Drone Toys - FAQ
A drone toy is a flying quadcopter helicopter that is radio controlled. It is specifically designed for tablet or mobile operating systems to control with supported Android or iOS with the unofficial software or app that is available for Samsung BADA, Windows Phone, or Symbian devices.
The drone was actually shown during the International CES 2010 held at Las Vegas together with the demonstration of particular iOS apps to control it. The apps are designed to operate the drone and allow the user to play in solo games or even interact in combat simulations with other drones.
The drone’s airframe is built with carbon fiber parts and nylon and it measures 22 inches or 57 centimeters across. Within the airframe are supplied two hulls that are interchangeable, one for indoor and the other for external flight. Made with foam, the indoor hull encases blades for security. The hull for outdoors is lightweight plastic that enables for more maneuvrability. Overall, the drone comes with 6 degrees of freedom with an inertial measurement unit that is miniaturized tracking the roll, yaw, and pitch for stabilization.
The airframe is filled with sensors to assist the drone’s flight that enables the interface employed by pilots for simpler and easier advanced flight. An onboard computer with Linux operating system is used to communicate with the pilot along with a Wi-Fi. Ultrasonic altimeter is included in the onboard sensors for vertical stabilization that is up to 19 feet and 8 inches or simply 6 meters. The 15-watt powered rotors with brushless motors that are powered with 11.1 volt of lithium polymer battery. This gives flight time of approximately 12 minutes in speed of 11mph. Together with the software for piloting device, the drone’s camera allows making 3D environment, validating shots, and tracking drones and objects in amplified reality games.
The original drone was descended by the version 2.0 that was exposed during CES Las Vegas 2012. The product was even more improved for greater functionality with the development of bigger ecosystem in supporting pilots. The drone 2.0 has equipment that is upgraded for improved drone’s function. The camera’s quality was improved as well and onboard sensors are more sensitive to allow greater control.
An enhanced ultrasound altimeter was added with air pressure sensor that allows balanced and more stabilized flight. Also, improved resources for onboard computer and updated Wi-Fi hardware for newer standard. The sensor improvements have upgraded the gyroscope for 3-axis version with 3-axis magnetometer and accelerometer.
Additionally, drones were even developed with flight recorder for this version with added 4GB storage together with GPS navigation and tracking. It allows pilots for flight path definition through selected waypoints series for the drone to follow. This is the official support in desktop apps for piloting drones. The extended battery is designed for increased flight time of up to 50%.
Applications and Drones
The drone is providing great piloting function and has ability in taking videos and photos. Drones provide piloting capabilities through iOS devices and allow pilots for video recording and image capturing through the onboard cameras. Originally, drones allow pilots to control it through tilting the device and converted data from the onboard accelerometer for flight controls. Though, it is not presently available for iOS users.
The on screen controls give joy-stick style movement as well as other functions that enable pilots to play games, perform aerobatics, and update the drone’s firmware. The apps are also integrated for pilots to map or even share flight information with other drone users.
Multi-player Game Apps
Another kind of drone can provide for piloting as well as multiplayer game apps. The user can define the race course using a target with starting and finishing line. The drone can detect when it has crossed the line and then records its flight time. Users can also invite other drone users to play race with scores aggregated in leaderboard. Applications were updated to comprise fundamental piloting controls. Particular drones are only for iOS devices.
Single-player Reality App
The single-player drone with augmented reality app for iOS devices uses a target to make 3D environment where the pilot needs to perform certain tasks. The game’s objective is to build a rocket from the pieces which are placed by the drone’s software in the physical environment. Together with the pieces, enemies are created that the drone must combat. This drone can record the time taken in order to complete the task successfully.
This amplified multiplayer game allows pilots to appoint virtual weapons for human target in 3D space. The pilot and the human target have the app installed on the iOS devices and the human target utilizes theirs in order to fire virtual weapons to the drone. The drone recognizes and engages with the target through wearing colored cap. But of course, the game can also be played without wearing the cap only that, the drone cannot engage with the human target and the pilot should instead avoid attack or detection.
Functions and Restrictions
The launch of drone toys have received Electronic Gaming Hardware award from 2010 CES Innovations. The initial release has generated concern from individuals, organizations as well as governments to use drones for surveillance. The required technology to record and feed live videos from unmanned aerial vehicles subsisted before the release of drones was not widely available to the public.
In Germany, drones are perceived as privacy threat because of its cameras in aerial platforms. In the UK, drones are concerned to demonstrate illegal use. In the United States, using drones are subject to the restrictions of the Federal Aviation Administration and are not allowed to be utilized for commercial purposes.
These restrictions will then be changed as the FAA will be releasing set of rules for commercial drones.