Drones

PowerUp FPV – Paper Airplane VR Drone

Not that long ago, it would have been hard to believe that a paper airplane could be electrically powered and remotely-controlled. That was before the original PowerUp kit was launched, however. New features been added since, culminating in today's announcement of the upcoming PowerUp FPV – a kit that will equip your paper planes with motorized propellers and a first-person-view video camera.

PowerUp FPV lets you experience flight as if you were sitting in the cockpit of your very own paper airplane. Wearing your smartphone with a head-mounted display (Google cardboard viewer included), you see what your plane sees, controlling your paper drone with intuitive movements of your head.

We teamed up with the leading minds at Parrot® to create the world’s most incredible live streaming technology, giving you the thrill and exhilaration of flying up to 300 feet in the air! Pledge today and join us in experiencing flight like you never have before. It’s about to get real – really, really real – and we hope you come along for the ride!

The user controls the plane and views its real-time video via a smartphone app, from a maximum distance of 300 ft (91 m). This can be done either via a touchscreen interface, or by tilting the phone from side to side. The latter option means that the phone could be mounted in a VR device such as Google Cardboard, with the user then steering simply by moving their head.

As an added bonus, the camera can be panned relative to the plane before taking off, so users aren’t stuck with only forward-facing video.

PowerUp will be launching a Kickstarter campaign in November, to raise production funds for the FPV. Assuming it’s successful, the kit should be available next summer (Northern Hemisphere), priced at US$199. You can see a prototype in action, in the video below.

PowerUp FPV lets you see the world from a paper plane’s point of view

  • 89%
    Good video quality - 89%
  • 98%
    Easy to assemble and fly - 98%
  • 87%
    Camera can point forward or back - 87%
  • 65%
    Expensive - 65%
  • 73%
    Video was glitch-y on our test unit - 73%
82%

PowerUp FPV drone

An electronic paper airplane, the PowerUp is a lightweight flying machine toting a live streaming camera — FPV stands for “first person view”, for the VR headset you can use with it. None of that’s really new, but the cool part of the PowerUp is that’s not only constructed from heavy-duty paper, you can fold your own designs as well. And when used with a VR headset like Google Cardboard, you can steer the plane by moving your head. It’s in the final stages of an already 400%-funded Kickstarter campaign where it’s selling for $179 (around AU$255 or £120), though there are plans to bring it to retail soon for $199, or $149 without the headset (AU$280/AU$210; £135/£100).

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