We’ve been looking to the Parrot AR.Drone to sate our desires for airborne webcam goodness, but Air Hogs might be able to do that for a whole lot less money. The new Air Hogs Hawk Eye remote-control helicopter lacks the AR.Drone’s iPhone/iPod touch integration and fancy quad-rotor hovering abilities, but at around $65 when it arrives later this month it’s certainly cheaper.
Video demo after the cut
In the air, the Hawk Eye can shoot up to five minutes of 320 x 240 video or snap hundreds of VGA-quality images. Back on the ground, a USB port allows you to offload that content to your PC or Mac; unfortunately, there’s no live streaming of video back to the remote control, as on the AR.Drone, but then the Parrot quadricopter doesn’t offer recording.
To be fair, you’re paying less because it’s a much less complex R/C toy: the controller uses infrared, so needs line-of-sight unlike the AR.Drone’s fancy self-hosted WiFi network, and while dual-rotor indoor helicopters are relatively straightforward to fly, they aren’t anywhere near as easy as the Parrot is. Still, if you’ve always wanted to spy on people, and have a kid’s budget rather than the $300 Parrot are asking, Air Hogs could have a winner on their hands.