Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Toys

R/C Vehicle For The Desktop 166

Posted by Hemos
from the vroom-vroom-vroom dept.
Slide100 writes "Just found the coolest desktop toy while browsing my latest R/C Aircraft magazine ( It's a 4" long tracked R/C vehicle with plenty of torque and a 200 foot range. Four frquencies are available (racing, anyone?). You can also get a single board B/W UHF transmitter for remote telepresence! Check the website for more information"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

R/C Vehicle For The Desktop

Comments Filter:
  • Managers everywhere have a new toy... they can drive around on top of cubicle walls and spy on unsuspecting employees...
  • check out www.solarbotics.com, they've got some pretty cool little desktop type things there (little solar powered robots and the like, i think they've been on slashdot once before)
    • by cloudmaster (10662) on Tuesday August 28, 2001 @11:11AM (#2225448) Homepage Journal
      Manufacturer page: http://www.kyosho.com/cars/kyod37x1.html [kyosho.com]
      My preferred supplier: http://www.towerhobbies.com/promos/00so/kyod49sm.h tml [towerhobbies.com]

      Real mini R/C cars. That little tank thing looks like some low-quality stuff. These things are fairly fast and have a real suspension, but they do cost a shade more than the crap tank and are a whopping 5" (instead of the tank's 4")... They've got 7 frequencies, though.
      • Sorry, part numbers on that supplier page don't seem to work. Go here http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/WTI0097p.pgm [towerhobbies.com] and search for "mini-z" with "kyosho" as the manufacturer... Lists some hop-ups and the cars themselves.
      • The Kyosho Mini-Z cars are really great!

        We have several!, but they are in a different category of micro RC - Our Desktop Rover is a slow moving micro vehicle that can turn on a dime - which the Mini-Z and other wheeled vehicles cannot do.

        We are releasing a new version of the Desktop Rover in the coming weeks - and we have added Laser Tag and a Computer Interface. See the link I have posted to our PDF - from mac.com instead of our website - which has been overloaded today! 500 users per minute! Wow!

        Thank You everyone for your interest in our Desktop Rover miniature tracked vehicle!

        I only wish our website was ready for this traffic! We have been quite overloaded today!

        In addition, I would like to inform everyone that we at plantraco have added some very interesting features to the Desktop Rover that I think you will want to know about!

        1. INFRARED LASER TAG SYSTEM!

        2. COMPUTER INTERFACE TO TRANSMITTER BOX - AND ACCOMPANYING JAVA SOFTWARE (Which will run on any computer that has a Java 1.2 (Java 2) Virtual Machine. This includes Win 95-2000 and, yes, Mac OS X ! We have not tested on Linux, but if you have JVM and a serial port, you should be in business!

        3. Various plastic modifications - prevent rubber track derailment and other mundane bug fixes

        We would be happy to have you as a customer! Check back to our website in a few weeks for the new Rovers!

        I want to post a PDF of our Desktop Rover Brochure - which was just completed today!

        [mac.com]

        desktoprover_brochure.pdf
    • Lego will sell you two remote control tracked vehicles for $89. They call them Manas [lego.com] and are part of their Bionicle series. But nevermind that -- you get two IR remote control vehicles with three channels. Plus you can control them from the Mindstorms RCX.
      -russ
  • can you cluster them with only 4 frequencies? :-)

    On a more serious note: the site seems to be slashdotted already. Mirrors anyone?
    • sure why not cluster them, won't do you much good anyways. what would they do help each other move :)
      actually come to think of it that would be an interesting thing, kinda like a remote controled voltron.
      LITTLE REMOTE CONTROLLED THINGIES UNITE TO FORM SLIGHTLY BIGGER REMOTE CONTROLLED THINGY
      • Hello! Bud here, from Plantraco! ummm - Cluster them eh? You mean tie 2 or more together? Yes, this cna be done - maybe if you have some micro robotics needs you could use 2 rovers. Here is a link to the PDF of our Desktop Rover Brochure - which was just completed today! It isn't even on our website yet [mac.com]
        desktoprover_brochure.pdf
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Inspired by NASA Planetary
    Exploration Missions, Plantraco's
    Desktop Rover is a Telepresence
    Capable R.O.V. (Remote Operated Vehicle) that enables the user to
    have a little taste of what it feels
    like to actually explore an "Alien Landscape" remotely!

    This Marvelous Miniature Tracked Vehicle can be very precisely controlled! Independant Control of the Tank Tracks allows you to spin in place and maneuver in all directions. With Plenty of Torque, the Rover can climb over books and keyboards like a Mechanical Billygoat.

