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A Full-Size Remote-Control Car 125

Ant writes "A video clip (Windows Media Player required) the construction, operation, and demolition. It is a real-life remote control car with Knight Rider references!" The video works fine for me in xine (though sound dropped out for a bit). This car is not yet ready for the Las Vegas run, but if they hook up with some AI reseachers ...
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A Full-Size Remote-Control Car

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  • by Eudial ( 590661 ) on Sunday March 30, 2003 @06:31AM (#5625735)
    Jay! You can finally program AND drive at the same time!
    • Programming while driving is NOT the association I get when somebody says "Look! No hands!" while in a car :-)
    • This will probably get modded down for a troll unless the women see it first, but I just have to throw it in...

      There is an attachment for a breastpump that allows hands-free pumping (for nursing, you dolt, not for breast enlargement) and the same pump comes with a cigarette lighter adapter. There were quite a few jokes in class about pumping, driving, and talking on your cell phone at the same time. So now I guess that you can pump, talk on the cell phone, AND code all at the same time...
  • by Drunken Coward ( 574991 ) on Sunday March 30, 2003 @06:32AM (#5625737)
    Nothing we haven't seen before [imdb.com]. Apparently the British are about five years ahead of us in the cool gadget department.

    The site appears to have been screwed up. Anyone else getting a strange redirect [207.44.204.48]?
    • Re:It's been done (Score:3, Informative)

      by beebware ( 149208 )
      Oooh - I pity their webhosts then. The redirect to port 19638 and /webhost/rollout shows that the site is running the Ensim [ensim.com] control panel software which only mails our bandwidth warnings - it doesn't automatically suspend high bandwidth sites or provide other methods of throttling. This means that that shared server (which is the common enviornment for Ensim to run in) is probably waaay overloaded at this moment and many many many customers are suffering.
    • The car was driven by remote control in the same way Mr. Bond jumped in a flying plane. It's a special effect.

      The BMW was driven by a stunt-man hidden in the backseat. Well, not the ordinary backseat, of course, but a custom built one, featuring video-screens, which replaced the ordinary vision, and of course, the steering-wheel, pedals and gear shift.

    • It was also done in this movie [imdb.com].
    • Yes but only us Americans would build it, then break it, and then pee on it!!!
  • by WIAKywbfatw ( 307557 ) on Sunday March 30, 2003 @06:32AM (#5625738) Journal
    It is a real-life remote control car with Knight Rider references!

    As long as those references include Bonnie and April but leave out Michael and Devon, then they'll be OK.
  • by robbyjo ( 315601 ) on Sunday March 30, 2003 @06:35AM (#5625743) Homepage

    Well, CMU [cmu.edu] already did this long ago. They use Neural-Nets and they can cruise the highway at 70 mph. The test run is completely automated. Of course there's someone at the driver seat in case that there's something wrong. Interestingly, although the AI system successfully cruising the road, the detection sometimes mistaken a white tree bark for the road divider....

  • Just like out of that James Bond Movie.
  • by PhatKat ( 78180 ) on Sunday March 30, 2003 @06:40AM (#5625752) Homepage
    I think if I ever had a car like this, I would only purchase from businesses that would come out front and drop whatever it was I was buying into the passenger side window. Having a car like this would be like having an almost free delivery service for any place in town....
  • The server has got great bandwidth too, considering the deeplink to the file right on the front page (I got 300KB/s).
  • Wow! (Score:5, Funny)

    by chrisseaton ( 573490 ) on Sunday March 30, 2003 @06:45AM (#5625759) Homepage
    You could really do some damage with one of these - think Carmagedon in the centre of a city - and you'd stay pretty undetected. There was a "Murder She Wrote" episode about that once.
    • Re:Wow! (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      you watched "Murder She Wrote" ?!!?
    • bah such a car development will be banned by bush administration!!!!!
      because it is possible to use such cars for terrorist attacks...
      or maybe he tells us there are wmd in this cars....
      that we cant see them doesn't mean they arn't there
    • Alert the media ... I think we've located the sole member of the Angela Lansbury Fan Club.
      • Hey Angela Lansbury rocks!!!!!!!!

