For $35, the Syma X1 quadcopter is a pretty good deal. Sure, it’s a toy, too light to carry a camera or anything else cool…but it flies. I’ve never done any RC flying to speak of, so that’s exciting all by itself.
What it doesn’t do is fly very well. I assume that’s pilot error. I really haven’t gotten the hang of not crashing yet. I can’t figure out how to just hover in place without drifting to the side, or up, or down. So as it drifts, I start trying to compensate, and then I overcompensate, and then *crash.*
Still, it’s a hell of a lot of fun. Something about seeing a device defy gravity in the comfort of your own home is inherently exciting to me. My anthropomorphizing brain says it almost seems alive.
If I ever get the hang of this one, I just might buy myself a more expensive toy. You can go as high-end as you want with these things. My next purchase would definitely be big enough to hold a video camera. Then I could document my crashes in glorious HD!
Some people get really into this stuff. Go on YouTube and you can find quadcopters flying over Niagara Falls, soaring above mountains, or surveying abandoned theme parks. There are even people trying to put quadcopters on Mars.
As for me, I’ll settle for getting my crash ratio below 50%.