CES Weird: Firefly RC copter demo — only sort of works, still really fun

Interactive Toy Concepts gave me a live demonstration of their Firefly RC helicopter at CES, and while even the guys selling the thing couldn’t control it too well, that only made it more fun to play with. The way it seems to work is it takes off and it immediately starts careening around, then you kind of, sort of get it under some semblance of control. That mostly means you’ve successfully prevented it from coming back and hitting you in the face. (Flying an RC micro copter apparently involves a lot of panicked ducking.)

Once the immediate danger to your person has passed and the Firefly is hovering more or less in one place, you can start trying to actually fly it around. Sometimes it goes the way you want it to, and sometimes it goes the way it wants to. In either case this isn't precision flying I’m talking about; it’s more like controlling a slightly drunken bumble bee that carefully but not very accurately moves from place to place.