being a non-pilot, a camera-equipped radio controlled rig like this Hubsan X4 FPV RC Quadcopter is probably the closest you will ever get to the front seat of an aircraft. clad in a lightweight airframe, the X4 FPV is a full-fledge radio controlled quadcopter with a 6-axis flight control system, coreless motors and adjustable gyro sensitivity, which allows for a stable flight indoor or out, and can be flew by sight or by using the 4.3-inch LCD on the supplied 4-channel transmitter which displays live video feed from the camera mounted on the aircraft. the latter will comes in pretty handy when this tiny, palm-size quad flies out to 100 meter, which it is capable of, where it will be visually impossible to maneuver. video feed is transmitted from the quad to the transmitter via 5.8GHz band from up to a distance of 100 meters, and can be recorded and stored in a SD card (not included). Continue reading
before Formula race car, there is the Go-Kart to get any aspiring race car driver started with, and before powered Go-Kart, there is Go-Kart Pedal Car to behind with. if you see a Sebastian Vettel in your young one, then the Go-Kart Porsche Pedal Car might be a good starting point. measuring nearly 5 feet long, this latest addition to the Porsche Lifestyle Collection features a construction based on Porsche Intelligent Performance (which means, this is not a kiddie toy to scoff at – it is designed to pedal raced), high-quality drive components derived from bicycles, composite wheels with simulated center locks that mimics the real life German sports car, inflatable low-profile tires, a sport seat, a tubular steel frame, and a complete stopping package that comprises of a back-pedal brake and a handbrake. Continue reading
if you perceive Air Hogs as a kid’s toy, then there’s a good chance that the new Air Hogs Elite Helix X4 Radio Control Quadcopter might change your perception. make no mistake here. the Elite Helix X4 is not an infrared-control two (or three, at best) channel flying toy that your five-year old nephew runs around with. this quad ducted fans-equipped flying machine is a full-fledge radio control toy with full four channels of control and uses interference-free 2.4GHz radio link for a harmless fun-filled flight. Continue reading
(photos: Hammacher) The Bionic Bopper Cars | US$17,000.00 | www.hammacher.com
a champion boxer often has to face with routine cardio exercises and having to answer dumb questions from the media, and that’s not including the inevitable pain that you have to endure while you scuffle your way to the championship title. those are not the worst bits cos’ as a boxer, you run the risk of suffering from concussion as a result of a blow (or two) on your head. the very thought of a 100-lbs punch landing on our temple sends shudder down our bones but not if you can do your favorite bout with your best pal, each in your very own safety cage cockpit. meet the Bionic Bopper Cars: the awesome robots that you and your friend can sit in and send chin-lifting uppercuts without suffering from any form of injury. it works like a bumper car, except that it has pneumatic-powered tire-tread-fisted arms that are capable of sending punches at each other’s head…er, i meant robot’s head, and a front-mounted display on each robot’s mid-section display the successful scoring punches. you don’t even need a referee for this kind of head smacking fun. Continue reading
(image credit: Dexim) Dexim AppSpeed Monster Truck | US$69.90 | www.dexim.net
our i-controlled life continues with Dexim’s AppSpeed Monster Truck, a tiny monster truck that is controlled by your iDevice like the iPad, iPod Touch and iPhone. instead of the traditional controller, this monster truck is controlled by your iDevice via a free AppSpeed app. the package includes a RF dongle that connects to your iDevice dock connector and control of the vehicle is either via touchscreen using the crude directional graphics or you can make yourself look pretty awkward by controlling it using tilt-action. Continue reading
(image credit: Sheepo’s Garage)
let me assure you that though the above LEGO creation is in red, it is not your standard LEGO Ferrari but a custom Porsche 911 with incredible amount of details. created by one Spanish Fernando (aka Sheepo), this LEGO Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet PDK is built from nearly 3,500 parts that has twenty-three LEGO electric elements in it, including eight motors, three remote controllers, three Infrared receivers, three pairs of lights and almost seven meters worth of wirings. to be honest, i was skeptical about how detailed it could be, until i saw the video – which you can witness for yourself after the break. Continue reading
(image credit: Modular Robotics) Cubelets Modular Robotic Blocks | U$300.00 | www.modrobotics.com
the Cubelets is a robot construction kit developed by Modular Robotics, a spin-off from Carnegie Mellon University, which lets you construct your own robot using a combination of task-orientated robotic cubes. essentially, there are three categories of robotic cubes in this kit, namely the action blocks, sense blocks and the think/utility blocks. for example, snapping an action block like the drive unit, with a sense block such as the distance sensor unit and a battery from the think/utility block, gets you a robot that moves when the sensor detects your hand moving towards it. of course, with a bit of creativity, you could get a more a complex bot going. check out the teaser video on it works after the break.
currently, the beta test kit of 100 units are sold out but it will be back soon and has a retail price of $300. not exactly cheap but i guess the hours of fun you will have with this hi-tech toy far outweigh its price tag. well, at least it is to me. blame it on my love for toys and geeky gadgets. for $300 you will get a standard kit consisting of 20 blocks from all three categories of function essential for you to start building your own robots. recommended age for this robotic toy kit is 8 years and up. damn. why didn’t i have such cutting edge toys when i was a kid? all i had was green toy soldiers just like the ones you see in Toy Story.
(image credit: Desk Pets) Desk Pets TankBot | US$20.00 | www.mydeskpets.com
autonomous is no longer restricted to military use. it has now come to your desktop in the form of the Desk Pets TankBot, a completely autonomous (and adorable) vehicle on rubber tracks. the TankBot uses infrared sensors to ‘see’ and avoid obstacles, thus allowing it to autonomously navigate around. all you have to do is not let it fall off the desk. it can also be controlled with iPhone via its accompanying free app. the TankBot has a built-in rechargeable Lithium Polymer battery which provides a good 15 minutes of play on a single 30-minute full charge. charging is via USB port with the integrated USB flip out connector on TankBot.
the Desk Pets TankBot comes in four different colors and is slated for release this June with a MSRP of $20.
(image credit: FireBox) BigTrak Jr. Programmable Rover | £29.99 | /www.bigtrakjr.com
while automobiles of the yesteryear are making a come back with modern technologies, toys are not missing out the resurrection party either. now get ready for BigTrak Junior – a compact (almost) palm-size brother of the original BigTrak from the 80s. yes, there are more to 80s than just shoulder pads. when personal computer was just at its infancy (in the 80s), a toy with the ability to be programed was a big thing and i bet it still stands true today. take it as a budget alternative to LEGO Mindstorms.
the BigTrak Jr has inherited the programming ability of the senior BigTrak plus some functions from the 21st century thrown in for good measures. to operate, simply punched in the desired commands, hit ‘GO’ and witness the BigTrak executes the sequence autonomously. this six-wheeler space rover can travel forwards, backwards, turn left and right. you can even program it to fire its ‘photo’ cannon while its executing its tour of duty.
(image credit: FireBox)
there are a couple of 21st century technologies thrown in such as the memory save function which allows you to write and save the program for future use. there is also an unique ‘active’ accessory port allowing it to utilize a number of add-on accessories (coming soon in 2011) to carry out its mission. some of the planned accessories include webcam and foam rocket launcher. sounds like quite a load of fun. soon BigTrak can do more than just patrolling round the supplied ‘moon crater’ obstacles but ‘transform’ into either a reconnaissance vehicle or an mobile artillery unit.
i would love to see a BigTrak as Radio Control vehicle plus the webcam and foam rocket launching ability. how about a gyroscope built-in to enable firing on the move? nah… i am just kidding but it will be good to have, isn’t it?