PowerUp FPV lets you experience flight from a first-person view paper airplane drone with a live-streaming camera.
Who could ever forget the simple joy of folding a piece of paper into a plane, throwing it and then watching it soar through the air? As a child, it was tons of fun. As you got older, not so much. This was something Shai Goitein and the PowerUp Toys team wanted to change. With aspirations of taking the age-old form of entertainment to new heights, the Tel Aviv-based startup has created PowerUp FPV — a kit that lets you outfit your paper plane with motorized propellers and a first-person view live-streaming camera.
Built in collaboration with Parrot, PowerUp FPV is a super lightweight camera-and-propeller rig that keeps your plane up in the air for up to 10 minutes per charge, while being capable of achieving speeds up to 20mph with a range of up to 300 feet. The kit enables you to feel as if you’ve been shrunken down and placed inside the cockpit of the paper plane.
That in itself is great, but what’s truly remarkable about PowerUp FPV is that it even has a 360-degree wide-view camera that can transmit an image back to you in real-time. This can be anything from a quick snapshot from off the wings to the ultimate ‘selfie’ with a rear-view picture as you launch your plane.
What’s more, it can be controlled either through a Google Cardboard headset, a head-mounted display or simply using an on-screen gamepad via PowerUp’s accompanying app. Connecting via Wi-Fi, you can watch the footage or wirelessly transfer it to your smartphone, and then upload it to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and several other networks. Unlike the paper plane of yesterday, PowerUp FPV also has an auto-pilot mode for easy flying, and a fast-acting crash detection system that automatically shuts down its motors and rotating blades.
In terms of hardware, PowerUp FPV employs an Atmel MCU along with a 500mAh LiPo battery, a microUSB port for charging, a microSD card, dual-band MIMO antennas, a compass sensor, a three-axis accelerometer and gyroscpe, a barometer, a Wi-Fi module for connectivity, a swivel wide-angle camera, a microphone, a buzzer, as well as a durable carbon fiber and nylon reinforced with a crash-proof bumper.
Ready for an immersive paper airplane experience? Apparently so are thousands of others, as PowerUp FPV soared past its $100,000 goal on Kickstarter in a matter of four hours. The team hopes to begin shipping in June 2016.