Certain toys are cool no matter how old you are. LEGO is once example, and anything that is remote controlled is another. The latter has become a lot cheaper int he last few years, and those those $20 radio controlled helicopters are proof of how cheap the technology has become. Lately the RC market has started to bleed into the smartphone/tablet market, and Toy Fair 2011 that’s going on these days is packed full of such products.
The $300 Parrot AR Drone has already gotten a lot of press but is still as awesome as ever. It’s a quadricopter (4-bladed helicopter) that can be controlled from an iOS device, and it even has video cameras onboard that streams video to the controlling device. This can also be used for augmented reality games where you play various games using the real life helicopter as part of an on-screen game. As far as toys go, this one has to be one of the most awesome inventions ever.
If $300 is too much for you, you can grab a $20 TankBot once June comes around. As the above video from Engadget shows, it has several modes where one lets you control it from an iOS device. For $20 it’s hard to go wrong!
The Orbotix Sphero is another take on the RC craze altogether, which neither drives nor flies. It’s a robotic ball, and contrary to the two toys above this one can be controlled using an Android device. The light-up ball will roll wherever you want it to and is sure to make people wonder if there’s a monkey inside it.