A while back, a small toy that turns paper planes into remote-controlled flyers came out, letting you pilot the erstwhile humble gliders from an accompanying iPhone app. It was awesome. But even awesome things can get better and that’s exactly what happens with the PowerUp 3.0.
Like the previous versions, the flight module combines a stick with a propeller and motor combo in the rear, along with a small bundle of electronics out front. Attach the whole assembly to your paper plane’s body and it turns into an instant RC flyer, able to receive piloting directions and take flight for minutes at a time. It should work with any paper, cardboard or similar plane, provided it’s neither too big nor too heavy for the contraption to handle (I mean, come on, it’s a tiny propeller with an equally tiny rudder).
Made by PowerUp Toys, the PowerUp 3.0 improves on its predecessors in many ways. For one, it now uses Bluetooth 4.0 LE to pair with your iPhone, expanding the range (up to 180 feet) and optimizing energy use, consequently extending operation time to 10 minutes of continuous flight. All components are now super-durable, too, allowing the module to last even after multiple mishaps (and, considering you’re flying toy planes, there will be mishaps). Details of the flight module include a microUSB-charged lithium-polymer battery, a 0.1oz weight, and fully-wireless firmware updates.
The PowerUp 3.0 is currently accepting orders via Kickstarter, with prices starting at $30 for a basic barebones package.