The Aura quadcopter ditches a traditional stick controller or smartphone for a glove that lets you fly with a wave of your hand.
Toy drones continue to get smarter and more stable. Their controllers, on the other hand, remain a mess of sticks, buttons and switches that take a lot of practice to master.
The Aura drone from KD Interactive, on display this weekend at the New York Toy Fair 2017, fixes this by getting rid of the traditional controller altogether. In its place is a glove that lets you use hand gestures to pilot the quadcopter. Borrowed from military applications, the patented Gesturebotics technology powered by LocoRobo (a shortening of “low-cost robotics”) requires little more than tilting and rotating your hand to fly it.
“Today’s kids grow up with technology in their daily lives and have much more sophisticated expectations of what tech can and should do. It is always our goal to bring products to the market that will not only deliver on that expectation and offer great entertainment, but to also deliver a technology experience that is kid-friendly,” said Eric Levin, KD Group Strategic Director. “With Aura, we’re removing the boundaries of a traditional joystick controller, giving kids an innovative and super cool way to play and ensuring they have a successful first flight right out of the box.
Simplifying the controls doesn’t mean you still won’t crash, so KD includes a protective cage that’ll let it roll up walls, across floors and ceilings as well as bounce off obstacles. It’ll also have a headless mode, meaning no matter what direction the drone is facing it will always fly in the direction you want it to, and it will have height as well as distance limitations for added safety.
The Aura is in production now and will sell for $100 when it ships this fall.