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Build your own Lego drone with these affordable kits

Engadget Engadget 22/09/2016 Jamie Rigg
© Provided by Engadget

Lego bricks have been the foundation of so many awesome and elaborate creations, it's no wonder people have already had the idea to send them skyward in drone form. But while there are plenty of DIY tutorials around, as well as the odd prebuilt model, we haven't seen anything quite as accessible and affordable as these new Lego UAV kits from Flybrix.

Available today for an introductory price of $149 (increasing to $189 after a "limited time"), the basic Flybrix kit contains everything you need to build a quad, hexa or octocopter drone in as little as 15 minutes. We're talking plenty of Lego bricks, eight motors and propellers, a pre-programmed Arduino brain and all the other necessary bits and bobs -- even a minifig captain for you to fly around. And if you want a dedicated controller to pilot your creation instead of using Flybrix's mobile apps, the $189 deluxe kit comes bundled with one (this will jump to $249 after the introductory period).

Also, there's no need to be apprehensive when getting to grips with the controls. If anything, you're encouraged to crash the things, watch them disintegrate, then simply pick up the pieces and build a new one. Though Flybrix does include ten games as part of the software package that are designed to hone budding pilot's skills.

While these drone kits promise to be good clean fun, Flybrix's founders -- MIT, Caltech and UW Madison alums -- are keen to stress the educational element. Aimed at kids aged 14 and over, the hope is building and flying these Lego drones will impart basic engineering, technology and physics knowledge, among other skills. But who are we kidding? They look just as appealing to big kids in the market for an affordable starter drone, too.


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