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Griffin intros iPhone-controlled Helo TC helicopter

updated 04:35 pm EDT, Wed August 17, 2011

Control via virtual joystick, accelerometer

Griffin has introduced an R/C helicopter, the Helo TC, that is controlled by an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad. Like many ultra-micro size helicopters, the Helo uses a coaxial rotor design with counter-rotating blades to improve stability and eliminate the need for a complex control system. Users can choose to tilt the iOS device or use a virtual joystick to move the helicopter forward, backward and side to side.

The Helo TC app works in conjunction with a "Flight Deck" accessory that clips onto the iOS device and plugs into the headphone port. Commands are communicated via infrared signals, requiring users to maintain a clear line-of-sight between the controller and the helicopter.

Users can store up to three flight plans to repeat flight routes, while an auto-land mode is designed to bring the helicopter down safely using a single button. The app supports three channels when multiple helicopters are used in the same area.

The Helo TC system is now available directly from the company for $50, before heading to retailers in time for the holiday shopping season. The companion app is available as a free download from the App Store.

by MacNN Staff



  1. mytdave

    Joined: Dec 1969



    almost there, but not quite. infrared is the killer. i've seen other iDevice controlled flying gadgets that work via WiFi, no attachments necessary.

  1. WiseWeasel

    Joined: Dec 1969



    The only reason I'd want iOS integration on something like this would be if it came with a camera and I could edit and export live camera footage from my iDevice. Otherwise, I see no advantage to using a regular controller.

  1. Tralthamidor

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Now I can finally get those iPads over the river into Shenzhen, China without using a cable...

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