We don't usually cover toys here but this Parrot AR.Drone uses an iPhone app to pilot it, so it managed to slip through.
Essentially, the Parrot AR.Drone is a remote-controlled 'quadricopter', only this time the remote is on your iPhone.
Get two together, and the pilots can pit the drones against each other, using a game-like interface on the app. A front-mounted camera broadcasts what it sees to the iPhone and 'augments' reality when it recognises another drone, or a pre-tagged obstacle.
The drone moves with the aid of an accelerometer and two gyrometers, an ultrasound sensor and two cameras, one of which is front-mounted while the other is bottom-mounted in order to gauge speed and turbulence.
It's not really clear why you would need a physical, battery-draining drone to act out your virtual game for you - especially when it appears the drones don't do much more than whizz by each other while making 'peow peow' shooting noises.
Still, it looks like they can perform some pretty cool flight maneouvres, so as a purely RC toy they might still thrill the right crowd - but probably not gamers. Check it out for yourself, and see the Parrot drones do their thing in these demo videos.
The Parrot AR.Drone is available for purchase in Dick Smith, YooBee and EB Games stores across New Zealand for $499 RRP
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