A French startup has turned to crowdfunding to build an extremely light bionic bird that can be controlled using the magnetometer and accelerometer in a smartphone. The bird, currently at the prototype stage, would communicate via Bluetooth for a range of 100 meters (330 ft) and be able to fly for up to eight minutes at a time, or over a mile, after a quick 12-minute charge.
The company has experience building similar radio-controlled toys, but two interesting new features that would come with the (appropriately named) Bionic Bird are the addition of a portable, egg-shaped charger that can store enough juice for ten full charges, and the ability to control the bird in an intuitive and agile way simply by tilting your phone in the desired direction and using touch controls to regulate speed.
You can pledge US$100 for a bird on Indiegogo. If all goes to plan, the company says will be delivered by Christmas this year, with free delivery to the European Union, the USA, Canada and Japan. Other countries will need to add a $20 charge.
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