    At 4 Inches in Length, The Desktop Rover is ready for play wherever you go!
    Its Radio Controlled Fun that can fit in your pocket! And it won't take over your closet space - The Storage Case fits on your Bookshelf! Miniature Radio Control is Fun for Father and Son!

    Add our Miniature Wireless Video Camera (The PTV16) to the Desktop Rover and now you have a Remote Operated Telepresence Vehicle that can transmit a view of the world from the Rover's perspective - throughout your home! Place the Rover in the dining room and maneuver precisely by using the broadcasted television picture as your objective navigational reference.

    This Miniature Mobile Rover will Appeal to both executive and child. Hey, If you are a child executive, you need our entire product line! Well, back to the point here, The Desktop Rover is a really cool Desk Accessory - Discard that Brass Clock with the Mont Blanc Pens and lay down a Rover .

    If you DO bring it to work to play on your desk, we would suggest you purchase an extra set of batteries because you may not get to play with it much. Better yet, Take the Rover and the small 50's style remote with you wherever you go - Its one of the most pleasant ways to spend a moment. Yes, people will think you are crazy for playing with a "Toy" in public, but the feelings of joy that you will experience as you climb over your keyboard and push a coffee mug across the table will outweigh the social rejection and envy that will be glaring at you from all angles.

    Independantly Controlled Tracks allow you precision control that only a Tracked Vehicle can deliver!

    This Miniature Mobile Mechanical Masterpiece's Maneuvers Makes Most Mom's Mad ... Marvelous

    Bookmark our site and come back later to see some of the interesting "Modules" that will be available for the Desktop Rover!
  • by jedwards (135260) on Tuesday August 28, 2001 @10:49AM (#2225358) Homepage Journal
    http://www.desktoprovers.com/ [desktoprovers.com]
  • With a model rocket I could deliver this payload to some rich person's estate and go looking around. What fun! Could that be illegal?
  • Misleading Subject (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Controlio (78666)
    Heh, when I first read that subject line, I thought that RC had actually came out with an RC car that drives around on your computer's desktop, with a wireless control like a normal RC car. :) Plug a little RF receiver into a serial port, and you're good to go. With a little thought and innovation, it might even be a decent replacement for a wireless mouse (though the little RC car tire skid marks might be a little distracting on a webpage...)

    Now THAT would be a great time killer... and would finally force me to erase that cute little sheep.exe program.
    • Desktops are what your computer sits on as well...
    • We have what you want (Computer Interface) - it just hasn't been released yet!

      Talk about blowing our press release :)

      I post again:

      Thank You everyone for your interest in our Desktop Rover miniature tracked vehicle!

      I only wish our website was ready for this traffic! We have been quite overloaded today!

      In addition, I would like to inform everyone that we at plantraco have added some very interesting features to the Desktop Rover that I think you will want to know about!

      1. INFRARED LASER TAG SYSTEM!

      2. COMPUTER INTERFACE TO TRANSMITTER BOX - AND ACCOMPANYING JAVA SOFTWARE (Which will run on any computer that has a Java 1.2 (Java 2) Virtual Machine. This includes Win 95-2000 and, yes, Mac OS X ! We have not tested on Linux, but if you have JVM and a serial port, you should be in business!

      3. Various plastic modifications - prevent rubber track derailment and other mundane bug fixes

      I want to post a PDF of our Desktop Rover Brochure - which was just completed today!

      [mac.com]

      desktoprover_brochure.pdf
  • by Neorej (398404)
    Sounds like a really usefull addition to our 2 goldfish, Blub-Niggurath and Azagblob, our toy cat Pookie, our fridge, the MP3 server and those cd's my co-worker cut up so they now function as Ninja stars.

    I wonder if we can fit those things with our nerf guns, that'd be cool. Remote nerfwars!

    We need more stuff in our office! MUST BUY!

    Slow site though :)

    • what is a blub-niggarath (related to shubby?) and if where does one obtain such a fun toy. also yo need the Cthulhu plushy to go with your other evils if blub-niggarath and Azagblob are what i think they are
    • Throwing stars (Score:1, Offtopic)

      by ergo98 (9391)

      When I was a young-un I made a throwing star out of an old pizza cutter and it was WICKED (and very accurate): I'd embed it into the wall with ease (thankfully not cutting into the wiring...), though of course I then covered this area with posters.

    • With our new 3 Channel RC, this could be accomplished.

      We are adding a Laser Tag and Computer Interface right now:

      Thank You everyone for your interest in our Desktop Rover miniature tracked vehicle!

      I only wish our website was ready for this traffic! We have been quite overloaded today!

      In addition, I would like to inform everyone that we at plantraco have added some very interesting features to the Desktop Rover that I think you will want to know about!

