Griffin is showcasing a new addition – the Helo TC Assault ‘copter – to its flying toy lineup at CES 2012.
The company already has several models in the Helo TC line that look like helicopters with dual blades. The blades on top of the chopper are counter rotating, and the rear rotor is used to control flight direction (left or right).
The difference between the new Helo TC Assault and the existing Helo TC model?
The Assault is a wannabe Apache – complete with orange missiles on each side that actually fire.
The toy has a large battery charger/control pack that sits under your iPhone or iPod touch and turns the signals for the app into something the IR reading ‘copter can understand.
Using the app you can control the ‘copter up, down, left, and right. The app boasts multitouch capability and allows you to control the copter using your smartphone. I have played with one of the other Helo TC helicopter versions before, as well as some other brands of similar helicopters that use normal IR remotes. Personally, I found the app-controlled version more difficult to fly.
The Griffin app is available for iOS devices and some Android smartphones, although it won’t work with all devices. I used the iPhone in testing and still found the controls to be less than perfect. The Assault requires a phone that offers full volume out of the headphone port since the controller box plugs into the headphone port. The helicopter will be available in the near future at a price of $60.
IMHO, the new Griffin is very similar to the ‘copters made by Swann which we covered last week. The primary difference?
Some of the Swann RC copters can be controlled with the app and an included IR controller. That way if the app control isn’t for you, you can use the IR. For now, Griffin also lacks a ‘copter with a camera like the Sky Eye Swann. Other than those caveats, the copters fly virtually the same. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if they are made in the same factory.