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Tag Archives: R/C

RED5 RC Plane Lets You Spy On Your Neighbours

By David Ponce

This is the Spy Hawk. It’s a remote controlled plane with a 5megapixel camera in its nose and an LCD screen in the controller. It sends live footage right back to the controller from up to 400m away, and if that footage needs to be preserved, it can be recorded onto a 4GB SD card at the press of a button. The card doesn’t need to be much bigger than 4GB anyway, because you’ll only get about 15 minutes of flight time on a single charge. But at least it’ll be a fairly stress-free experience due to the plane’s many built-in flight stabilization features. Just get it up to a certain height, press “autopilot” and a gyro will make sure it stays level, even if a gust of wind tries to knock it off course. It’s made from EPO crash resistant foam, so it should be able to withstand some dings and knocks, although don’t go thinking it’s indestructible; your possibly illegal snooping drone still needs some degree of care and flying skill. It’s $305 (£249) and can be pre-ordered now for shipping in early August.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Engadget ]

This Robotic Cockroach Is Controlled With Your iPhone

By David Ponce

Japan is well known for its vast array of head scratching products. It’s part of the charm, we’re told. Add to the list the above Roachbot. It’s exactly what it sounds like: a remote controlled toy that resembles a roach. The extra fun thing about it is that it can be fully controlled with your iPhone. You attach the IR controllers and launch the app, and your insect toy’s meanderings are under your fingertips. There’s a fairly extensive set of controls, from simple left/right up/down, to slight trim adjustments. But perhaps more interestingly, you can also use the phone’s accelerometer and do the controlling via tilting.

It’s $37 although international orders are not possible. Maybe an importer somewhere will have it in stock. If you’re curious what it looks like in action, watch the below video. For some reason they’ve chosen to portray the Roachbot in a variety of fails: falling off a table, tipping over, etc.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ NewLaunches ]

Nikko VaporizR Is Amphibious RC Toy

By David Ponce

With a hip, trendy name like that, the Nikko VaporizR is sure to sell like hotcakes. Just as it’s too cool for the letter “e”, it’s also too awesome to let itself be confined to just one terrain. The oversized wheels on this remote control car act like paddles when floating in a body of water, and provide some additional grip when treading snowy ground. Powered by two electric motors, it’s a true 4 by 4 and is even able to do 360 degree spins. Reaching a top speed of 9mph on ground, it grinds to an alarming crawl in water. But so what? At least it doesn’t sink and short circuit like pretty much any other RC toy out there.

It’s £40 or about $63.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Technabob ]

ForceFlyer RC Copter Uses Accelerometer Glove For Controls

By David Ponce

The toy fair is on, and Engadget is reporting from the show floor. Pictured above is one ForceFlyer RC toy helicopter that uses a special glove with an accelerometer to provide controls. You hold a joystick in your hand to control the throttle while tilting hand movements take care of direction. And while that sounds like a lot of fun, it looks like there’s a bit of a learning curve here: the Engadget editor took about 5 seconds flat to crash it. Representatives of Regal Elite, the company making it, were able to make it fly correctly however, so it’s not a design flaw. And like many toys at the fair, this particular model is a prototype. The full copter should be ready for a late April launch for $50.

If you want to see it in action, hit up that Engadget link for a video.

[ Engadget ]

Tiny HotWheels Are Controlled With Your iPhone

By David Ponce

Remote controlled cars are really old tech. But what’s relatively new is the replacing of the controller with an iPhone. These little HotWheels iNitro SpeedCars use an application that gives you a total of 5 different ways to control them. The first is using regular on-screen analog sticks. According to CNet, this causes the car to be herky jerky, with fine tuned control being difficult. Another one uses the iPhone accelerometer and does allow for a little bit more finesse. A third option involves a trackpad like operation, where dragging your finger on screen will cause the little car to move accordingly. A fourth is a set of predefined shapes, like a figure 8, that the car is able to reproduce. The final option is the most interesting, as it lets you draw a pattern (any pattern) and the HotWheel will follow it.

You should know that the iPhone connects to the cars via an IR adapter which is cumbersome to setup but works well once it is. The cars come in 8 different models and will set you back a modest $40. For what looks like tons of fun at any age (even if it’s squarely aimed at 8 year olds…), it’s not a whole lot of money.

[ Product Page (Careful, auto-playing sounds) ] VIA [ CNet ]

Badass Steam-Powered RC Tricycle

By David Ponce

It may have the top speed of a caffeinated turtle, but YouTube user Prallpratt’s DIY steam-powered RC car is impressive nonetheless. Just watch to see what we mean.

Not much is known about it aside from what you see in the video and in the description. Made in his “Secret Ural Russian Laboratorys”… Whatever. Cool rig though, dude.

VIA [ Technabob ]

R/C Apache Helicopter Can Be Controlled With Your Smartphone

By David Ponce

So Halloween is over. You know what that means. Santa music’s gonna be blarin’ in malls across America and the pressure is on to spend money and buy gifts. For what it’s worth, the American economy could use a little consumerism at the moment. So here’s a nice and inexpensive present to buy someone. It’s a small RC replica of a Boeing AH-61A Apache helicopter. The remote control however is not your typical radio joystick box but your Android or iOS device. Simply attach the IR dongle (seen in the pic) into your 3.5mm jack, run the app and you’re good to go. The helicopter is gyro assisted so it should level itself out. Better yet, pitch, roll and possibly yaw are all controlled via your device’s own gyro sensor. You’ll just have to use the onscreen controls for elevation. Range and battery life are not discussed, but this is clearly more of a cool toy than a serious RC application so don’t expect to be able to use this from very far for very long.

At $40, like we said, it makes for a cool gift.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Red Ferret ]

Indiana Jones And The Giant R/C Ant

By Luke Anderson

No one can argue that George Lucas will slap the Star Wars brand on just about any product imaginable. However, his other hit series usually doesn’t get a lot of wacky merchandise. At least that’s what I thought until I saw this crazy Indiana Jones R/C Ant.

I’ve slept a few times since I watched Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, but nothing really sticks out in my mind about giant ants in the plot. Sure, there was that scene with a swarm of not-so-giant ants, but I digress. The giant R/C ant is controlled by, you guessed it, a crystal skull. It crawls around, pinches its mandibles together, and lines the already wealthy pockets of Mr. Lucas for just $35.

[ ThingsYouNeverKnew ] VIA [ Coolest-Gadgets ]

Air Hogs Zero Gravity R/C Cars Drive You Up The Wall

By Luke Anderson

Remote control cars are great, but unless you get one of the expensive gas-powered ones, its hard to find one that stands out from the rest. At the end of the day, they all still just drive around on the floor, some faster than others. If you’re looking for a car that won’t break the bank and does things a little different, look no further than the Air Hogs Zero Gravity Micro R/C cars.

Sure, these aren’t quite as large as your average R/C car, but then again your average R/C car can’t drive on the ceiling either. These awesome little 6-inch cars use a powerful fan to keep themselves attached to whatever surface they are driving on, including walls and your ceiling. You can pick up one of these for $44, which doesn’t seem too bad if it can really drive on the ceiling.

[ Amazon ] VIA [ Dvice ]