Saturday, April 17, 2010

Micro Mosquito 3.0 Channel R/C Helicopter

Micro Mosquito 3.0 Channel R/C Helicopter
Yet another tiny indoor helicopter. Each generation claims to be more stable and easier to fly. Mine you, I can't verify this personally. (Dear Toy Companies: Send me one of everything cool and mechanical. Thank you.)

From the product description:
The Micro Mosquito 3.0 Channel R/C Helicopter is the world's smallest, most stable, lightest indoor helicopter. Flies forward with full control as well as up, down, left and right and has a long 7-minute in-flight time on only a 35-minute charge. Two frequencies available. Comes with everything you need to be flying within minutes including a radio control transmitter, flight battery and manual. Requires 6 "C" batteries and one 9V battery, not included. Measures approximately 5".

Here Amazon's page for the Micro Mosquito 3.0 Channel R/C Helicopter

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Parrot AR.Drone - Quadrotor helicopter for iPhone

I've never really felt the desire to get an iPhone...until I saw this.

Here is a web site with more info on the ParrotAR.Drone.

[ Thanks Kev! ]

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Friday, December 18, 2009

Solar Flier: solar-powered desktop airplane

Solar Flier - Solar-powered desktop airplane
This tiny airplane model is equipped with solar panels built into the wings. When sunlight (or any bright light) shines on the airplane, the solar cells generate electricity to turn the propeller. This causes the little plane to fly in circles around its base.

From the product description:
The Solar Flier makes a perfect gift for anyone who enjoys flight or is curious about the solar power generation process. A dynamic executive or teacher gift, you cannot go wrong with this new great invention from Fascinations.

Here's the link to the Solar Flier, solar-powered desktop model Airplane.

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Saturday, December 05, 2009

The world's smallest remote-control ornithopter

The World's Smallest Da Vinci Ornithopter.
Check out this tiny remote-controlled ornithopter inspired by Da Vinci's drawings. It is about the size of a hummingbird and stays aloft by flapping its little wings 40 times a second.

From the product description:
"Digital proportional flight control enables smooth turns, climbs, and dives with the dual-stick remote. The ornithopter's frame is sturdy, lightweight plastic, with tear-resistant mylar covering the wings and tail. Its rechargeable lithium polymer battery provides seven minutes of flight after a five-minute charge from the controller. For indoor use only."

Here is the link for this miniature remote control ornithopter.

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Monday, November 02, 2009

Mini HoverDrone - the smallest flying R/C toy yet

Mini HoverDrone - the smallest flying R/C toy yet
Take a look at this very small flying toy...

From the toy description:
With a diameter not much larger than a silver dollar and a single propeller on the bottom, the HoverDrone somehow manages to float in the air as it spins and flashes its blue LED. The simple slider control allows only up-and down movement... but this makes it so easy to fly that anyone can instantly control it.

Here's a link to the Mini HoverDrone flying toy.

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Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Shooting game with flying motorized duck

Shooting game with flying motorized duck
Here's a new twist to the classic duck hunt game that brings it into 3 full dimensions. This "duck" is actually flying around the room!

From the game description:
This is the live-action shooting game that lets you hunt a flying duck with a harmless infrared gun. A 10-second charge on the barrel of the gun energizes the mechanical duck for a 30-second flight. The duck's 6" long mylar wings flap up and down nearly 500 times per minute, and it can be set to fly in an erratic left- or right-turning circle or a level, straight line. Sharp-eyed hunters take aim with the infrared gun--the first two hits merely stun the waterfowl, momentarily interrupting his flapping; the third hit downs the duck for good. The single-shot blaster has a 20' range and makes a loading sound with each pump.

Here's the link for the live-action flying duck hunt target shooting game.

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Making Moving Toys: 30 Quick and Easy Projects

Making Moving Toys: 30 Quick and Easy Projects to Make
I don't have this book myself (yet), but it looks like it could be a lot of fun. Making Moving Toys offers instructions and templates to make 30 different types of moving toys out of common materials. The projects range from spinning tops, wind-powered figures, paper airplanes, a carousel, a climbing monkey, a zoetrope, and many more. See? Fun!

Here's the link to Making Moving Toys: 30 Quick and Easy Projects to Make.