      1. INFRARED LASER TAG SYSTEM!

      2. COMPUTER INTERFACE TO TRANSMITTER BOX - AND ACCOMPANYING JAVA SOFTWARE (Which will run on any computer that has a Java 1.2 (Java 2) Virtual Machine. This includes Win 95-2000 and, yes, Mac OS X ! We have not tested on Linux, but if you have JVM and a serial port, you should be in business!

      3. Various plastic modifications - prevent rubber track derailment and other mundane bug fixes

      The mac.com link below links to a PDF of our Desktop Rover Brochure - which was just completed today! it hasn't even been put to film for printing yet!

      [mac.com]

      desktoprover_brochure.pdf
  • Inspired by NASA Planetary
    Exploration Missions, Plantraco's
    Desktop Rover is a Telepresence
    Capable R.O.V. (Remote Operated Vehicle) that enables the user to
    have a little taste of what it feels
    like to actually explore an "Alien Landscape" remotely!


    I hope you can turn off the 20 minute delay [nasa.gov] feature.

    • We do have an online demo of the Telecommander Software - but we don't yet have que management so you must wait. Thank You everyone for your interest in our Desktop Rover miniature tracked vehicle! I only wish our website was ready for this traffic! We have been quite overloaded today! In addition, I would like to inform everyone that we at plantraco have added some very interesting features to the Desktop Rover that I think you will want to know about! 1. INFRARED LASER TAG SYSTEM! 2. COMPUTER INTERFACE TO TRANSMITTER BOX - AND ACCOMPANYING JAVA SOFTWARE (Which will run on any computer that has a Java 1.2 (Java 2) Virtual Machine. This includes Win 95-2000 and, yes, Mac OS X ! We have not tested on Linux, but if you have JVM and a serial port, you should be in business! 3. Various plastic modifications - prevent rubber track derailment and other mundane bug fixes The mac.com link below links to a PDF of our Desktop Rover Brochure - which was just completed today! it hasn't even been put to film for printing yet! [mac.com]
      desktoprover_brochure.pdf
  • I saw the word Aircraft in the submission text and thought it was going to be a little 4" R/C plane/helicopter that could be flown around the office for fun and mayhem. Now, that would have been cool. Ah well, the rover is still kinda neat, especially with the camera option.
    • Well, if you can make it to the website, you will see that this company also makes small helium filled R/C blimps (two models, one shaped like a blimp the other like a saucer).

      I believe I used to see these sold at Sharper Image a long time ago. While they aren't 4" in size (the saucer is about 38" in diameter and the blimb looks to be around 52" in length), they are still great indoor flying machines.

      - A non-productive mind is with absolutely zero balance.

      - AC
      • Yes, we supplied The Sharper Image with our Twin-Turbofan Flying Saucers a few years ago.

        They may carry them again for the holiday season this year

        Bud Kays
        plantraco.com
    • Well, you can find small R/C helicopter at this site:
      http://www.keyence.co.jp/hobby/ [keyence.co.jp]

      It's about a foot long (290mm).

      You may want to view the web site with the aid of the bable fish [altavista.com].

      The helicopter is available for about 50,000JPY in hobby stores in Japan. It can either run for 30 minutes with a trailing power line attached, or 3 minutes with a rechargeable battery pack. It's meant for indoor use and has built in circuitry to make it easy to fly.

      Keyence also sells something called a Desktop Runner which is a small R/C truck, on about the same scale as a matchbox car, and costs about the same as the helicopter.
    • The Piccolo [hobby-lobby.com] is an electric helicopter which can be flown indoors. Although the 20" rotor diameter and 19" fuselage length may not sound that small, those are the measurements of the bits that stick out - the rotors and the tail boom - and don't reflect the small size of the main fuselage, which can be seen sitting on someone's hand on the above site.

      Compared to the "full size" Raptor [quicktechhobby.com] helicopter I fly, with its 48" rotor diameter, the Piccolo is tiny. The smaller size and lighter weight of the Piccolo's rotors also means that they store less energy when spinning, so it's possible to crash a Piccolo without completely destroying the rotors every time (my Raptor's heavier rotors turn into toothpicks when it crashes...)

      However, don't buy a model heli and expect to be able to fly it straight off, if you don't already know how - it's not as easy as it looks. One of the simulator software packages like RealFlight Deluxe [realflight.com] will help you learn to fly and save lots of money in parts (ask me how I know).

