iPhone app controls military drone flying 3,000 miles away

Concept art showing a Fire-X helicopter drone. Credit: Northrop Grumman Corporation.

Military mobile apps may one day help soldiers on the battlefield.

Engineers and researchers at Boeing Co. and MIT have developed an iPhone application to fly a miniature drone rotorcraft from some 3,000 miles away.

It just takes a few taps and swipes of the operator’s finger in Seattle to make a drone at a baseball field on the MIT campus in Cambridge, Mass., start to hover, rotate and zip around.

“These applications could allow (drones) to be used more effectively for tasks that are dirty or dangerous, as well as for missions that may be too long and tedious to have a human be continuously at the controls,” the company said on its website.

The Pentagon is testing all manner of smart devices, including iPhones and iPads, for action in war zones. It has kicked off a race among software companies and defense firms to develop innovative apps for future soldiers to operate.


Miniature rotorcraft controlled by digital devices have been available to the general public for the last few years.

AR.Drone manufactures and sales remote-controlled miniature rotorcraft that use your iPhone, iPad or Android as the control device. The app features a number of sensors, including a front camera, a vertical camera and an ultrasound altimeter.

The AR.Drone can also be used in video games, such as AR.FlyingAce, a dogfight between two AR.Drones.

Related stories

AR. Drone (ardrone)
Parrot AR Drone iPhone Controlled Helicopter (EarlyTechNews)
U.S. Military Orders Helicopter Drones to Report for Duty (innovationnewsdaily.com)


About Chris Hall
Hi, I'm Chris, also know as Daddy from the blog "The Adventures of Jaydon and Daddy." I am a stay-at-home dad who loves spending time with my son Jaydon. In my spare time I work evenings and weekends at the Charleston County Library. Be sure to check out our blog, "The Adventures of Jaydon and Daddy."

One Response to iPhone app controls military drone flying 3,000 miles away

  1. This is somewhat scary! Up next…dental work by iPad app!

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