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Tag Archives: Remote Control

An RC F16 With A First Person Remote View

By Andrew Liszewski

I found a new recipe for awesome today. You take a remote controlled F16 fighter plane with an intricately detailed cockpit. (Complete with a working digital display showing altitude) Add in an action figure with a 360 degree rotating, panning video camera for a head. Mix that in with a wireless broadcast system and then finish the whole thing off with a pair of LCD goggles worn by the pilot on the ground.

Fpv F-16 (Images courtesy VRflyer)

You’re left with an experience that will put any video camera equipped RC car to shame. Seriously. The footage from the cockpit of this RC plane in flight feels surprisingly realistic. (Not that I’ve ever experienced the real thing to compare though.) Or maybe it’s just the Kenny Loggins soundtrack. Either way – awesome!

[ RC Groups – Fpv F-16 ] VIA [ Autoblog ]

Hot Wheels RC Nitro Speeders Have A Scale Speed Of 600mph

Hot Wheels RC Nitro Speeders (Image courtesy Hot Wheels)
By Andrew Liszewski

Now that the Bit Char-G fad has officially faded, and miniature remote control vehicles are commonplace on toy store shelves, Hot Wheels has decided it’s time to see just how far these micro racers can be pushed. Their latest entry into the RC field, shown off at Toy Fair 2011 in New York many moons ago, is their RC Nitro Speeders. The cars are less than 1 3/4-inches long, or 1/87th scale, but have a top speed of 8.3mph. When you crunch the numbers, that’s equal to about 600mph for a full-sized vehicle.

Besides making them nearly impossible to drive flat-out on anything smaller than a basketball court, that speed and power lets them tackle vertical loops with ease. In fact, the cars are small enough to be driven on standard orange Hot Wheels stunt tracks. So in theory, whatever you can do with your die-cast Hot Wheels, you can do with these.

Like any miniature RC toy these days, they charge via their controller which is where you install a plethora of AA batteries (4 in this case) and the whole package is small enough to theoretically squeeze into a kid’s pocket. Besides their size and speed, what I find most impressive is that Hot Wheels was even able to cram proportionate steering and acceleration into the Nitro Speeders, which is pretty much a must if you have any hopes of not ramming it into a wall. Available sometime this Fall in Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro and Ken Block’s Ford Fiesta versions for just under $30.

[ PR – Hot Wheels – 2011 New York Toy Fair – RC Nitro Speeders ] VIA [ CNET ]

*I’ve added an entertaining video review of the RC Nitro Speeders from after the jump.

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RcSuperhero Is Probably As Close As You’re Gonna Get To Your Iron Man Fantasies

RcSuperhero (Images courtesy
By Andrew Liszewski

The good news is that you don’t need Tony Stark levels of funding to get your hands on one of these remote control flying ‘superheros’ which, and let’s be honest here, are most likely as close as any of us are going to get to human flight. But it probably wouldn’t hurt to have his level of technical expertise since they’re only available as unassembled kits. True do-it-yourselfers will probably just opt to buy the PDF plans for $19.95 (for both the 75-inch and 57-inch versions) but you can also get the majority of the pre-cut parts in a kit for $295.

The final build weighs in at just 3 pounds and since the motor has ~6 pounds of thrust it can actually do a standing takeoff, like a real superhero would… assuming there are such things as real superheros. And because of its oversized control surfaces it’s apparently very easy to fly, even for novices. Which is a good thing because seeing it careen all over the sky would most likely not strike fear into evildoers.

[ RcSuperhero ] VIA [ Geeky-Gadgets ]

iPhly Turns Your iPhone Into An RC Remote

iPhly Remote Control (Images courtesy Ari Krupnik & Associates)
By Andrew Liszewski

Usually when I write about a Kickstarter project I’m excited about the product, but pessimistic about it ever actually coming to fruition. But the iPhly is proof that some projects do successfully raise the funding they need. Designed for RC enthusiasts, the iPhly replaces those incredibly expensive controllers with a considerably cheaper and far more compact housing that attaches to your iPhone and interfaces with it through the headphone/mic port. So instead of flying an RC plane via a couple of sticks, you can take advantage of the iPhone’s built-in gyroscope to pitch, roll and even throttle up by swiping across the display.

The accompanying iPhly app, which of course is available for free from the iTunes App Store, uses a simulated attitude indicator for its interface showing how the plane is oriented to the horizon, or a simple animated steering wheel when used with RC cars and trucks. At $99.99 the iPhly isn’t terribly expensive if you’re already an iPhone user, however, you do need to add a Futaba-style frequency module. But if you’re already an RC enthusiast you can just swap it over from your existing controller since most of the popular brands have already been tested to ensure they work with the iPhly.

[ iPhly iPhone RC Controller ] VIA [ Gizmag ]

BMW’s CULTURE Book Features An Integrated RC Car

BMW's CULTURE Book (Images courtesy BMW Group)
By Andrew Liszewski

I can’t decide if this comes across as clever or too gimmicky, but BMW (which are always known for their performance parts, such as the air filter, and exhaust systems) decided to celebrate their 40 years of supporting more than 100 cultural endeavors around the world, so they hired graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister (seen leaving his John Hancock in the top photo) to create a limited edition book simply called CULTURE. Besides appealing to design types, the book should also appeal to BMW enthusiasts, and 5 year old kids, since it features an integrated remote control car as seen in action at the end of this promotional video.

