Let’s face it: watching the movies of the universe ‘Star Wars’ we have seen ourselves in the position of Luke, Han or any other character at the controls of a ship. This is known in LucasFilms and they know it in Propel, who have joined their “Forces” to launch the official Star Wars mini-drones, which we have been able to prove.
Although drones are not yet massive, it is true that with time and specialization they have been democratizing and establishing themselves as an option for leisure and even as a work tool. But what these miniatures are looking for is to create a new niche with a very component of that galaxy so, so far away: the laser battles between ships. But yes, a special “laser” for all audiences.
|PROPEL STAR WARS DRONE|
|MAXIMUM SPEED||About 56 km / hour|
|WIDTH (CONSIDERING PROPELLER TIPS)||74-Speeder bike: 14.22 centimeters
Tie Advanced X: 13.72 centimeters
TX65-Wing: 14.22 centimeters
|LOADING TIME||30-40 minutes|
|FLIGHT DURATION APPROX. PER LOAD||6-8 minutes|
|CONNECTIVITY||LiFi (high speed WiFi)|
Design: Detail and fidelity, the key for the most fans beyond the flight
In this case it is clear that we are talking about a type of drones whose claim is largely their aspect: the universe ‘Star Wars’ is their ships in addition to their characters, and here will be key what vehicles are there to choose and how well you are successful its finished. These are small drones, of the order of the Parrot Swat, but the truth is that they have focused on the details of the ships they represent, including pilot models.
They are made of plastic and have a rather delicate appearance, although we could see that many falls they experienced was difficult to break (the most common was that a propeller should jump). They help the shape and design of the feet on which they rest on a surface, which also act as a bumper (or weapon if you are in a combat).
In terms of the level of detail are quite achieved, as we said. Beyond how faithful they can be to the naves of the movies or the animated series, the plastic simulates the sheet well in both the visible and the lower part, with reliefs and simulated joints, as well as the effect of aging in these that is seen (and valued) in movies.
And what ships can we choose? At the moment the companies have started with three of the many ships we have seen in the seven films of the saga (eight if we tell the story of ‘Rogue One’). Specifically, they are a 74-Speeder bike, a TIE Advanced X and, of course, an X-Wing.
With a width of less than 15 centimeters, it is very, very light and practical quadcopters when it comes to taking them, although talking about this size in drones means two things, one good and one bad: they will be much more transportable, but the battery will last a little. We will discuss it more in depth later.
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Facts for the fight
The combats are an essential part of the films of ‘Star Wars’ and the main claim of these mini-drones. Hence, in this case, the resistance matters a little more, since it is not only about sustaining disastrous falls and landings, but also to resist the attacks of other rivals.
In this sense two parts are important: the drone and the app. These drones are controlled with a command that operates at 2.4 GHz and is included, which adds an incentive to the experience the emission of sounds of voices of the characters (with locutions of mind) and themes of the soundtrack of the saga.
The command will be white or black depending on the ship belonging to the Empire or the Resistance (carrying the symbol of each side), being white for the X-Wing and black for the fighter and the Speeder bike. But even if they work with this specific joystick it will be necessary a mobile or tablet if we want to practice (without drone) or fight with others, since for this there will be available an app for iOS and Android.
The apps are quite simple, although they are not too intuitive when it comes to finding out what practice we want to do (by resorting to specific terms that we may not know how to identify right away). As for the combat modality, the app acts as a marker synchronizing the participants and informing each of the damages suffered, also showing it in a general marker (as well as the fallen ones).
And in this fight is where the “LiFi” we saw in the specifications, which corresponds to the acronym of Light Fidelity and is a faster wireless communication than standard WiFi, up to 100 times as described by the company. The “laser”, in fact, is actually invisible because it is the infrared that uses this system (the place of radiofrequency waves), although we do see the LEDs that the drones have in their back. And these waves will be what will determine what we give to an enemy ship or that they give to us.
The experience in the battlefield
Thus, the quadcopter is quite sensitive to commands issued from the command, that is, connectivity and response are good. We do not experience any anomalous cut or behavior during the flight, although the fact that they are so light and small drones sometimes makes control a bit more difficult if we are not used to them.
And the difficulty of handling? Learning is not too complex, especially if we have already handled similar weight / flight drones and / or have experience with joystick. Just get a little familiar with the controls to know the maneuver of takeoff, how to turn, move forward, etc., and if we start from scratch it is not a bad idea to resort to the training app that we mentioned before.
Once the trick is taken, it is quite entertaining, especially if we have someone to fight with. But what sacrifices the experience most are two aspects …
- Battery: These mini-drones usually give a few minutes of flight, between five and ten, and this is what we get when flying a Star Wars drone. No surprises, the more we accelerate and the more we give to the small vehicle less minutes we will have, which gives us for that little bit of practice or a few bouts.
- The propellers: Jump quite easily, perhaps somewhat less in the case of the TIE and more often with the Speeder bike, although it is probably something difficult to avoid and is preferable to jump and can be reassembled to break directly.
Propel Star Wars Drones, price and availability
The merchandising generally not characterized precisely because it is affordable, and in this case the plus is noted for carrying the label of the Empire or the Alliance without also being an exorbitant price. Propel Star Wars drones will be available worldwide from for 199.99 dollars.
For now there are three models that we have talked about, but from Propel we were told that there would be more models (without specifying), depending in part on how these first models work. In this sense perhaps the app made us a bit of a snitch, since in its menu appeared as not available among others the Millennium Falcon (which does not mean anything sure, but makes us saliva with the possibility of fighting with the legendary ship).
Since Disney was made with LucasFilms we have seen how the dream and fantasy factory continued to launch films and especially products, something that is still expanding a little more today, looking to contribute something different to the field of consumer drones. We will see if the Force accompanies them in this new battle.