  • Now this sort of simplistic toy would be a pretty cool project to put together from kit form. I'm thinking a big boys set of Lego's type kit. That's what my computer has become to me, another way to have fun while building and constantly changing the design to try and make it better. I have one original Lego design I could still put together in several alternative configurations because I spent SOOO much time refining it, I memorized the design. Anyone have any links on cool kit projects to build little toys like this that are sold specifically as electrical/mechanical learning kits? It's been awhile since last I've played with toys. :(
    • try http://www.altex.com/store.htm and send them an email - the kits aren't online, they're at the sister store atex ;) They started as a parts & electronic surplus store, added computers, did well and split into atex (the original store - parts and surplus)and Altex - (computers only)
      If nothing else, they can give you the phone # and / or email of ATEX at xxxx Gulfdale, San Antonio TX 78242. they have tons of neat stuff if you're the type that likes to heat up a soldering iron!
    • I think there will be a lot of slashdot readers who will enjoy our Java Telecommander Software - See below:

      Thank You everyone for your interest in our Desktop Rover miniature tracked vehicle!

      I only wish our website was ready for this traffic! We have been quite overloaded today!

      In addition, I would like to inform everyone that we at plantraco have added some very interesting features to the Desktop Rover that I think you will want to know about!

      1. INFRARED LASER TAG SYSTEM!

      2. COMPUTER INTERFACE TO TRANSMITTER BOX - AND ACCOMPANYING JAVA SOFTWARE (Which will run on any computer that has a Java 1.2 (Java 2) Virtual Machine. This includes Win 95-2000 and, yes, Mac OS X ! We have not tested on Linux, but if you have JVM and a serial port, you should be in business!

      3. Various plastic modifications - prevent rubber track derailment and other mundane bug fixes

      The mac.com link below links to a PDF of our Desktop Rover Brochure - which was just completed today! it hasn't even been put to film for printing yet!

      [mac.com]

      desktoprover_brochure.pdf
  • asking them to fire me.
    I'm not important enough yet where I can do whatever, whenever.

  • by H0NGK0NGPH00EY (210370) on Tuesday August 28, 2001 @10:58AM (#2225393) Homepage
    Site down. Found at the Google cache here:
    http://www.google.com/search?q=cache:TWUhtrUri0E:w ww.plantraco.com/product_dtr.html+&hl=en [google.com]

    God bless Google

    For great justice.
  • than some other options if you want to crash them into the Iraqi desert.
  • This Miniature Mobile Mechanical Masterpiece's Maneuvers Makes Most Mom's Mad ... Marvelous

    Okay, I want one!

  • by cetan (61150) on Tuesday August 28, 2001 @11:04AM (#2225415) Journal
    http://www.necrosys.net/mirrors/desktop-rover.html [necrosys.net]

    It's just the page linked to from the article, nothing more.
  • The subject of this article is misleading. When I see "desktop toy" I think of esheep or something that I can put on my desktop. I thought it was a game I could play on my desktop vs. other people on the net, while I'm taking coding breaks...
  • by marcop (205587)

    Anyone have any specs on the thing? I would like to know:


    How fast does it go?


    How much noise does this thing make? It's small but is the noise low enough so that it can be used for simple spying.


    How big an incline can this thing handle?


    • Re:Specs? (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I've got one... pretty fun little thing.

      It'll probably go 10'/minute. It's a bit noisy (think of the sound of 2 DC powered motors) and it'll climb a 1" book without a ramp. I had it roving around my desktop, up and over magazines, folders, keyboards... It can be a fun diversion in the middle of a hectic day.

      As for the video, the camera body that is supposed to come with it isn't made yet. They promise to send one out to all who purchased them. I've got my camera jury-rigged to the top using a zip-tie and some tape. The picture quality is nominal - it's highly suseptable to multi-path interferance (ghosting.) Mostly in a closed office space.
    • Bud from Plantraco.com here!

      Specs Answers

      >How fast does it go?

      6 inches per second is the "cruise speed"

      >How much noise does this thing make? It's >small but is the noise low enough so that it >can be used for simple spying.

      It IS a bit of a whizzy noisy gearbox - this is something that we had to live with in our mechanical design. Give us a year or so and we should have an even smaller version with a quiet gearbox.

      >How big an incline can this thing handle?

      This same gearbox (helical wormdrive) does have the advantage of great torque! Our very latest revision of the Desktop Rover has more powerfull FETS (power transistors), and this gets more zap to the motors. The rover can carry a full canned beverage without difficulty. If it has good traction, the rover can climb a very steep incline - nearly vertical, but of course center of gravity issues will come into play as well.

      In Summary, Plantraco's Desktop Rover is not a super speedy tracked vehicle - rather, it is a highly maneuverable, 4 inch length, R/C vehicle with some interesting features.

      Our website will be updated with the new features of the Desktop Rover, and also our PTV16C (CMOS Color camera with increased battery life).

      We have added:

      1-Laser Tag

      2-Computer Interface to Transmitter Box - with Telecommander Java software package (GUI interface software for scripting commands).

