There are all kinds of small RC flying toys on the market these days. We’ve reviewed our share of them here on the Gadgeteer. They are fun to play with, but I really am not very good at flying them. If I take one outdoors, it ends up on the roof. If I fly indoors, I tend to crash them into walls, people’s heads, etc. Some people can fly RC toys and some can’t. If you find yourself in the same group as me, then you’ll love the Intelli UFO from Trend Times Toys. Anyone can fly this one!
Charger / battery pack
The Intelli UFO is really more of a helicopter than a true flying saucer, as it has three sets of rotors. There are two sets of blades that are connected to the top of the saucer and then the little feet on the bottom are actually another set of blades that will rotate while flying.
The saucer is really small, about the size of a 25 cent gumball, or the diameter of a quarter. It’s made of plastic and has a small connector for the charger and a small power switch built into its base.
To fly the UFO, you first have to charge its internal batteries. You do this with the large plastic battery pack. Hmm, it just occurred to me that the design on the top of the battery pack might be a landing pad.
This battery pack requires 8 (yes, I said 8) AA batteries. My suggestion is to use rechargeable batteries. Once the batteries are loaded, you plug the small connector into the matching socket on the UFO and turn the power switch on the charger pack to ON. Both the Green charge LED and Red Power LED will light up. When charging is completed (approximately 20-30 minutes), the Green light will go off, to signal that the batteries in the UFO have been charged.
Like all RC toys, some type of controller has to be used. The one for the UFO is the smallest RC controller I’ve ever seen. It’s powered by 3 AG13 button cell batteries (included) and is about the size of a lighter at 2.5 inches long. On the top are two buttons to control the LEDs on the UFO, a power indicator LED and the throttle. On the side is the controller power switch. As you will notice, there aren’t any steering controls, just a simple throttle.
To fly the Intelli UFO, you unhook it from the charger, flip the little power switch to On and flip the power switch on the controller to On.
When you flip the power switch on the UFO, some LEDs will light up. You can then either set the UFO on a flat surface, or hold the body between your thumb and index finger and use your other hand to slide the throttle on the controller to start spinning the blades. I think it’s easier to hold the UFO and drop it while the blades are spinning. It will then hover or fly higher depending on how far you slide the throttle. If you’re flying indoors, you’ll have to be careful not to crash into the ceiling. If it goes too high, just ease back on the throttle. Doing so, will cause the saucer to start descending. Slide the throttle back up and it will cause the UFO to ascend. Since you can’t steer the UFO in any direction besides up and down, it’s sort of like playing with an RC yo-yo.
On a full charge, you can fly the UFO for about 5-6 minutes. You’ll know when the batteries are getting too weak, when the UFO won’t fly more than an inch or so off the floor.
The row of LEDs in the body of the UFO create an interesting pattern as it spins in flight. If this bugs you, you can turn them off with the switch on the controller.
The Intelli UFO is as simple an RC flying toy as you can probably get. You don’t have to worry about pitch, trim or steering. You just have one simple throttle to increase or decrease height. My only complaints are that it might be priced a bit high for what it can actually do, and then the fact that the battery charger requires 8 batteries… If you can get past those two things, this is a great toy for people with less than stellar RC flying skills.
Right now Trend Times Toys is running a special promotional price of 19.95 each when buying 3 or more UFOs.