Feeds
80%
Griffin Helo TC iPhone-controlled helicopter

Griffin Technology Helo TC

Remote control micro-copter, anyone?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Geek Treat of the Week Parrot’s AR.Drone quad 'copter has been quite a hit with the radio control crowd, but its £300 price tag puts it out of most people’s price range. Griffin’s new Helo TC, on the other blade, is affordable enough to be a fun little treat for the more casual weekend flier.

Griffin Helo TC iPhone-controlled helicopter

The Helo is a miniature helicopter, measuring about 188mm long and equipped with a small rechargeable battery. It’s lightweight in design, and Griffin does warn that it’s intended for indoor use only. Be warned: it may not enjoy encounters with trees.

Griffin Helo TC iPhone-controlled helicopter

The Flight Deck unit clipped to an iPhone 4

You can charge the Helo through its bundled USB cable in about half an hour, and the battery provides about eight minutes of continual flight. That seemed a bit rubbish to me, but the RC brigade seems to accept that as about par for the course for a gadget of this size and price.

Griffin Helo TC iPhone-controlled helicopter

The second hardware component is the Flight Deck, an infra-red transmitter that clips onto your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad, and then plugs into its audio jack in order to transmit control signals from the Helo TC app. The bad news here is that the Flight Deck requires four AAA batteries of its own, and there aren’t any included with the Helo so you’ll have to provide those yourself.

Griffin Helo TC iPhone-controlled helicopter

The Helo app provides two different control modes. I found it easiest to start with the "joystick" mode, which displays a touch-sensitive virtual joystick on the screen of your iDevice.

Once you get more of a feel for flying you can switch into "motion" mode, which allows you to control the Helo by tilting the handset instead. This takes some practice.

Griffin Helo TC iPhone-controlled helicopter software
RH Recommended Medal

All this is embarrassingly good fun, especially once you get the hang of the motion mode and start swooping around more freely. The app could be improved – the throttle control isn’t very sensitive, and the app never tells you the amount of power left in the Flight Deck batteries, so if the Helo doesn’t respond properly you have no way of knowing whether it’s the one of two sets of batteries or some other problem. ®

Geek Treat of the Week is published every Monday. Got a handy or fun gadget in mind you'd like us to consider? Please let us know

More Geek Treats

House of Marley
Exodus
Olloclip ThumbsUp
Black
Diamond
Byte-dock M-Audio
Keystation
Mini 32

The essential guide to IT transformation

80%
Griffin Helo TC iPhone-controlled helicopter

Griffin Technology Helo TC

Tiny in size, big in fun remote-control helicopter flown with your iDevice.
Price: £35 RRP

More from The Register

next story
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Samsung Gear S: Quick, LAUNCH IT – before Apple straps on iWatch
Full specs for wrist-mounted device here ... but who'll buy it?
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Now that's FIRE WIRE: HP recalls 6 MILLION burn-risk laptop cables
Right in the middle of Burning Mains Man week
HUGE iPAD? Maybe. HUGE ADVERTS? That's for SURE
Noo! Hand not big enough! Don't look at meee!
AMD unveils 'single purpose' graphics card for PC gamers and NO ONE else
Chip maker claims the Radeon R9 285 is 'best in its class'
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?