      3-Bug Fixes - we fixed a problem in which rubber tracks could derail from the rover, and we also increased speed and power and radio range

      The mac.com link below links to a Plantraco PDF of our Desktop Rover Brochure - which was just completed today! it hasn't even been put to film for printing yet!

      We will be adding it to our website (in the HELP ME section - in the next day or so)

      Oh, If any of you are in Chicago, you can visit us at the International Hobby show in Rosemont Convention Center - (ihobbyexpo.com)

      Below is a link to the new Desktop Rover PDF:

      Please view it - it has the latest info on our Desktop Rover - including the Telecommander Software - which I think many readers at slashdot will like to know about!

      [mac.com]

      desktoprover_brochure.pdf

      Bud Kays - Plantraco
  • by Bonker (243350) on Tuesday August 28, 2001 @11:06AM (#2225425)
    Of course the perverts have made their posts. Yes, we all know this little guy has the power to land you in sexual harassment prosecution hell.

    There is a use for this guy that you may not have considered.

    Cabling. This is the number 1 most dangerous job that most techies will face, what with asbestos insulation and danger of falls etc. Putting a hook and a small light on this guy for cable running purposes will completely eliminate that small bit of danger and give techies more time to have fun doing things like rock-climbing, sky-diving, and bungee-jumping.
    • As the aforementioned pervert, I am offended ;)

      Seriously, I doubt this thing has the power to pull cable. That would require quite a bit of traction unless you can feed it without snags. I wonder how much traction it really could get on insulation laden ceilings or across ceiling tiles. It sure would be fun to try, though.

      • It only really has to be able to pull a pull-cord. I've thought about building such a thing. Would be a lot of fun.
      • We thought about doing this for stringing Cat-5 ethernet in the suspended ceiling.

        We still want to try it - our current B&W PTV16 camera has good performance in low light (our B&W CCD is IR sensitive, and is rated to something like 0.1 or 0.2 lux).

        Our latest Desktop Rover model has tons of torque - its almost "unstoppable" which we like!, so it could carry a fishing line, and then you could pull the fishing line from the other end tied to the Cat-5 Ethernet cable.

        So, in theory, this stuff is possible!

        What can be a bit of a challenge (or a problem depending on your attitude), is that the rover could quite easily get knocked onto its back, and then it would be tough to recover, but hey, this is a real world problem, so if you plan your "missions" carefully, you might have great success! I would guarantee that you would have a lot of fun at least!

        Please note: Our latest version of the Desktop Rover is not yet in stock, we should have it in about 2 weeks - 10th of September or so.

        We will update our webpage with all the new feature of the rover (Lasertag, and Computer Interface), so thanks for your patience.

        Oh another thing! We will be sending new versions of the Desktop Rover to every customer who purchased the "model 1" Desktop Rover - We want happy customers, and although this Free replacement policy will be costing us thousands of dollars, we feel that it is important for everyone to see the new model with all of its cool capabilities. Also, since you need 2 Desktop Rovers to play laser tag, we know that if we give one to every customer of model 1, they will likely purchase a second rover and maybe even our Java based Telecommander Software and Interface Cable (RS-232 or USB).

        I am rambling again!

        Download our PDF and have a look!

        I have posted a PDF file of our latest Brochure for the Desktop Rover. It isn't yet on our site - maybe tommorow, so for today, you can get it from our mac.com site:

        Sincerely

        Bud Kays
        managing director
        plantraco.com

        [mac.com]

        desktoprover_brochure.pdf

    • I don't know how much cabling you have done, but that 4" car is really not going to cut it in any cabling scenario. Ceilings are filled with electrical conduit, insulation, cables, and drop ceiling hardware. Subflooring is essentially the same way. Subterranean conduit's bend radius is such that the car won't make it around the corner (and can you image how pissed the boss would be if you got that car stuck in conduit).
      Unless you are laying your cable across the floor, I dont think this device will be much help.

      maru
      www.mp3.com/pixal
    • Actually, it looks like someone already thought of this:

      ComputerWorld's Shark Tank 8/8/01:
      http://www.computerworld.com/cwi/sharktank/0,1130, DAY08-06-2001_NAV47-68-86-103_STO62889,00.html [computerworld.com]
    • I used to work installing phone systems and computer cable, and a tech I knew had a (larger) RC Tank that he used for pulling a pull-string through the ceiling across large offices and down long hallways. as long as there was enough space, and the AC ducts weren't too bad, he could get a cable through in a lot less time then throw 15-25 ft, replace tile, move ladder, open tile, recoil cable, throw 15-25 ft, etc, etc.
      Some of the other things I've seen used are
      Crossbow
      Slingshot
      dart gun
      ( it doesn't take a whole lot to pull a 10-20lb test fishing line for a pull string)
      Ideal has come out with a cable gun that shoots a suction-cup tipped dart about 50ft, trailing a line (from a reel)behind it for cable installers.
      • While running cable at a new mall one local tech used a crossbow. The HVAC guys didn't think it was too funny when they found telephone cables piercing their flex-duct....

