3 September 2017

REVIEW: Motion Control Drone

One handed fun (tee hee).

Drones: fun, fascinating, but difficult to master. We might've reviewed our fair share of drones and quadcopters, but it still took a while before we were able to confidently take one up into the sky. The standard two-stick controls that most drones have are hardly intuitive, so its a genuine pleasure to find a flying gadget that uses an alternative control method. Imagine our glee when we tested the Motion Control Drone from MenKind; a quad that doesn't require any sticks at all.

These sleek and small quadcopter is only 16cm across and comes with a propeller guard attached by default. The size and weight of it suggests that it should only be used indoors, and when we did try it outside in the garden, we found that even the slightest breeze took it off course. But indoor-only flying is fine, as that safety cage will keep the kiddies protected, and this isn't really a drone designed for high speeds and long distances.

That's because of the controller. With a drone of this price and size you might expect to get either a bulky plastic controller with two thumb sticks (like this one), or have to control it via an app on your phone (like this one). Instead, the Motion Control Drone comes with a curious looking flat and yellow unit, designed to hang from the underside of your hand, like computer mouse. There are no sticks or conventional buttons on this unit, meaning the quad can be controlled with just one hand.

It does this with the use of internal sensors. As you gently rock the controller one way or the other, the motion is conveyed to the drone to bank one way or the other. Te only button (other than the power/pair button) is a yellow knob by your thumb which is used to both take off and land the Motion Control Drone. After that, its all about the moves.

And just as Menkind are keen to point out on their website, it is soooooo very easy to fly. The quad itself will auto hover, so even if you're not touching the controller it will stay at the same height - something not many drones of this price will do. Because you don't have to worry about balancing a throttle to keep it steady, all you need to do is tilt your hand around and the drone will move steadily in that direction. It helps to imagine that your hand (and therefore the controller) IS the drone, so it banks exactly where you want it to go.

As well swiftly and easily moving around the room, the Motion Control Drone can also perform tricks. Hold the little yellow knob upwards and flick you hand one way, and the quad will automatically raise a few inches and then flip over. Whatever direction you flick the controller, the drone will flip that way, and as the trick takes just a couple of seconds, you can blast out several of them in a row.

Speaking of time: the Motion Control Drone from MenKind has a max flight time of around five minutes, and considering the size of the battery, that's pretty decent. Plus, those five minutes in the air seemed to go on relatively longer than most other small drones, probably because the movements you make are small, and you'll never really take it all that far away. Depending on the size of your house, that is.

All in all, the Motion Control Drone is an excellent introduction to flying quadcopters, and unlike most other drones, it is very much child friendly right out of the box. Our youngest test pilot was four, who mastered it within minutes. As for people who are already experienced with conventionally controlled quads, the Motion Control Drone provides a lot of indoors fun and novelty. Check it out.


Visit www.menkind.co.uk

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