        well ok she doesn't but I'm partially related to her,.... and she's the only famous Lansbury I know of :)
  • scrapheap challenge (Score:4, Informative)

    by Rcknight ( 640267 ) on Sunday March 30, 2003 @06:46AM (#5625761)
    they did this on scrapheap challenge (uk equivalent of junkyard wars) too, bit they had to fight each other, theirs seem like a bit of a kludge compared to this one though :)
  • Hey (Score:3, Funny)

    by Treeluvinhippy ( 545814 ) <treeluvinhippy@nosPAm.snet.net> on Sunday March 30, 2003 @06:47AM (#5625763)
    That's the same car I use to drive to work you insensitive clod!
  • Car Bomb (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PhatKat ( 78180 ) on Sunday March 30, 2003 @06:48AM (#5625765) Homepage
    This could give new meaning to those words.
  • Mirror (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 30, 2003 @06:55AM (#5625777)
    in case someone needs a mirror [stw-bonn.de].
  • by Andreas(R) ( 448328 ) on Sunday March 30, 2003 @06:57AM (#5625782) Homepage
    What is Windows Media Player? It doesn't come with SuSE...
  • Cars UI (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Mattygfunk1 ( 596840 ) on Sunday March 30, 2003 @06:58AM (#5625786)
    This has both good novelty value and potential to freak people out, but what about the impact of a new UI for cars?

    The hand-held steering wheel, foot controled accelorator / brake combination has clearly worked very sucessfully up to this day. Would a hand-held remote control for all three potentially make things easier for learners who have grown up with electronic equipment? People with disabilities?

    In the (admitedly unlikely) situation of a driver having a heart attack / stroke while driving, a passenger could take over simply by grabbing the remote and stop the car safely. Just thinking aloud.

    _________________
    Hosting starting @ $3 / Month - Cheap Web Site Hosting [cheap-web-...ing.com.au]

    • maybe, but by the time you added controls for gears, cutch, indicators etc that controller is going to be very complicated, and likely not easier at all.
    • The problem with this is security. Would you trust electronics this much in 90km/h? I wouldn't it's not like an airplane where there's a chance of escape or like a train that pretty much stays on its track. What if the stick malfunctioned? You would get thrown off the road, very unpleasing.

      In mothern cars there is always backup for the current electronics. Should your servo fail, you'll still be able to stear, same goes for the break servo. If the transmition blows your car comes to a (slightly dramatic) h
      • Re:Cars UI (Score:2, Informative)

        by OldMiner ( 589872 )

        ? I wouldn't it's not like an airplane where there's a chance of escape or like a train that pretty much stays on its track. What if the stick malfunctioned? You would get thrown off the road, very unpleasing.

        Call me strange, but I think it doesn't take terrribly long to pull a 747 into a tail spin. Once there, I'm pretty sure it's hard to pull it out of it, there's no manual fix, and there's slim odds of escape. That said, I've absolutely never heard of a plane going into a tail spin due to its electr

    • This has both good novelty value and potential to freak people out, but what about the impact of a new UI for cars?


      Yeah. Cool.

      Fill it with a brew involving fertilizer, and you've got a land-based cruise missile, ready for deployment, indistinguishable (well, maybe except for the smell) from lots of other cars.

      Nice toy. I can imagine uses for something like that, in the wrong hands.
      • Re:Cars UI (Score:3, Interesting)

        by term8or ( 576787 )
        There isn't any new piece of technology that can't be used for evil, as well as good. All the technology does is give people more power to do what they were going to do anyway.

        Sig: In the old days, it took thousands of years to create the sahara desert. Now we can do it in decades! That's progress;)
    • Re:Cars UI (Score:5, Interesting)

      by gmhowell ( 26755 ) <gmhowell@gmail.com> on Sunday March 30, 2003 @07:26AM (#5625825) Homepage Journal
      'Fly by wire' systems are starting to appear in conventional autos. Actually the interesting application isn't what you've said, but combining GPS with it. Someone gets lost, the person on the other end drives you to safety. Or combine with those speed sensing cell phone thingies. The cops find out you are speeding, and slowly drive you over to the shoulder to await their 'assistance'.

      • The cops find out you are speeding, and slowly drive you over to the shoulder to await their 'assistance'. Seesh, is it 1984 allready?
    • Re:Cars UI (Score:3, Interesting)

      For novel UI try this [cardesignnews.com]
      It looks like in capitalist Japan Cars really do drive you!!!!
    • There is already a way for the passenger to stop the car. It's called the emergency brake.
    • I vote that the new Controls should be a PS2 controls. Then you can do your license with "Need for Speed"
  • That thing is AWESOME. I want one of those!
  • by Conor Turton ( 639827 ) on Sunday March 30, 2003 @07:04AM (#5625793)
    Jeezuz. WE've had this for years in the UK. There's even a TV series called "Combat Cars" where they take a car, turn it into remote control, add armour and weapons then battle them in a "Robot Wars" type competition.
  • by brejc8 ( 223089 ) on Sunday March 30, 2003 @07:18AM (#5625817) Homepage Journal
    It plays fine with mplayer.
    And by the way the mirror is at the DMP [man.ac.uk]
    Please add your own [man.ac.uk], my computer cant take too much.
  • by ExEleven ( 601282 ) on Sunday March 30, 2003 @07:25AM (#5625824) Homepage
    I cant wait till I can go order takeaway without having to do much at all.