        A couple other guys have used RC tanks on a much larger scale to do the same thing. Also good for crawl spaces - fewer spider bites.
    • Oh but we have. Picture [ucsd.edu]. We set one of these up with a mini wireless camera [supercircuits.com] and a bunch of LEDs for headlights. Granted it's not the most powerful thing in the world, but the car we had been using was too tall to fit under some of the conduits in the ceiling. With the addition of a skid plate to prevent filpping and some track tensioners to prevent the tracks from falling off, we managed to pull a string across the ceiling tiles, then use the string to pull any coax or other cables we wanted. And after about 5 hours to get this all working right, we probably saved a good 30 minutes of cable pulling hassel ;-)
  • by Saurentine (9540) on Tuesday August 28, 2001 @11:09AM (#2225438) Journal
    Search Ebay for "Epoch" and "1/43". (Ebay seems to be down now, otherwise I'd link to an auction of one of these.)

    The Japanese maker's web site is http://www.rc-mtech.com but it's in Japanese, so I can't read it.

    You'll find tiny, roughly 4" long (110mm long, 48mm wide) race cars that are the latest R/C rage in Japan. They're just a little bit larger than a "Hot Wheels" car. They're fully proportional, so they steer smoothly, and they come in many frequencies, so you can have your own little table-top NASCAR circuit going if you want. They look like Asian rally cars. (Toyota Supra, Nissan Skyline, etc.)

    The winning bids for these Epoch 1/43 scale race cars on Ebay are usually about $110-$130.
  • I'm working on a short action film using nothing but RC cars. It's called MiniMall Security and the teaser is at http://www.diabolicalfilms.com. [diabolicalfilms.com]

    ObSlashdot..ummm the server it's on runs Linux.

    D

  • Bookmark our site and come back later to see some of the interesting "Modules" that will be available for the Desktop Rover!

    This will not even begin to be cool unless someone makes a laser guided bee cannon module.
  • by Col. Panic (90528) on Tuesday August 28, 2001 @11:18AM (#2225475) Homepage Journal

    Womens' dormitory/lockerroom "surveillance"

    Password capture a'la Sneakers

    Chasing pets around the house

    Making the geek next door jealous

    Producing amusing video's to send Bob Sagget

  • Think of all the subversive uses:
    Looking up someone's skirt, corporate
    spying, stealing valuable intellectual property.
    And on top of that it is popular among those
    dangerous "geek" types. Obviously we need
    a DMCA ("digital motorized control act") for
    these little guys.
  • The original schweet desktop toys: Mindstorms [legomindstorms.com]

    • Mindstorms are quite cool!

      But they have the "brains" on board.

      With our Java based Telecommander Software, we are heading in the direction of "Brains - on the PC"

      Our latest Desktop Rover has a Laser Tag system added - so up to 4 rovers can shoot each other up with Infrared beams - complete with microprocessor controlled game logic and spacey sound effects and LED to keep track of the score.

      We also have added a computer interface jack to the transmitter box! see the PDF linked below:

      Please note: Our latest version of the Desktop Rover is not yet in stock, we should have it in about 2 weeks - 10th of September or so.

      We will update our webpage with all the new feature of the rover (Lasertag, and Computer Interface), so thanks for your patience.

      Oh another thing! We will be sending new versions of the Desktop Rover to every customer who purchased the "model 1" Desktop Rover - We want happy customers, and although this Free replacement policy will be costing us thousands of dollars, we feel that it is important for everyone to see the new model with all of its cool capabilities. Also, since you need 2 Desktop Rovers to play laser tag, we know that if we give one to every customer of model 1, they will likely purchase a second rover and maybe even our Java based Telecommander Software and Interface Cable (RS-232 or USB).

      I am rambling again!

      Download our PDF and have a look!

      I have posted a PDF file of our latest Brochure for the Desktop Rover. It isn't yet on our site - maybe tommorow, so for today, you can get it from our mac.com site:

      Sincerely

      Bud Kays
      managing director
      plantraco.com

      [mac.com]

      desktoprover_brochure.pdf
  • I was merely playing with my new state of the art toy and wasn't remotely interested in the lady's white-with-pink-flowers-and-lace panties. Honest!
  • Unable to read the /.'d article, but I think that these would be cool for running under the raised floor in the computer room.
    Put a guide string and a light on it, stuff it under the floor and have it come out at the destination. Tie the string that it pulled for you to the cable and pull the cable in.

