Oct. 2, 2014 | By Alec

Enthusiasts of r/c cars and other remote-controlled toys, stop and check out this very cool 3D printed creation! The Shenzhen, China-based company ElecFreaks have dropped a few hints in the past, but now their awesome little ELF Quad quadcopter is finally on its way. This cool, small and swift pocket drone is a wonderful 3D-printed toy for young and old, and what's more: it's hard-and software is open-source and compatible with virtual reality.

Pre-orders for this awesome copter start on October 10, after months of speculation and little previews. Initially, pre-orders are limited to 300 pieces. The team behind ElecFreak has designed their ELF Quad to be easily controlled with a smartphone through a Bluetooth connection, and their videos are exceptionally enticing.

ElecFreaks was founded just a few years ago, in March 2011, by a group of engineers obsessed with electronics. Since then they have also moved into product development, and they offer a variety of electronic components through their web store to help enthusiasts on their way. They tell us that they are highly committed to open-source hardware and software, and invite all users to use their creations as a stepping stone for more innovation and fun. This would explain why they seem to be bubbling with enthusiasm now that their quadcopter is reaching the finish line.

As they explained to 3ders.org, the Elf Quad is the first ever open-source quadcopter that is providing AR plus VR experience. Furthermore, in the spirit of open-sourcing, the ElecFreak team will also share 'all the hardware, software, app and the codes, enabling anyone to learn and enjoy AR/VR technology while piloting his own copter. We hope to build a brand new flight platform for experiencing and learning, as such, getting more and more people involved to help improve and complete the application scenarios.'

And to make that possible, they are also intending to keep prices as low as possible, though at the time of writing the exact market prices weren't known yet.

But that's not all, for this 3D printed quadcopter can also be controlled using the most affordable virtual reality device on the market: the Google Cardboard. This collaboration between technologies allows you to have the sensation of truly piloting the ELF Quad. Your smartphone lodges inside this cardboard headset, and connects to the camera inside the quadcopter through the app. This way, a birds-eye view is becoming available to all.

The full features of the ELF Quad are:
1. Open source
2. 3D printed shells
3. Wireless(BT) configuration
4. Smartphone app control (Android, ios)
5. 3D FPV flights (Google Cardboard)
6. Smaller and safer

This easily controlled and open-source toy is simple enough for anyone, even completely inexperienced fliers, to take control. It's 3D printed body, meanwhile, makes it an affordable and replaceable piece of fun. As its designers said, 'Swift, easily-controlled, fly indoors and out. It's entry-level for anyone to become good at piloting'. And as Christmas is just a few months away, be sure to check out this cool present for young and old!

Also check out these videos of the ELF quad in flight:


Posted in 3D Printing Applications

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