Lineriders, Hotwheels Revisited

Not a whole lot by way of details, but worth a post anyway. First of all, this is not a product to be found on the market. At least, not yet. Rather, it’s a project by Philip Worthington and William Denniss.

The idea is to outfit your common everyday Hotwheels cars with technology allowing them to follow paths drawn by you. You could make them speed up, slow down or whatever, using special annotation. Also, you would not need a special surface at all. In other words, you could create The Perfect Track right on your living room floor.

Not sure how real any of this is, and how much of it is just conceptual mumbo jumbo, but you’re free to follow these next links to decide for yourself. The Lineriders page. The two designer’s pages again, here and here. Finally, the story came VIA WMMNA.

Update: Better, clearer page with pictures of actual cars and stuff right here. It’s beggining to look like these things have actually been made, though obviously not in production yet.

Update #2: It seems this is not bleeding edge, groundbreaking new technology after all. Check this link to see what I mean. But hey, those toy cars look fruity. I like these Hotwheels wannabees much better.

20 thoughts on “Lineriders, Hotwheels Revisited”

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  3. I got a Smarttracker for Christmas. It never worked. The optical sensing technology has to be WAY improved before this concept will be ready for prime-time. But I would love for Mattel to put their formidable R&D chops into this and get it to fly. . .

  4. It’s been done before, and like previous attempts is doomed to failure because very few parents will be happy with a toy that encourages kids to draw on the floor.

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  6. It’s not a new technology but the application is funny. I have seen a real ‘walking’ bug use this line sensing technology. Very interesting although it walk very slowly.

  7. I remember reading an Epson (?) Scientific equipment catalog when I was like 10 in 1984 where they a few cool little robots in some fluo transparent plastic cases. One was doing just that, following lines drawn on the ground. It was probably very slow (too), but it got me interested in building a similar thing myself.

    I never even tried to do it since I figured out that it would be more complicated than using a light and two photoelectric cells (or maybe my dad told me so).

  8. The picture above is a mockup. The original article refers to pictures of cars projected into a whiteboard by a computer. The computer has a camera and makes the cards follow line, with annontaion to speed up, slow down and such. The computer also projects skid marks when the cards spin out. Pretty cool, but not a physical toy.

  9. DOPBz9 I put together a show of about forty photographs at a frame shop. I invent a unique way of mounting the pictures, flush on aluminum with a spacing device to move the picture out from the wall. This way of framing has never been done before, at least in our area. (Now I see it all the time on styrafoam board.) The show is a wild success with about a hundred people at the opening including the former director of the Playhouse 90 series on TV (a teacher in my department) who loves my work and brings the Chairman of the Art Department with him.

  10. I couldn’t understand some parts of this article Lineriders, Hotwheels Revisited, but I guess I just need to check some more resources regarding this, because it sounds interesting.

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