    Or just playing games with the cops.
  • by hillct ( 230132 ) on Sunday March 30, 2003 @07:31AM (#5625839) Homepage Journal
    Forget those micro-racers, those little tiny remote control cars that made a perfect fad gist over christmas last year. I can see it now. Every 10 year old kid will want one of these put in their christmas stocking. "But dad, It's not a real car! IT's remote control! Joey across the street has a remote control car! Why can't I?"

    There is the valid point that by giving your kit an RC car of this size, you'd never have to give him another christmas gift for the rest of his life. It would also be an effective deterrent to potential playground bullies, knowing that your kid has the ability to run them down and get away clean.

    --CTH
  • by bsussman1988 ( 622639 ) on Sunday March 30, 2003 @07:33AM (#5625843)
    It looks as if they wanted to destroy the poor old Camary, it looked like fun, and it needed to be shown that Toyota's aren't any more invulnerable to mistreatment than any other car manufacturer may be.
  • by Txurlo ( 555886 ) <txurlo AT bigfoot DOT com> on Sunday March 30, 2003 @07:43AM (#5625859) Homepage
    That sounds cool, of course, but there's a thing... my name is not Michael, is this thing going to listen to me?
    Can't wait to say 'Kitt, take us home' :)
  • Fullsize RC Car (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Accipiter ( 8228 ) on Sunday March 30, 2003 @08:10AM (#5625892)
    I love how they demonstrated the throttle using the trigger-controller before they started the car, and it was cool to seem them driving it around in the desert. Very impressive work.

    I liked this up until they started beating the shit out of the car. They literally did all that work to trash the damn thing. They made it do jumps, tried to ski it on two wheels (which eventually made it flip over), rammed it with their trucks, and completely destroyed it. I don't get it. They made this really badass full-size remote controlled car, then they killed it.

    Oh, and posting an article with a direct link to a video file? Dammit, that's pretty lame and inconsiderate. You could have linked to a page with some detail [jdfab.com] that wasn't a direct goddamned link to the video file. Sheesh.
    • Sure. Make sure you have some filesharing system like Gnutella installed. Then try the link below: magnet:?xt=urn:sha1:PXRIEMAWGMSGTT7SOGBERTSBYETP2N UE&dn=RCCar_video.wmv [magnet]
    • I liked this up until they started beating the shit out of the car. They literally did all that work to trash the damn thing. They made it do jumps, tried to ski it on two wheels (which eventually made it flip over), rammed it with their trucks, and completely destroyed it. I don't get it. They made this really badass full-size remote controlled car, then they killed it.

      You never owned an RC car as a child, did you? Jumping it, skidding, flipping, and generally crashing it is exactly what I (and everyone e

      • Hell yes I did. I had a Turbo Hopper.

        The thing is, a Turbo hopper is a hell of a lot more resistant to abuse than a full-size car. The Turbo Hopper (and most RC cars) are DESIGNED to do all of those things. A Toyota Camry, however, is not.
        • Look in your local classified ads section, and find a real car for $200-$300. Now, go to Tower Hobbies (or similar) and see what a decent 1/10 scale *gas* car kit costs. Somewhere in the $400 range, IIRC. The radio equipment is roughly the same cost either way. Steering and braking (though linear actuators, probably) on the full-sizer will probably even out the initial cost. Assembly time is probably greater for the 1/10 model (though, it does take longer to build a full-size kit car than a model car).
    • Accipiter, I couldn't find the Web page when submitting this story. How did you manage to find it from the home page?
    • I'm not sure how the throttle using the trigger is impressive. On most cars, all you would have to do is use an "oversize" servo (something intended for 1/4 scale cars) and remove the return spring on the carburetor or the throttle body, then hook the servo up, perhaps directly and perhaps with a linkage. Steering is the difficult part, because so much more force must be exerted. There might be a way to trick electric power steering into steering for you, and then all you would need would be a feedback and
  • There is a non-sci-fi novel by PK dick called The Big bubble which takes place in the fifties, anyhow there's a big-black-german-remote-controlled-full-sized car in it which this psuedo revolutionary uses to chase around would be frat boys. Kind of off topic but not entirly. And I've seen lots of Phillip K. Dick thought of it first posts in the past.
  • by garoush ( 111257 ) on Sunday March 30, 2003 @08:15AM (#5625899) Homepage
    ... a full size remote control girlfriend for geeks.
  • Seriously, that was excellent. Laughed out loud :-)

  • From the Slashdot story: "A video clip (Windows Media Player required) the construction, operation, and demolition."

