Just saw this really cool WiFi + RC car mod from our friends over at Geeky Gadgets and thought it deserved abit of mention, it’s been made by Jonathan Bennet from JB Projects. Basically, this DIY project has created a car in which you can control using a computer of any kind that’s connected to the internet. And because it’s controlled via WiFi, it’s got an incredibly long range of up to 500m!
A remote control car that can be driven over the internet or with a laptop wirelessly from up to 500m away. It has a live-feed network camera so that it can be driven without line of sight and a horn so that you can honk at people. Adding a network camera, router, heavier batteries, extra circuits, and a whole bunch of wires adds a lot of extra weight that the car wasn’t designed for. Because of all of the additions, you’ll need to find a pretty large RC car. Thrift stores often sell RC vehicles (without remotes!) for $3-5. I have bought a number of cars this way for taking apart. Vehicles in the 1:10 size ratio or bigger are appropriate; you probably don’t want to go any smaller. I bought this car for $5 at Value Village.
Check out this video, featuring the car in action…
I believe with a bit of modification it could certainly be controlled using an iPhone like the RC we previously featured!
If you remember, we previously featured something almost exactly the same with the Nokia N95. Of course for the iPhone, it gets more sophisticated. In this very similar hack or mod, whatever you like to call it, an application is used, called OSCemote. It’s an application which sends data from the iPhone to a PC and this is done thru WiFi using OpenSoundControl protocol.
The interface of the remote control application if you like, has five buttons, four of them you can use for traditional driving and when you press the last one, it unlocks the accelerometer control of the iPhone in the same way as in many driving games that are currently available on AppStore.
Like your RCs? Then you will most definitely like this, according to the project, this was done on a tight budget and the only money spent was on the propellers and the batteries, of course, you will need the materials to do it if you haven’t already got them in your shed or something. As you will see in the video, it works pretty well and looks to be great indoor and outdoor fun!
The workings of a hovercraft are fairly straightforward: one high-power motor with an airplane propeller forces air down through the hole in the center, which pushes the bottom of the hovercraft off the ground. This greatly reduces friction, allowing the hovercraft to scoot around without much trouble. It also makes it much more difficult to control, however: when the hovercraft turns, it will keep traveling in a straight line unless more thrust is applied. Since we are used to controlling cars or boats, the newtonian behavior of a hovercraft is challenging indeed. The body of the hovercraft is made out of styrofoam, cut with a saw and sanded to smooth the edges. The skirt on the bottom is made out of pieces of a plastic GAP bag, attached with Scotch tape and hot glue. The radio control unit was scavenged from an old boat I had, along with the drive motor mounted on the wooden supports, while the lifting motor was from my physics teacher. The battery is 300 mAh 6V NiMH (or NiCd, I forget), and I have a pair of them. They were about $6-$10 each (again, forgot) and about $12 for the 2 1/2 hour charger. The servomotor for steering was from an old RC car I had, but I unfortunately wasn’t able to find the radio unit or else I would’ve used that instead. I needed the gears in the thing so it could provide enough torque, however.
Probably the single most useful thing during construction was hot glue – the entire thing is held together with the stuff and it will hold for some time to come. The physical construction of the hovercraft was really the easy part… the hard part was trying to get it to work the way I wanted it to.
This R/C car has a hefty name: Vision Tracking System (VTS) Camera Car, the reason for that is because it’s no ordinary toy. The VTS Camera Car, as you can tell from its name, puts you on the spot as though you were driving it at its level. How does it do it? Well the driver sitting on the car actually has a camera-equipped head and by putting on some VGA resolution goggles, you will experience the thrill that he has to go through (controlled by you!).
What’s more, these cyclops-looking goggles transmits sound and if you rotate your head, he does the same as well, talk about getting put on the spot!
Almost every household computer would have a webcam these days, they’re great for chatting online and an excellent way to save on long distance calls too. But how many of you have a webcam from HP and not from Logitech? The answer I’m not 100% certain but I don’t think it’s that many, however, might this latest HP product capture your eyes?
The latest HP Elite Autofocus Webcam has some very outstanding features, though I don’t know about its pricing yet, it’s got functions that far exceeds the needs of any typical online webcam user.
With its 3-megapixel sensor, it is well equipped to produce qualities far beyond that of HD; also on board is autofocus, privacy cover and UVC for driverless install and 320-degree pan angle.
You can expect 30fps at VGA, but only 8 to 9fps at 1280×960. Then again, most ordinary persons don’t need more than 800×600 for video conferencing, and at this res, the webcam can handle at 20fps. There’s an effective focal range from 4 inches to infinity and an integrated stereo mic. Included with the Elite are ArcSoft VideoImpression, Magic-i and PhotoSmart Essential software. The low FPS concern aside, the HP Elite webcam goes nicely with the new breed of glossy black HP LCDs.
We all know that the Nokia N95 can perform, just recently we showed its ability to act as a remote control for toys but now that Nokia has published a press release that the N95 will be the first mobile phone to gain DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) certification, we would like to show you a video that demonstrates exactly just that:
Just can’t believe how well this helicopter can fly, must be extremely difficult to control though!