Here at the office, I’ve seen a lot of stunts designed to cause general mayhem and distract folks from doing their work, heck I’ve instigated most of them ;) From Nerf gatling guns to flying rubber bands and the occasional lobbed football over the cubical wall, all of these projectiles had one thing in common: once released (tossed/thrown/shot) they struck their intended target or they missed. Well times have changed. Guided office weaponry is the new standard…
Truth be told, I don’t own one of ThinkGeek’s Palmsize R/C Choppers, but man I wish I did! Not only are these babies cheap – $29.99 USD (a mere $32.08 CDN thanks to the strong loonie), but they can be fully controlled. If you’ve followed the evolution of RC choppers within the price range of mere mortals, as I have, you know that "full control" has been a bit elusive. 2 years ago, my wife indulged me with a $100 gift: SpinMaster’s Skypatrol RC helicopter. That thing was a beast. It was powered by 8 D cell batteries in the base station, and another 6 AA batteries in the remote control unit. Worse still, the only "control" you had once the chopper was airborne was to "ease up" on the throttle. This caused the chopper to momentarily drop in elevation – a move that was accompanied by a slight rotation of the chopper’s direction. Hitting the gas again fully sent it off on its new course. Impossible! I crashed it dozens of times, the last of which caused the main rotor to snap beyond repair. This despite paying careful attention to the instructional video that came in the box.
Granted the Skypatrol was intended for outdoor use and could achieve far greater heights than the ThinkGeek unit, but what’s altitude without control?
These new, smaller, cheaper and more versatile helicopters are popping up all over the place. The secret to their superior control lies in the dual main rotor design. Instead of relying on the small tail rotor to prevent the chopper from spinning madly, the secondary rotor counter-spins giving the machine inherently better stability.
And, if you actually like your co-workers, you can always use it to amuse your cats. If they manage to snare it, you’ll only be out a few bucks.