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Thursday, May 07, 2009

i-Bird and Hornet remote control flying toys

 i-Bird remote control flying bird toy
Flapping-wing flying toys are fairly well-established now. I never thought I would see the day.

Product Description
Built-in Li-Poly batteries for long flying time. Easy to operate & control through slow speed fly. Unique material withstands crashes. Precision speed control and rudder trimmer. 3 Channel full function control. Incredible stability and complete control.

Here is the line for the i-Bird remote control flying bird toy

Want a flapping-wing flying toy, but birds not quite your thing?'s an equally cool remote control hornet...
 i-Bird remote control flying bird toy

Here's the link for more information (and color choices) for the WowWee Flytech Hornet

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Friday, February 27, 2009

Dark Blade 3-Channel R/C Helicopter

Dark Blade 3-Channel R/C Helicopter
After trying and selling a number of the small remote control helicopters on the market, the folks at ThinkGeek decided to create the perfect micro indoor helicopter themselves. The result: the Dark Blade 3-Channel R/C Helicopter.

Here are some of the features the Dark Blade boasts:

* Easiest to fly, most precise controlling R/C copter yet
* 3 channels for up/down, right/left and forward/backward control
* Amazing miniature size for a 3-channel helicopter
* Sleek black plastic body with a drop-ship style design
* Choose from two different channels and fly with a friend
* Dual counter-rotating blades for hovering and stability
* Innovative tail design with hidden downward facing rear rotor
* Helicopter Charges from Remote
* Easy to adjust trim dial
* 7 Minute fly time, 10 minute charge time

Get all the details on the Dark Blade 3-Channel R/C Helicopter

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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Wicked looking black 3 -channel R/C Helicopter

Black Stealth Helicopter
I have an unusual affinity for black -- especially flat black. Combine that with complex mechanics, some electromagnetic communications, and flight and've got a winner in my book.

This litle Black Stealth Helicopter has 3-channels communication for controlling up-and-down, right-left rotation, and forward and backward.

The dual rotors on the top spin in opposite directions to cancel out hard-to-control torque making for stable flight. The folks at claim that it is probably the easiest to fly small remote-controlled helicopter that they have tried.

Check out the video on for this Black Stealth Helicopter.

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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Mechanical toy gifts for the holidays 2008 - Part 1

You've still got a few shopping days left! Here is a list of mechanical toys that can be ordered online and at your home in plenty of time for the holidays.

Battery Science: Make Widgets That Work and Gadgets That Go
Battery Science: Make Widgets That Work and Gadgets That Go - An affordable, creative kit for making all kinds of crazy little contraptions with little more than a small battery-powered motor. At $15, this is a great value and great fun.

More fun engineering from Klutz:
Klutz Book of Paper Airplanes

Karakuri: Bow Shooting Boy
Karakuri: Bow Shooting Boy by Gakken - A kit for the advance or ambitious maker, this is a plastic recreation of a famous Japanese karakuri. The boy actually picks up arrows, places them on the bow, and shoots at a mini target. Amazing! At $150 this may be best for the "big kid" in your life or a gifted youngster. A different Gakken Karakuri kit may be found at the MAKE magazine store.

Wooden Pinball Baseball
Front Porch Classics Baseball- I finally had a chance to play at a friend's house and I am pleased to say that this is a really great game. It's well made and doesn't take up a ton of room. This rather nice model runs $80, but there are versions for about half the price. Good for adults and kids.

Kluz and Lego bundled packages
Lego Crazy Action Contraptions and Lego Crazy Action Contraptions: A Lego Inventions Book- Both spiral-bound books ($22 and $14, respectively) have clear instructions with step-by-step diagrams and come with a small pouch of LEGO bricks for the projects. Having additional basic Lego brickson hand is a good idea for the first book, and required for the second.

We'll be back tomorrow with part 2 of our last-minute mechanical gift suggestions. You can also peruse The Automata / Automaton Store where our staff has added hundreds of items that are available at

[ My thanks to the esteemed members of The Automata / Automaton Group on Facebook for many of these suggestions! ]

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Indoor Remote Controlled Gyroscopic Plane

Indoor Remote Controlled Gyroscopic Plane
There has been an explosion of new flying toys in the last few years. Here's a configuration that I haven't seen before. It's not unlike the self-stabilizing flying saucer toy I wrote about in July. Like the flying saucer, this remote-controlled airplane uses four individual propellers and a gyroscopic stabilization system.

