very precise steering is needed.

    If it's cheap enough, it might make a cool remote control unit and it'd be great if it has an affordable camera.
    • well, kickstarter says you can get one for $30 -- but if they hit $2m in pledges, they're incorporating a pinhole camera to the design.
      Raising $1m (which looks like it'll likely happen) will enable "dogfight" mode where the first person to hit the fire button once two planes are close enough to each other will cause the other plane's engine to stall. They've already passed the multi-control (big plane with multiple engines, or multiple planes flying in tandem) and Android targets.

    • by locopuyo (1433631)
      Well it runs on bluetooth so you could potentially pair it with a PC or other devices and use any input device you want.
      I have a Sphero (remote control ball) that uses bluetooth and is meant to be controlled with a smartphone, but I paired it with my PC and use a program that allows me to control it with a wireless Xbox 360 controller. It is much easier to control with a 360 controller and a lot more fun to use.
  • so what if it sucks?
  • Waiting for the NSA and /or CIA to weaponize this paper airplane and make it into a wee little drone.
  • Bluetooth (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TubeSteak (669689) on Thursday January 09, 2014 @07:01PM (#45911953) Journal

    How hard would it be to make a basic two or three channel RC controller that can handle bluetooth 4.0?

    I'm a long time RC hobbyist and I lament the accelerating trend of using X hundred dollars worth of touchscreen + tilt sensors for the controller.
    It's the difference between using a gamepad and a keyboard/mouse.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      Not hard, but the range would be pretty limited for RC.

      • by TubeSteak (669689)

        Not hard, but the range would be pretty limited for RC.

        Well... the range is mostly limited by the tiny antenna in the cell phone.
        You can take a bog standard bluetooth dongle and extend the range over half a mile by focusing its output with some form of waveguide.

        With a bluetooth capable rc controller, you can do two things:
        1. use a significantly larger antenna than anything you'll find in an iProduct
        2. crank up the transmit power higher than any normal phone/computer based bluetooth transmitter.

        It's the same reason the range on my 2.4ghz cordless phone doesn't

        • If you're any good with a small soldering iron, you can take a micro-USB cable and a mini-USB cable, hook up a battery and a AWUS036NH 2W wifi adapter, and have wifi control 1/2 mile away from your cell phone. Maybe farther, depending on conditions. It's small, it's portable, and it' legal.
  • by geekoid (135745)

    "This is obviously a suitable toy for anyone with a two-digit "
    Stop underestimating children. My son was flying an RC helicopter at 8.

  • If you could move the rudder aft of the prop, you'd gain thrust vectoring. I'm not an engineer, but I'm guessing that would mean better low speed control, but it would be dependent on throttle? I'm sure it's designed the way it is for simplicity, but I'd love to tinker with this.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      If you could move the rudder aft of the prop, you'd gain thrust vectoring. I'm not an engineer, but I'm guessing that would mean better low speed control, but it would be dependent on throttle? I'm sure it's designed the way it is for simplicity, but I'd love to tinker with this.

      You could, but the corollary is that you need to apply more force to move the rudder and therefore increase the power requirements and weight of components required to move the rudder.

    • The thing is, with a paper airplane, you've pretty much got a fixed-speed device (depending on design) with thrust adjusting the incline more than the speed. I haven't seen too many paper airplane designs with a slow enough glide to really benefit from having the rudder aft of the prop.

      But with published APIs and a pretty modular hardware design, you could probably modify it yourself and write your own controller app.

  • Would be nice if controlling it meant you could direct it.

Some people claim that the UNIX learning curve is steep, but at least you only have to climb it once.

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