Only 1488 copies of the book are being produced, each one signed by Stefan himself, but don’t excitedly head over to the BMW website just yet since the books won’t actually be available for sale. Presumably they’ll be given away to preferred customers, or those who’ve been a part of the projects actually covered in the book. At the least it’s a unique idea, and makes me hope that NASA does a similar thing…

[ PR – BMW – CULTURE by Stefan Sagmeister ] VIA [ Jalopnik ]

RC Bald Eagle With An Almost 10 Foot Wingspan

RC Bald Eagle (Images courtesy Hammacher Schlemmer)
By Andrew Liszewski

I still stand by my opinion that remote control inflatable fish balloons aren’t the most exciting flying toy you can buy these days. I mean there’s a reason there’s no clownfish appearing on the US $1 bill. But you know what you will find on there? A bald eagle! And you know what would make for an awesome flying toy? A remote control bald eagle of course!

This one features an impressive 9 1/2 foot wingspan, and is essentially a glorified kite with a carbon fiber frame and wing struts, and an electric motor strapped to its back. But in lieu of flaps and other control surfaces that are used to control a plane, the electric motor is mounted on a gimbal allowing the thrust to be directed using the included multi-channel remote, which in turn steers the eagle. The remote has a usable range of about 100 feet, and the eagle’s rechargeable lithium battery pack provides about 8 minutes of flight on a 20 minute charge. Not too shabby if the whole kit was around $50-$75, but for $499.95 you can get yourself a far more capable RC plane or helicopter!

[ Remote Control Bald Eagle ]

Headphone Jack Adapter Turns The iPhone Into A Remote For RC Toys

AppToyz Remote Adapter (Images courtesy Pocket-lint)
By Andrew Liszewski

While devices like Sphero or Parrot’s AR.Drone that use the iPhone or iPod Touch as a remote control usually just rely on the device’s built-in wifi or Bluetooth, these AppToyz, from a UK-based company called MediaSauce, use a cheap add-on dongle to communicate over RF I assume.

And instead of interfacing with the dock connector on the bottom of the iPhone or iPod Touch, the AppToyz dongle plugs into the headphone jack which seems to be standard procedure for third-party remote control hardware like this. As a result, when available sometime this year, they’ll be a bit more affordable than something like the AR.Drone with an RC helicopter selling for ~$80 (£50) and an RC car that’s a bit cheaper at ~$47 (£30).

[ Pocket-lint – Apple iPhone, now controller for your RC toys ]

Rotor Concept’s ID1-SWAT RC Helicopter

Rotor Concept's ID1-SWAT RC Helicopter (Images property OhGizmo!)
By Andrew Liszewski

While it looks like one of those professional RC helicopters that should only be controlled by an experienced pilot lest someone loses a limb, the ID1-Swat from Rotor Concept’s actually looks as easy to fly as those palm-sized Air Hogs models. At least the demos at their small booth at CES were impressive since the electric chopper effortlessly hovered in the air, even when there was no one at the controls. Thanks to a “state-of-the-art high performance heading hold gyro” if things start to get out of control you just let go of the sticks and the ID1-Swat will level itself and remain hovering where you left it.

Its 11.1V, 1500mAh lithium-polymer battery, which powers two electric motors, is good for about 15 minutes of flight time, and the 4-channel, 2.4GHz remote gives it an impressive flight range of a 1 mile radius and up to 2,000 feet high. And to top it all off there’s even a wireless video camera in the front giving you a first-person view of the entire flight. $499, back-ordered until mid-February.

[ Rotor Concept ID1-SWAT RC Helicopter ]

Have 1/16 As Much Fun As Ken Block Does With This RC Version Of His #43 Ford Fiesta

Ken Block's RC Ford Fiesta (Image courtesy Traxxas)
By Andrew Liszewski

Ken Block’s Gymkhana videos have racked up millions and millions of views, and quite frankly they look like just about as much fun as anyone can have with a car. And while you can head out to your local Ford dealer and pick up a Fiesta for yourself, it unfortunately won’t come with the hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of improvements needed to pull off those Gymkhana tricks. So what’s the next best thing? Why a 1/16-scale version of course!

Out of the box this miniature version of Ken Block’s ride features all the livery and graphics of the full-scale version, and is capable of hitting 30mph+ with the included battery. And if you get the optional upgrade which includes a second battery, pinion gear and speed connector, you can push that to 50mph+. It’s 4WD too allowing you to pull off a lot of the same stunts that Ken does (including shallow depth-of-field promo videos as seen below) but since you’re driving a safe distance away via a wireless controller, you never have to worry about protective gear or even wearing a helmet.

And while it won’t cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars, or a new set of tires after every run, you can still expect to pay about $300+ for this mini Fiesta, not including the controller.

[ Traxxas Ken Block’s RC Ford Fiesta ] VIA [ Autoblog ]