Similar to a helicopter, the plane can take off vertically and hover. The remote control sends an infrared signal (so this is a line-of-sight only toy) to the plane that causes the appropriate propeller(s) to speed up, sending it in the desired direction.

Here is where to find the Remote Controlled Gyroscopic Plane.

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Sunday, November 09, 2008

Intelli UFO RTF Electric Mini RC Helicopter

Intelli UFO RTF Electric Mini RC Helicopter
Check out this miniature remote controlled bubble/UFO. It is basically a tiny remote controlled helicopter with counter-rotating blades. It uses the dual fan-style blades for forward and backward movement and easy left-right turning. They come in three different control frequencies so you can fly several at once without interference.

Here's a page with more information and video of the Intelli UFO RTF Electric Mini RC Helicopter

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Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Remote Controlled Flying Pterosaur Ornithopter

Remote Controlled Flying Pterosaur Ornithopter
OK. I just want to emphasize three things regarding this mechanical toy:

1 - Remote-controlled
2 - Ornithopter
3 - Pterosaur

The only thing that could make this flying toy any cooler is if it shot flames out of its mouth.

Check out the Remote Controlled Flying Pterosaur Ornithopter.

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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

MicroFly - Tiny Remote Control Flying Saucer

This MUST be the smallest flying remote controlled toy currently available.

A single propeller on the bottom allows the MicroFly to hover in the air, but limits your control to up-and down movements only. The good news is this makes it dead-simple to fly. The other cool thing you can do is buy a bunch of them and use one remote to control an entire swarm of these little marvels.

The MicroFly Tiny R/C Hovering UFO is available at

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Monday, July 21, 2008

Self-Stabilizing Indoor Flying Saucer Toy

This remote-controlled UFO has four propellers that generate enough thrust to send the device into the air without needing to hand-launch it. It has built-in gyroscopic sensors that counterbalance and stabilize it automatically. This is supposed to make it very easy to fly. With practice you can use the Infrared remote control to make the UFO climb, descend, and hover in place from up to about 32 feet away.

Check out all the details of the easy to fly Remote Controlled Flying Saucer.

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Monday, July 14, 2008

Air Powered and Air Flight Mechanical Toys

Air Powered and Air Flight Mechanical Toys
Can you believe it? Another new section for the The Automata / Automaton Store. The new section features air-powered toys and various flying toys.

Some of the neat items include:
* X2 Power Flyer kite/glider hybrid
* Propeller-powered trike kit
* Flying Robotic DragonFly
* Easy Star Electric, RC Airplane

Check out these and dozens of other air toys in the new Air Toys store section today!

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Amazon Summer Toy Event 2008 - Save up to 70%

Amazon Summer Toy Event 2008
I just learned that is having a huge sale on toys. Some toys are being sold for up to 70% off. Here is the Amazon Summer Toys Event main page.

Here are some deals I think might interest you, Dear Readers:

* Fuel Cell X7 - Hydrogen Powered Car
* Discovery Exclusive Hydrogen Fuel Rocket
* Air Hogs Havoc R/C Helicopter - Blue
* Kabuto Mushi Robot
* Vectron Phazor (27.045 MHz)
* Kid Galaxy Backyard Flyer Blue Splash
* Yukon Express 200-Piece Wooden Train Set

These are just a few things I happened to find. The sale runs now through now though June 18th, 2008. Check out the rest of the Amazon Summer Toy Event sale items.

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Monday, May 12, 2008

Rubber-Band Powered Kite Can Fly for 5 Minutes

I have posted recently about a rubber band powered flying ornithopter project and a book on rubber-band powered cars.

Apparently, the model plane kit shown here, called the Stringless Wonder, can fly up to a mile and remain airborne for 5 minutes. A mile? 5 minutes? On rubber band power? It's hard to believe. I guess I can shell out the $10 and find out!

Available as the Stringless Wonder at Edmund Scientific and PP-4 STRINGLESS WONDER KITE at For the lowest price ($7.95) check out the Stringless Wonder at SK Science Kits.

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