The Anki Drive system of smartphone-controlled cars uses a specialty mat developed by Anki, a tech startup aiming to bring artificial intelligence and adaptability to objects in the physical world. This is its first offering.
This is great. I still think they could have done more processing on the car, but that's just me. We used to have slot cars of various sizes. Customization was always fun. We would put more powerful motors, better, wider, stickier tires, etc. I expect you could do a lot with these as well. I like that they use light to help control the cars.
Interesting, clever steering, and that would explain the apparent unequal front to rear weight ratio I sensed and wondered about right away. I wonder if it wouldn't be a racing advantage to have the rear wheels clean, but the front ones dirty?
I wonder how it will handle crashes. What kid doesn't want to crash at the highest speed possible, over and over?! Or make this a demo derby or push-off-the-mat race?
Wondering too why it needs position speed data from the mat. Will it run when off the mat?
Just a bit of info about the app that runs this would have been nice.
More processing in the car would both inhibit development and increase battery drain, and probably reduce performance as well. It looks like they have the mix down quite well right now.
And I think how much advanced this thing is over those slotcars, except that they had way more power.
Differential drive steering requires feedback from some source, so they had to put tracks on the pad. But that also leaves the path clear for a lot more sophisticated programming as far as paths go, and also allows a means of avoiding collisions. Those kids who like to smash and crash toys like this fuly deserve to be frustrated and to have the toys totally destruct on the first intentional crash. And since it is constantly detecting it's position, it should be able to shut down if it runs off the pad, which is good for not getting lost.
Probably any change to the front wheels friction would alter the handling a bit. My guess is that those front wheels slide easily but also roll easily.
Some of our culture's most enduring robots appeared in the 80s. The Aliens series produced another evil android, and we saw light robot fare in the form of Short Circuit. Two of the great robots of all time also showed up: The Terminator and RoboCop.
Optomec's third America Makes project for metal 3D printing teams the LENS process company with GE Aviation, Lockheed, and other big aerospace names to develop guidelines for repairing high-value flight-critical Air Force components.
This Gadget Freak review looks at a cooler that is essentially a party on wheels with a built-in blender, Bluetooth speaker, and USB charger. We also look at a sustainable, rotating wireless smartphone charger.
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