There are plenty of remote-control micro helicopters that are operated via a smartphone app or a dedicated control unit, and even one that’s controlled by the user’s brain, but Air Hogs has come up with yet another approach. The company’s soon-to-be-released AtmoSphere chopper moves in response to the proximity of the user’s hand.

The AtmoSphere has an infrared sensor on the bottom, that is able to detect solid surfaces up to six inches (152 mm) below the helicopter. When an object (such as a hand) is detected, the aircraft stops and hovers in place. If that object comes closer, the AtmoSphere responds by moving up. It can additionally be moved sideways, simply by pushing gently against its sides.

There’s also an autonomous mode, it which it will move about on its own – the cage surrounding its rotor blades should allow it to bump against ceilings and walls without getting damaged.

Recharging is conducted by placing the helicopter in a small charging cradle, that requires six AA batteries – there’s no word on run time.

The AtmoSphere should be available sometime this year, priced at US$24.99.

Source: Spin Master toys (PDF) via PopSci