Already thinking of a really out-of-the-box gift for the December holidays? How about a tiny paper airplane drone controlled by your smartphone that can do loops, flicks and barrel rolls?
That’s the goal of Israeli startup Powerup, which already has a solid track record of building remote-controlled paper planes.
The company’s first product, Powerup 3, raised $1.2 million on Kickstarter in 2013. The follow-up FPV model put a streaming video camera on the plane and raised $492,000. The FPV won the 2017 Innovation Award at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
The Powerup DART is the company’s latest product and it’s ready to do a variety of aerobatic tricks – including spins, lazy 8s, scissors and hammerheads. Like the previous Powerup planes, all you have to do is fold the small paper airplane (two are provided), attach a small control module, and you’re ready to impress your plane-flying buddies.
Powerup CEO and founder Shai Gotein says the planes are made of an “indestructible” carbon fiber and nylon-reinforced plastic with a rubber tip, built to withstand crashes. The plane is so small you don’t need to register it with the FAA to use it in the United States.
To maneuver the plane, you simply pivot your mobile phone (much like you pilot a Segway) or, for some extra fun, hit the thruster button.
Here’s how it looks in action:
Powerup DART set out to raise $25,000 on a Kickstarter campaign that ended October 18. The company received more than $1.5 million in pledges from nearly 22,000 backers on the crowdfunding site.
The Powerup DART app-controlled paper plane will sell online for $29 plus shipping ($5 in the United States, $8 elsewhere). Buying in a brick-and-mortar store will set you back $45.
Powerup says delivery for Christmas or Hanukkah is guaranteed.