  • by Wee (17189) on Tuesday August 28, 2001 @11:57AM (#2225619)
    I love RC tracked vehicles. I have no idea why. Anyway, the little guys are neat and all, but if you want the kind of desktop toy you can really play with, get an RC tank that actually shoots [dansdata.com].

    The T90 is a wee bit big for most desktops, but it plays well on the kitchen counter and the like. Dogs and cats don't mind them unless you shoot them... in which case they don't like you to get the tank down off the shelf at all. The little Airsoft pellets do sting, and leave a mark: my wife ended up with a tiny welt (completely accidentally, of course).

    The model itself is very well done and it's easy to put together. No painting needed, though. Contrary to what Dan says (at the link above), the tank does work in grass. It'll climb a stack of books, up to about a 60 degree incline. It'll go right over a bunch of bananas, a 2x4, Doc Martens, etc. Works great on tile, kinda good on carpet (turning isn't so great on carpet). The pellets have a decent range. You can can them bounce off your neighbors house across the street for instance. (Nothing works better for keeping the young kids off your lawn, BTW, than a couple pellets headed down their direction.)

    Anyway, fun stuff. You can also get red [usknife.com] and green [usknife.com] 6mm paintballs for your tank as well. I haven't tried them yet. My wife is upset enough without having to see little red and green splotches all over the house. Maybe for Christmas, though...

    -B

    • > get an RC tank that actually shoots [dansdata.com]

      Aww. There's me thinking "I should probably pimp one of my R/C tank reviews now", and wouldn't you know it, someone goes and does it for me. Whadda guy.

      What the heck; I'll pimp another one of 'em anyway:

      Tamiya 1/10th scale R/C Sherman tank [dansdata.com]

      Much bigger than the little Plantacro critter, much more powerful than the Marui Airsoft tank, though of course also much more expensive than both of them put together. Tamiya even have a version with turret control, flashing guns and sampled sound effects now (see it here [tamiya.com]), for people who just can't spend money fast enough.

      There are also some nice Russian gentlemen [interdacom.ru] who'll sell you a model tank big enough to ride around on, for $US2500 or so.

  • Mirror (Score:2, Informative)

    by Marvin_Runyon (513878)
    There is a great mirror located Here:
    http://www.necrosys.net/mirrors/desktop-rover.html [necrosys.net]

    Much faster response time, seems this server won't be slashdotted as quickly as the original.
  • with a mulching mower, GPS, proximity sensors, a few cams,audio, all over 802.11. then I want to control it using my Playstation via usb-802.11 on my tv set.

    then I could mow the yard from my tvset using my force feedback steering wheel.
    am I asking too much?
  • That's a nice toy -- and a heck of a lot cheaper and easier than the telerobot "Tycho" that some friends (Will Smith, Henry Vanderbilt) put together about a dozen years ago. (That was based on the "Clodbuster" R/C car, a Sony WatchCam, transmitter, etc.)

    Teleoperating something on the Moon is going to have about a 3-second delay between the time you send the command and the time you see the result. Gets worse the further you go (at least 20 minutes for Mars, more depending on relative positions in the orbit.)

    The Tycho machine (wish there was a web page for it, maybe I'll grab some stills from the video we made) incorporated the time-lag in software: control input went to the computer, three seconds later it sent the commands to the vehicle. We watched the video feedback live in the living room while the vehicle roamed around the parking lot. (Had remote pan/tilt on the camera and a digital voltmeter in the camera's view to give "telemetry" on the battery. It really needed an artifical horizon, otherwise the only clue that you were sideways on a hill (and about to roll) was that the trees were tilted...)

    Even in real-time driving one of these things takes a bit of getting used to. (But it's fun!) With a three-second delay it takes a lot of getting used to...
  • The tank and camera would make a cool office toy but I'd rather not have to bring in a uhf capable tv into work as well if a $40 tuner card will do.

    Do most video tuner cards have built in support for UHF or would you have to use some kind of hokey uhf to cable converter box?
  • http://www.plantraco.com/product_tri.html
  • I have been trying to post articles on Slashdot for a month now, but they are insistant on publishing other articles. I just posted an article on Quantum Computing. I think you will all enjoy it quite a bit. For those of you who do not know what Quantum computing is, the article explains it quite well. Here is the link [designtechnica.com] . You can post comments on the article below it. Please tell me what you think.
  • http://www.desktoprovers.com/ thing? How cool, something similar is over $25 at Radio Shack.
  • Didn't I see this sort of thing in For Your Eyes Only? The traditional "James Bond is interrupted during post-climax (of the movie, sickos) nookie" scene involving a little remote-control robot with a camera?
  • Last I checked, 4" wasn't quite small enough to easily roam a desktop. You can only go a short distance in each direction, and it'd be to easy to get stuck. Now, 4" would make a great toy for driving around the office, but on the floor, no the desk.
  • Multiplex makes a four engine R/C plane, with bomb bays [multiplexrc.com], capable of carrying around 1 lb payload.

