It’s been said before but I’ll say it again: drones are cool, and lots of people want to own them and operate them for reasons. Be it for work or for play, for delivering stuff to taking video or simply for the sheer leisure of it, drones are a hot tech commodity these days. And I should know because I’ve seen the toy sections of our local malls and department stores having stocks of drones. While most of them have just been nothing but droned-up RC choppers and nothing more, there have also been a number of actual camera-equipped drones that can work in concert with smartphones to view and save footage. Now a new category of leisure drones are being introduced by drone manufacturer Propel, one that’s sure to catch a wide fancy due to being official merchandise of one very popular franchise brand.
Digital Trends reports that Propel is releasing a collection of “battle drones” modeled to look like four iconic vehicles from the “Star Wars” media franchise. These include the Millennium Falcon space freighter, the Imperial Speeder Bike from “Return of the Jedi” and TIE Advanced Fighter used by Darth Vader, as well as the Rebel Alliance X-Wing fighter. All drones are of the under-rotor quad-copter design, and the rotors are made of clear polymer material that becomes “invisible” when in full rotation, making it appear as if the drones are flying “as is”. They’re large enough to sit in your hand, but sculpted with intricate detail like they were scale models for hobbyists.
But these drones are not for sitting on a shelf. As mentioned earlier they are designed for aerial “dogfights”, facilitated by laser emitters and sensors built into their chasses. The locations of the lasers are even accurate to the blaster placements of each respective vehicle as seen in the “Star Wars” films, which is another detail for fans to geek at. Anyway, how they work for battle is that they can engage other drones of the Propel “Star Wars” collection, for a maximum of 12 participants at once, where they can blast their lasers away at the enemy trying to hit their sensor target points. Once a drone has been “shot” enough times, they’re considered “eliminated” and automatically descend to the ground. The mechanics of the battle are handled by each drone’s remote control unit, which tracks a player’s “kill count” and drone “armor gauge”, and even blare out a selection of “Star Wars” themes for more immersion.
The Propel “Star Wars” battle drones have a max speed of 35 miles/hour and a max range of 200 feet. They’re officially licensed merchandise and come with a mobile app for keeping game data.
Price has been set for $239 each. To paraphrase Obi-Wan Kenobi, “These are the drones you’ve been looking for. Move along and buy” this holiday season.
Photo Credit to http://www.theverge.com/