US$60 Griffin HELO TC Helicopter at CES 2012

Loved the cute adorable Sphero Robotic Ball that you can control with your Apple iPhone, Apple iPad or Google Android smartphone as per my adoration piece The Apple iPhone as a Remote – The R2-D2 Effect of Orbotic’s Sphero Robotic Ball. Then back out your Scotia VISA Debit card and prepare to spend more of your cash on yet another toy that I would like to endorse for you smart smartphone owners as per my article StudyBlue reveals Smartphones, Tablets make you smarter – The Big Bang Theory on Google to tinker with in your spare time.

This time it’s the Griffin HELO TC Helicopter, which like the Sphero Robotic Ball from robotics Developers Orbotics (what a concept!!) made a good showing of itself at CES (Computer Electronics Show) 2012AD in Las Vegas, Nevada. It’s also strong evidence of the developing trend of toys being made for the Apple iPhone and other smartphones tied into gaming, the so called gaming add-ons that extend the game into our physical realm.

An update from its previous debut in the Summer of 2011AD priced at US$50, the Griffin HELO TC Helicopter is now priced at US$60. But for the extra US$10 bucks aside from the nostalgia of reliving episodes of Airwolf in your back yard, you get the fun of being able to use your Apple iPhone (sorry no android support at this time!!) to visit the same level of terror on your co-workers, children, friends and your cats, dogs and even flying pigeons (a favourite of mine!!).

Controllable over short ranges with the Infrared Dock that connects to your Apple iPhone that comes as part of the package, the Griffin HELO TC Helicopter is the added fun of the Sphero Robotic Ball but in the air! Best of all its foldable and easily fixable on the spot, making it a durable toy and relatively cheap too at US$60.

But it’s the other aspect of the Griffin HELO TC Helicopter that I like: modifiability. Albeit not originally designed to be modified, it can be done. With a little DIY (Do-it-yourself) tinkering with the Communications Electronics system, you can add on the following to your toy:

  • Wi-Fi Receiver
  • Mini Camera
  • Microphone
  • Mini PhotoVoltaic package

Voila!! A few hours on the workbench and your US$60 spend with you Scotia VISA debit card becomes a silent flying spy capable of unlimited flight far beyond your field of view. More interestingly, it would have true commercial value, as your modified Griffin HELO TC Helicopter would catch the eye of Entertainment and Broadcasting interests, eager to have an extra pair of eyes where they are not permitted.

A proverbial Fly on the Wall is the potential derived from the evolution of this toy with a little elbow grease from a simple spend of US$60 on the Griffin HELO TC Helicopter. Thus making the US$60 Griffin HELO TC Helicopter Apple iPhone’s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy!

Pidgeons, say HELO to my little flying friend…..

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Lindsworth is a Radio Frequency and Generator Maintenance Technician who has a knack for writing about his work, which is in the Telecoms Engineering Field. An inspired writer on themes as diverse as Autonomous Ants simulations, Power from Lightning and the current Tablet Wars.