We are getting really geeky at Toybox headquarters. In the past week we have been busy playing with a Picoo Z (also known as a Mini Pixie) — a miniature remote-controlled, two-channel helicopter, perfect for flying around the office or your lounge at home.
The very cute Picoo Z weighs in at 10 grams. It is 170mm long and has a main rotor span of 130mm. It is the smallest remote-controlled production model helicopter in the world, according to Guinness World Records, 2006.
The tiny heli is operated by a two-channel infrared controller that controls power up/down and left/right turns. This makes it a lot easier to fly than a normal radio controlled heli, which can have up to six or more channels. But, of course, this also means control over the Picoo Z is a little more limited.
I did have some problems controlling it, constantly crashing into walls and sofas in our lounge, which, in my defence, is tiny. However, my testing partner, who is a RC flying devices pro, claims that anyone can learn to fly this little beast in about three minutes.
The trick is to use the left and right trim buttons to get the heli flying straight. Then you can have a lot of fun flying it on to desks, impressing or annoying your workmates. The Picoo Z makes a great office toy, but is also a great toy for any young, budding aviation enthusiast, my more experienced testing partner tells me.
The great thing about the Picoo Z is that it is made of EPP (expanded polypropylene) foam which makes is very crash-resistant, so it doesn’t really matter how many times you bump into obstacles around you. You can just pick it up again and continue flying.
The little heli has a lithium polymer rechargeable battery, which charges in about 15 minutes. You will get about five minutes flying time out of it.
The Picoo Z also has a little blue, flashing LED that indicates that the unit is turned on.
In addition, the LED light could be useful for night-time flying, for finding the heli if is has been misplaced, or to impress your (geeky) friends. The Picoo Z costs $79 including GST, and is available in hobby stores, or on Trade Me.