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Tag Archives: Remote Control

RC Despe EC280MG Excavator Is The Perfect Beach Accessory

RC Despe EC280MG Excavator (Image courtesy Hobby Media)
By Andrew Liszewski

There’s a certain appeal to building sand castles, but nobody visits the beach to work! So the next time you head out for a little sun and sand, I suggest bringing along this remote control excavator for doing all the hard work. The EC280MG is a 1:14.5 scale version of a real excavator produced by Despe in Italy, but don’t let its size deceive you, this is one impressive RC toy.

Made from CNC cut steel the EC280MG weighs in at around 62 pounds, is powered by 6 motors running off of 4 x 7.2V Ni-MH rechargeable batteries and even features a powder coat paint job. While not very exciting, the video I’ve included below does show how strong the excavator really is, but with a price tag of $4,500, not including the required 8-channel proportional remote, it better be more capable than your average plastic RC construction toy!

[ Hobby Media – RC Despe EC280MG Excavator ] VIA [ Coolest Gadgets ]

Hot Wheels Stealth Rides RC Cars Fold Up Into A Credit Card Sized Package

Hot Wheels Stealth Rides (Image courtesy Mattel)
By Andrew Liszewski

Even though I’m well past the age where I should be wandering around a Toys R’ Us without kids in tow, I find the stuff being revealed at Toy Fair to be just as cool as the gear unveiled at CES. Mattel’s ‘Stealth Rides’ for example, which will be sold under the Hot Wheels brand, are fully functioning RC cars that fold down to a credit card sized package that’s about as thick as your average cellphone, making them extremely pocket-friendly.

They’ll be available in August for about $25 each in 5 different models including a couple of cars, a couple of tanks and the Tumbler from the recent Batman movies. And while usually these types of miniature RC cars that charge in the remote last for just a few minutes between charges, apparently the Stealth Rides will run for an impressive 30 minutes.

[ CNN – Mattel’s coolest Hot Wheels ever: They fold ] VIA [ CrunchGear ]

[CES 2010] Hands-On With The L5 IR Remote Dongle For The iPhone & iPod Touch

L5 Remote Dongle (Image property OhGizmo!)
By Andrew Liszewski

In addition to bring a damn fine phone, the iPhone always seemed to me like it would make a half-decent universal remote as well, with its large touchscreen display and accessory-friendly dock connector. But oddly enough it’s taken this long for a 3rd party to create an IR remote add-on, though I guess the wait was worth it. The L5 Remote doesn’t add much bulk to the iPhone, it just hangs off the bottom, though the placement of the iPhone’s dock connector does mean you’ll have to use it upside down when controlling your entertainment center.

The accompanying app, which unfortunately is still awaiting approval in the App Store, is pretty robust too. It supports learning functionality, and since the iPhone is graced with a fast processor capturing commands from your other remotes is very fast according to their rep. The button layout is also completely configurable, with little sliding areas to hide buttons like numeric layouts that you aren’t necessarily using all the time. In fact the only downside I can see is that since using the remote requires the iPhone’s display to be on all the time (the IR dongle just sips power, and isn’t much of a drain) it will be the first remote you have to charge every night. The L5 should be available sometime in February, pending approval of their app of course, for about $40 I believe.

[ L5 Remote ]

Cool.con Remote Certainly Looks Comfortable To Use

Cool.con TV Remote (Images courtesy FunShop)
By Andrew Liszewski

If ergonomics and comfort just aren’t your thing, then I highly recommend considering the Cool.con the next time you’re looking for a new TV remote. It’s got an easy to use button layout, but the real appeal is the half-sphere underside which is covered in small metal spikes. In all seriousness I think it’s supposed to be some kind of pressure-point thing to do who knows what while you’re watching TV, but there’s a good chance it will also serve to discourage someone from snatching the remote away from you and trying to change the channel. About $13 from the FunShop.

[ Cool.con Remote ] VIA [ The Red Ferret Journal ]

Plantraco 1/72 Scale RC Spitfire

1/72 Scale Spitfire Mark 16 (Images courtesy Plantraco)
By Andrew Liszewski

Re-enact the Battle of Britain in your living room with this 1/72 scale RC Spitfire MK XVI that has a wingspan of just 6 inches and an overall weight of 2.7 grams. The motor itself is just 4mm in size and spins an equally tiny 32mm propeller, and while the fuselage is made from foam, I’m pretty sure it will easily survive any crashes given the plane’s limited max airspeed.

With the fully proportional transmitter remote the 1/72 scale Spitfire is a bit steep at $149.99, but if you’ve already got Plantraco microflight planes in your fleet, you can buy the Spitfire by itself for $99.99.

