Biggs is the editor of TechCrunch Gadgets. Biggs has written for the New York Times, InSync, USA Weekend, Popular Mechanics, Popular Science, Money and a number of other outlets on technology and wristwatches. He is the former editor-in-chief of Gizmodo.com and lives in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. You can Tweet him here and G+ him here. → Learn More
For a mere $50 you, too, can own a small, iPhone-controlled helicopter made by a company that has been traditionally known for selling phone cases.
Like Parrot before them, Griffin is branching out from its traditional product line and offering this small dual-rotor helicopter that is, in general, controlled via IR commands sent using a special dongle attached to the iPhone. There is full tilt-to-steer control as well as on-screen power buttons.
The kit allows you to create three pre-recorded flight plans (“Go north, enter bedroom while wife is sleeping, drop peeled grape on her head” would be one of my favorites) and it charges via USB.
I’ve had horrible luck with IR-controlled helicopters lately – the last one I tried flew off onto a roof because it apparently mistook sunlight as a command to, well, fly away – but hopefully this inexpensive little flyer will work a bit better. Available now.