May 11, 2007

Remote Controlled FlyTech Dragonfly

There is a new toy in town. It is not just a simple remote controlled toy, but an impressive toy with quality engineering. The WowWee's FlyTech Dragonfly is a new flying robot that flies like a real bug!. I wish I can get hold of one when it is available in Japan. Attached is the review by PC Magazine.

(PC Magazine) With its translucent wings and Styrofoam (actually Expanded Polypropylene) body, WowWee's new FlyTech Dragonfly doesn't look as if it would withstand 5 minutes of flight time, let alone the repeated dives and wall collisions I subjected it to. Yet it did.

Produced by the company that brought you the Robosapien, Roboraptor, and other interesting robo-creations including the king himself, this remote-controlled flying toy is not a robot. It is, however, an impressive piece of engineering that imitates life in its own weird way. The affordable toy is essentially a bug that can flap its four wings (two up and two down, with a wing-span of roughly 16 inches) with enough speed to launch from your hand or the floor. A rotor on its long tail controls the flight direction. (There's also a spare rear propeller in the package.) The Dragonfly ships with a rather large but not unwieldy remote that offers three controls. The left toggle is for wing flapping speed, the right one for turning left or right and a dial around the on-off button adjusts the trim, the overall steering direction (in case your Dragonfly always cruises left or right).

Designed for those ages 8 years and up, the toy was fairly easy to set up and use. A charging cable is hidden inside its 0.8-ounce body; press a button to open the hidden compartment and then find something small (like a pencil) to budge the charging cable out of its space. It's not the best design, but I got used to it. The Dragonfly has two glowing blue LEDs for eyes, which pulse gently during the required 20-minute charge. There's also a small magnet embedded into the belly; it pairs with a small magnet on the charger. This is supposed to give the flying toy a secure base to rest on during a charge, but my Dragonfly tended to slip off its perch. Not a big deal, just a little annoying.

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