[ Plantraco 1/72 Scale RC Spitfire ] VIA [ The Gadgeteer ]

ELPA Universal Remote Includes A Wireless Speaker

ELPA Speaker Remote (Image courtesy DVICE)
By Andrew Liszewski

If you’re constantly throwing things at your TV because the darn thing just doesn’t go loud enough for you, might I suggest this handy, yet unusual, universal remote control from ELPA. The design throws years and years of remote control ergonomics out the window, in favor of integrating a pop-up speaker in the lid. When used in conjunction with the included receiver unit connected to your TV, the remote’s speaker basically brings the sound to you. While it looks a bit odd at first, I don’t think it’s terrible idea, given developers have already found some unique uses for the speaker featured on the Wiimote.

The RC-25SP Universal Speaker Remote is available from ELPA for about $40.

[ ELPA Universal Remote With Built-in Speaker ] VIA [ Japan Today ]

[CES 2009] Panasonic Easy Touch Remote Controller Concept

Panasonic Easy Touch Remote Controller (Images property OhGizmo!)
By Andrew Liszewski

Panasonic is showing off a new remote concept at their booth that uses a Wii-like controller with two distinct touch pads and a small collection of unlabeled buttons. The idea behind the remote is to put all of the button labels on-screen via an overlayed GUI so that you never need to look down at a complicated collection of buttons, and away from what you’re watching.

Panasonic Easy Touch Remote Controller (Images property OhGizmo!)

The remote is smart enough to know when it has been picked up, and can tell if you’re holding it in your right, left or even both hands so that you can use it as a traditional channel changing remote, or as a keyboard. It also has a built-in gyro allowing you to flick your way through a collection of photos, and the dual touch pads can even be used to perform ‘pinch zoom’ type functions, without the added cost of an actual multi-touch capable pad.

Panasonic Easy Touch Remote Controller (Images property OhGizmo!)

I particularly like that your fingers show up on-screen as a virtual representation, so you always know which buttons you’re currently hovering over, or are about to press. And if you’re using the remote to type on the virtual on-screen keyboard, you’ll see both fingers (or thumbs) moving independently. Sadly, the Easy Touch Remote Controller is just a concept at the moment, but from what I saw it’s a fully-working concept, so actually bringing this to the market is not out of the question.

Kyosho dNaNo RC Cars

Kyosho dNaNo RC Cars (Images courtesy
By Andrew Liszewski

Remember back in the day when small remote controlled cars could only drive forward and turn in reverse? Yeah, thankfully those days are long gone. The dNaNo series, from Japanese RC toy company Kyosho, are 1:43 scale miniature marvels of engineering. The cars are only about 4 inches long but they’re incredibly detailed and even feature fully proportional steering. On top of that, they can be outfitted with a small gyro device that will automatically sense sliding or slipping when cornering and automatically reduce the speed or counter steer depending on the situation. The controller can even be synced to your PC via USB allowing you to upload lap times and other performance data to the dNaNo server, and compare your times to others.

Here’s the kicker though. Since the dNaNo cars aren’t officially available in the U.S. just yet, they have to be imported through the website. So the cars, which include everything from a Subaru STi to a Ferrari Enzo, each cost $239.95. And that’s without a battery pack or controller. The 2.4 GHz Starter Pack which includes a battery, charger and wireless controller is another $155.95. I think for the time being I’ll stick with the Bit Char-Gs I’ve got buried in a drawer somewhere.

[ Kyosho dNaNo RC Cars ] VIA [ GeekAlerts ]

H2GO Hydrogen Fuel Cell RC Car Now Available

H2GO RC Car (Image courtesy Hammacher Schlemmer)
By Andrew Liszewski

Luke first wrote about the H2GO hydrogen fuel cell car at the beginning of the year, but at that time there was no information on pricing or availability. Well here we are almost 9 months later and it looks like Hammacher Schlemmer now has the H2GO available, just in time for the gift-giving season. Besides the futuristic design, what sets the H2GO apart from other RC cars on the market is that it uses a bona-fide hydrogen fuel cell instead of AAs or other types of built-in rechargeable batteries. So instead of having to remember to buy batteries for Christmas morning, you just need to make sure you have plenty of tap water available.

The hydrogen used by the fuel cell is generated by the included fueling station which uses electrolysis to turn water into hydrogen and oxygen, and it itself is solar powered. The car is controlled by the Wiimote Nunchuck looking remote (which is probably the one component of the kit that does require a battery) and has a top speed of about 6MPH. You’ll get about 6 minutes of driving time after each 3 1/2 minute refueling, and the hydrogen fuel station will operate for about an hour after a 4-minute charge from its solar panel. At $149.95 it’s probably not the cheapest or even the most exciting remote control toy car on the market, but it will teach your kids about the exciting world of alternative fuels!

[ Hammacher – The First Remote Controlled Hydrogen Powered Car ]