    You could fit one of those cameras to the plane itself, use a high gain antenna, fly out somewhere, land and roll out your rover from the bomb bay.

    Woah, getting carried away here.
  • Maybe you'd also like:

    The Pro-Trim paint roller! Paint your desktop in infinate high-tech colors, including Red, which is the actual color of Mars!
    The Red Devil Smokehouse Grill! Cook burgers on your desktop with real artificial flavor! Artificial, like the Moon Landing!
    Epil Stop & Spray! Keep hair from growing on your desktop! Like it doesn't grow on the surface of Mars!
    Donut Smart! Make mini donuts on your desktop! They look like actual spaceships that may have visited Mars from another galaxy! Just add water! Mmm...donuts...
    Big Mouth Billy Bass! Put a singing fish on your desktop, inspired by the fish that might have existed on Mars at one point!

    These and other "News for Nerds. Stuff that Matters" available from:

    www.AsSeenOnTV.com
    (or if that gets /.ted)
    www.RonCo.com

    Order in the next 15 minutes and get a FREE slashdot plug! Now, the publicity tool utilized by shills [mailto] everywhere to promote lame, uninteresting products [slashdot.org] can be yours at no cost!

    Order now and we'll also include an excuse for why the latest version of Slash broke the "search" functionality!

    Wow, thank god /. "editors" aren't in the habit of posting "news" like this over and over and over and over again, and thank god they can spot shills in an instant, there'd be REAL POTENTIAL FOR ABUSES, WOULDN'T THERE!
  • Hmmm...maybe www.thinkgeek.com just found a new product to carry. Anyone from there reading this thread?
  • What I really want to see is one of these r/c cars that can be controlled from my Gameboy Advance while I watch the camera output on the GBA's screen. I'd pay big bucks for that.
  • Wow, a radio control car with a camera on it that you can use to spy on people or just make yourself look really geeky. Been there, done that, got tired of it 5 years ago... Sure my version used an old Color QuickCam, so it was tethered 15' from a laptop, but it still got interesting reactions in the dorm. These days, you could probably make a much better one with a wireless color CCD camera and a cheap RC car from Radio Shack. Just rip the body cover off, mount the camera, and customize as desired for a functional yet geeky toy to amaze, impress, and scare everyone you know.
  • For instance, this could open up a whole new category in Battlebots! It would give new meaning to "feather"-weight.
  • They couldn't even keep their server alive. :)

    Score one more for the /. effect.
  • Thank You everyone for your interest in our Desktop Rover miniature tracked vehicle! I only wish our website was ready for this traffic! We have been quite overloaded today! In addition, I would like to inform everyone that we at plantraco have added some very interesting features to the Desktop Rover that I think you will want to know about! 1. INFRARED LASER TAG SYSTEM! 2. COMPUTER INTERFACE TO TRANSMITTER BOX - AND ACCOMPANYING JAVA SOFTWARE (Which will run on any computer that has a Java 1.2 (Java 2) Virtual Machine. This includes Win 95-2000 and, yes, Mac OS X ! We have not tested on Linux, but if you have JVM and a serial port, you should be in business! 3. Various plastic modifications - prevent rubber track derailment and other mundane bug fixes We want happy customers! I want to post a PDF of our Desktop Rover Brochure - which was just completed today! [mac.com]
    desktoprover_brochure.pdf
    • Thank You everyone for your interest in our Desktop Rover miniature tracked vehicle!

      I only wish our website was ready for this traffic! We have been quite overloaded today!

      In addition, I would like to inform everyone that we at plantraco have added some very interesting features to the Desktop Rover that I think you will want to know about!

      1. INFRARED LASER TAG SYSTEM!

      2. COMPUTER INTERFACE TO TRANSMITTER BOX - AND ACCOMPANYING JAVA SOFTWARE (Which will run on any computer that has a Java 1.2 (Java 2) Virtual Machine. This includes Win 95-2000 and, yes, Mac OS X ! We have not tested on Linux, but if you have JVM and a serial port, you should be in business!

      3. Various plastic modifications - prevent rubber track derailment and other mundane bug fixes

      We want happy customers!

      I want to post a PDF of our Desktop Rover Brochure - which was just completed today!

      [mac.com]

      desktoprover_brochure.pdf

Man must shape his tools lest they shape him. -- Arthur R. Miller

Working...