Turn a Paper Airplane Into a Drone

A fun new technology takes paper flight to the next level

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© 2017 PowerUp Toys

You had fun making paper airplanes as a child, but now you want to take it to the next level? The perfect product for you has finally been realised in the PowerUp 3.0. Combining a miniature engine, your smartphone, and a lightweight battery, the PowerUp 3.0 promises to be able to transform your paper planes, into paper drones.

The product, made by PowerUp Toys, recently was greenlit after raising over a million dollars through a Kickstarter campaign. The device itself consists of a small propellor and shaft, connected to a Smart Module at the front of the plane. This module holds both the communications equipment for the device as well as a lightweight battery.

The PowerUp 3.0 will transform your paper planes, into paper drones.

What's unique about this airframe however, is that it’s made to be incorporated into common paper airplanes capable of being made by builders of any age. Once given paper wings, the system is capable of sustained powered flight.

While this in itself is cool, what really has us interested in the PowerUp 3.0 is that once it is in the air, it connects with a specialised iPhone or Android app via Bluetooth. From this app, a user can control the flight of the paper plane, as it moves through the air by tilting the phone in different direction: an innovative use of the accelerometer found in many smartphones.

Once the flight has finished, the device can easily be recharged through a Micro-USB cable. PowerUp also claims that they have built a crash-resistant design, which will make the trial-and-error process of creating a superb-flying paper airplane much less stressful.

The PowerUp 3.0 is currently available for pre-order for under $50, making it an affordable toy for a budding engineer.