Image: Parrot A.R. Drone
Paul Sakuma  /  AP
A Parrot A.R. Drone, a four-propeller flying drone that connects to an Apple iPhone or iPod Touch via Wi-Fi with a video-streaming camera, hovers at the Consumer Electronics Show.
By
updated 1/8/2010 6:00:18 PM ET 2010-01-08T23:00:18

A company that makes accessories for cell phones wants to add something else to the endless list of things you can do with an iPhone: flying a toy helicopter.

At the International Consumer Electronics Show this week, Paris-based Parrot unveiled its AR.Drone — a plastic and foam helicopter that is about a foot long and can be remotely controlled from the screen of an iPhone or iPod Touch. The copter connects to the iPhone over Wi-Fi and is equipped with two cameras: one on its belly to calculate its speed and another on its nose that streams its field of vision back to the phone's screen.

Parrot also plans to release games that meld the real world seen by the AR.Drone with "augmented reality." That means the helicopter could appear to be fighting virtual objects such as robots on the iPhone's screen.

Parrot's founder and CEO, Henri Seydoux, thinks the toy will appeal to people because they can play with it outside — something you don't usually get with a video game.

Parrot expects to release the AR.Drone later in the year. It has not announced a price.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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