Ever wanted to see how the world looks like from aboard an RC paper plane? Physically, that’s still impossible, but PowerUp FPV’s live streaming camera can help you achieve a similar effect.
The first ever paper plane drone with a live streaming camera was developed by PowerUp Toys in collaboration with Parrot, a French company who already has plenty of experience in designing and manufacturing UAVs.
One of the first things you’ll notice about the PowerUp FPV is that it comes as a DIY kit, so it will be your job to put it together. The live streaming camera, which plays a very important role here, uses a dual-band MIMO antenna that helps it stream even when the paper plane is 300 feet away from you.
Controlling the drone can be done using either Head Mounted Gestures or an in-app gamepad. In case you don’t want to spend too much on a VR headset, you can use your phone with Google Cardboard. PowerUp Toys should launch a VR headset along with the RC paper airplane, just to make sure that the customers won’t be looking to buy one elsewhere.
The drone even has an auto-pilot mode, so you don’t always have to worry about flying it. When entering this mode, keeping the drone high becomes the job of a 3-axis compass sensor, a 3-axis gyroscope sensor, a 3-axis accelerometer, and a barometer.
Given how light this drone is, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that it gets pretty fast. In fact, it can travel up to 20mph (32kmph) for up to 10 minutes, on a single removable rechargeable Li-Po cell battery. As someone wittily pointed out on Gizmodo, that’s 9 years that the average life expectancy for an RC airplane.
PowerUp FPV still qualifies as a drone, so it is susceptible to such new contraptions as the DroneDefender, a rifle that uses disruptive radio waves to take down such UAVs. Not to rain on your parade, but not everyone is happy to see things carrying cameras flying close to their property. The last thing you’d want to see while piloting your drone is a neighbor of yours handling one of these bad boys.
PowerUp Toys are looking to launch a crowdfunding campaign in November (a countdown is posted on the company’s website) on Kickstarter, where it plans to take pre-orders for the RC paper plane drone. Provided that the funding goal (which most probably won’t be made public prior to the project’s launch) is met, anyone pledging $200 or more will get their paper plane, the live streaming camera and a VR headset in the summer of 2016. That may seem like a lot of time, but if you live in the northern hemisphere, the weather isn’t particularly friendly with paper planes this time of the year, anyway, so waiting just a little bit longer shouldn’t bother you.