We tested the coolest Star Wars combat drones in the world in Brussels.
Behind closed doors in mid-July, we were not only able to watch, but also fly the propel’s combat drones in Brussels, which are now on store shelves.
Barely a dozen people from Hungary took part in the event in Brussels, where Propel, famous for its remote-controlled helicopters and drones, unveiled its latest saviors, the Star Wars combat drones. Gadgets that seemed like simple games at first were equipped with some pretty serious technology that we haven’t really come across so far.
The uniqueness of drones lies in their ability to fight each other. They can shoot at each other with an infrared transmitter mounted on them, and if they manage to hit the opponent enough, they will make a forced landing. Since this signal is scattered quite roughly, it is relatively easy to hit the opponent with it, which is why the pros no longer fight with this, but with a laser that can be purchased as an extra for the machine, for which we need to be much more accurate.
Despite their tiny sizes, these drones are capable of quite serious performance. According to the manufacturer, they can accelerate to speeds of up to 50-60 km / h, but you should be careful because the range of the remote control is roughly 60 meters, so the tiny machine can fly away easily at high speeds. Fortunately, we can choose the right gear for us: in practice mode, for example, the machine turns very slowly and an invisible floor or ceiling limits our movement until we learn the basics.
Then, if you’re already a pro, you can come to a rougher stage where you can perform spectacular maneuvers or even complete somersaults. In the box we find two batteries, which last roughly 6-8 minutes in the air and charge in half an hour, so if we want to take the machine outdoors for a longer period of time, we will definitely need some spare batteries. Controlling the drones is surprisingly easy and intuitive anyway, and even someone who has never flown a similar gadget will soon realize it, even if it doesn’t always behave the way one wants it to. Although we didn’t experience any weirdness at the event, the drone arriving at the editorial office is unable to float in one place, constantly pulling a little to the left, even indoors. While this will not be uncontrollable, we can bring it back to where it wants to be with some counter-steering, but it will certainly make things difficult for inexperienced pilots. Unfortunately, several of us ran into this problem, but luckily not all drones had a problem.
The remote control can be used on its own, but when added to a mobile app, it becomes really exciting. With the help of the app, we can even practice the art of droning in a virtual simulator, or this is necessary in order to let our machines down to each other. We can even fight 3v3 battles in the air, the app indicates in real time who has just how much vitality. Controllers use Wi-Fi, and drones communicate with each other using an even faster, but very similar Li-Fi technology to Wi-Fi. The app holds plenty of practice missions and challenges that will be further expanded in the future.
Propel and Disney see the new Star Wars donors as a service rather than a product: more models will be available in the coming years (currently X-Wing, Tie Advanced and Speeder Bike are available), expanding the app, and planning to also pieces equipped with a camera. By completing the challenges, we can move up the levels, and if we climb high enough in the rankings, we will even be able to organize our own events and competitions with the support of Propel. The community experience is supported from all sides, so for example, we will be able to search for people just playing in our area to join the party.
Propel will officially unveil the machines tomorrow (September 1), which are expected to be available on the domestic market for around HUF 80,000. This is not a small amount, but considering how much the tiny structure is capable of and the fact that the offer will be constantly expanding in the future, it is not unaffordable for a fan. In addition, the good news is that Propel’s new warehouse has opened next to Budapest, so if we need any parts, spare batteries or the like, we can get it in a matter of seconds. The drones, by the way, can withstand the strata quite well, they managed to hit them quite a few times during the test period, but they didn’t suffer any permanent damage other than a few minor scratches.
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