Remember how much fun it was, when you were a child and played with paper airplanes? Pilot turned inventor, Shai Goitein remembers, and he wants to share. Shai is responsible for one of the most unique UAVs I’ve seen to date. The product, PowerUp 3.0, is developed by PowerUp Toys after a successful KickStarter campaign. This is an awesome product for a company that was just founded in 2011. That being said, I’m not really sure how to categorize it, I think the closest match would be a “fixed-wing” drone?
What is the PowerUp 3.0? Its the third evolutionary step of “the world’s first remote controlled paper airplane conversion kit.” In just a few steps (see below), you can easily convert any paper airplane into a remote controlled paper airplane that you control using with your smartphone. Charging is easy too, it uses a common micro USB cable. This STEM oriented toy even comes with a spare propellor and rudder.
PowerUp 3.0 Smartphone Controlled Paper Airplane Kickstarter
Powerup 3.0 Review – Fly a Paper Airplane with iPhone or Android Smartphone Control
PowerUp 3.0 Tutorial #1 – Getting Started
- The world’s first remote controlled paper airplane conversion kit has a 180 feet/ 55 meter range and a crash-resistant design
- Contains Bluetooth Smart Technology controlled by your smartphone
- Special template paper to ensure easy folding and flying spare, micro USB cable for charging, spare propeller and rudder
- Control by tilting smartphone or tablet right or left for maneuvering and ascend or descend using the throttle lever
- Features battery level indicator charging status indicator and range indicators and an Air Traffic Control attribute
Amazon provides the following product description:
Pilot turned inventor, Shai Goitein launched PowerUp Toys in 2011. He saw firsthand how people of all ages were enchanted by the magic of flight. Inspired, he began working on a recreational toy that would capture the emotion, feeling and wonder of flight. PowerUp technology successfully recreates this magic and allows the imagination to soar.
With the need for funding and backers, the company turned to popular crowdfunding site Kickstarter, raising an outstanding $1.2 million dollars.
Its durable, crash proof design makes it an easier and more enjoyable option to traditional, bulky and battery intensive remote control helicopters and planes. The PowerUp 3.0 Bluetooth, Smart Module transforms ordinary paper planes into motorized machines, controllable directly from your smartphone.
It’s also an educational experience — PowerUp 3.0 meshes origami, physics and incorporates all the components of STEAM, (Science, Tech, Engineering, Art, Math). This unique combination allows for schools and teachers to educate students on the basic principles of flight, aerodynamics, and lift. With 180 feet/ 55 meter range, and 10 minutes of flight time capability, PowerUp 3.0 is the first choice in flight.
The public reception has already been very positive:
“This is a neat crowdfunded project I backed a few months ago that delivered!
Powerup Toys has been making kits that add a battery powered propeller to paper airplanes. In this new 3.0 version, they have added the ability to control the plane with a smartphone.
Just about any regular paper will work – I followed some instructional videos on Powerup’s YouTube page and built myself the ‘invader’ from standard copy paper. The engine clips on to the paper airplane and very quickly paired with my phone via bluetooth.” – Lon J. Seidman
Even though the KickStarter campaign has ended, you can still visit the old KickStarter campaign homepage for some interesting product information.
PowerUp 3.0 turns your self-made paper airplane into a smartphone-controlled flying machine.
- Fold It: Simply fold a piece of copier paper into a paper airplane
- Attach It: Attach the Smart Module to your paper plane with the patented clips underneath the Smart Module.
- Connect It: Start the app to connect to the Smart Module with your iPhone.
- Fly It: Push throttle to full and launch the paper airplane high up into the sky. Tilt your smartphone to the left or to the right to steer your plane, increase or reduce throttle to go up or down.
At just $54.99, while I don’t own a PowerUp 3.0 yet personally, I will be buying one soon. I’ll keep everyone posted, post purchase. Oh and yes, this is a UAV/drone that I am happy to call a “toy.”