    A verb an action word. I know verbs minor details to a Slashdot editor, but they important to others of us.
  • KITT (Score:3, Funny)

    by Construct X ( 582731 ) on Sunday March 30, 2003 @08:40AM (#5625944)
    "What are you inserting into my exhaust pipe Micheal?"
  • This is nearly as cool as the atomic level RC car that I'm building out of Bucky balls!! ;-)

    -psy
  • I have waited for this day. Now I must by one drive it around downtown and terrorize people as they stare at the car with no one in it. Just wait until the cop tries to pull over the car. But who needs a really car. I have a gas RC car and it goes 45mph and if I were to get a gearbox it could go 55 mph and this thing is only 1/10th scale. It has a metal chassis with oil shocks and is four wheel drive with 3 differentials. It weights 5kg and if you were to hit someone at 45mph you could do a lot of damage. I
    • I have a Traxxas Tmax RC truck (the first version with the .15 cc engine). This monster does run well (when it did run). I had mine stall out in a parking lot and got ran over by a crown victora, which just crushed the fuel tank and nipped the heatsink. I think the .15 cc engine is gone anyways. This thing can do jumps great. Weeks before it got put in the "ICU ward" (the shelf, waiting for me to go buy a new engine), my brother had made some small bike jumps about 2 - 3 ft tall. I would run it over t
  • The physics in that game aren't too far off from this video clip.

    So what did they have against that car anyway? Was their goal a remote controlled car or to destroy a Toyota without killing themselves?

  • that is just pure entertainment!!! when does the full blown competition start!??? Will the cars have to be fully insured? I dont know what else to say--it was a cool video and the best thing I havce read all day long/- ok watched...this should be on CNN
  • That's all we need to do. We need to show Habib how to make a suicide bomber car without the driver.

  • What a freakish coincidence. We bought a pair of Zip Zaps last night and raced them for 6 hours. But this video definitely tops anything we did.

    And is it just me, or did those guys have a little too much faith in the RC system and the guy driving it? I've spazzed out enough just while controlling little RC cars (oops, left IS oriented this way, duh). I can't imagine standing 15 feet away from a full-size RC controlled car.

  • Doesn't RC really stand for Radio Controlled? Remote means that there's a wire attached, no?
  • by TWX_the_Linux_Zealot ( 227666 ) on Sunday March 30, 2003 @01:12PM (#5626887) Journal
    I won't claim to be a car expert, but having had to fix my own car's brake, steering, and throttle systems, I'm pretty sure that they specifically did this to wreck the Camry, rather than to demo the tech.

    First thing that I would do, if I were going to build one of these for real/permanent, is that I would change how the braking and throttle systems work. The way a modern car pulls input from the driver isn't very effective unless you're putting that level of pressure on pedals and steering, as evidenced by their rig that was applying force to pedals. Brakes, for one, could be operated off of a very small solenoid if you changed the brake power booster, which are designed to accomodate the right resistance to a human foot. Change that, and things become simpler. You can switch to a tiny activation system rather than something that looks like it was used to tilt a dump truck.

    From their video, I couldn't tell how they had worked the steering, if it was actually analog or if it was cheapo-RC "full left", vs "full right" steering. Analog would definitely be the way to go, but if one uses a really small control, it would be easy to oversteer, causing loss of control. Probably why they picked dirt (even assuming that there was the possibility of using pavement that was far enough away that no one would care).
    • Brakes, for one, could be operated off of a very small solenoid if you changed the brake power booster

      What is a "brake power booster"? You mean a brake servo? They still need a fair amount of force to operate, bear in mind that a brake pedal is a lever, and amplifies the force somewhat anyway.

      If you mean some new fangled thing in a more modern car, fair enough, but this was a 15 year old car that they modified, not a new one. It would only have a servo, and it is feasible that it didn't, but there have b

      • The brake power booster is a vacuum device that sits between the pedal action and the brake master cylinder. Cars have had boosters in them since the 50's. The booster is designed to assist the operator in adding extra pressure off of the vacuum to compress the brake master cylinder. When you apply the brakes, you're actually partially opening valves in the booster to let the car's vacuum system help you, else you probably wouldn't even be able to apply your car's brakes.
        • It's called a servo over here in the UK.

          It re-inforces the pressure created by the brake pedal, rather than creates it by itself. It's perfectly possible to drive a car that has no servo. It's also possible to drive one with a broken servo, though the brakes are spongy and may lock on in certain situations, and if you have a direct acting servo, or one which acts on hydraulic fluid.

          You could use a direct acting one, by sealing it, and having a port on it to allow atmospheric pressure in. It wouldn't allow

  • i dont think anyone else has one currently going...but here's mine: http://www.pchopper.com/mirror/RCCar_video_new.wmv .zip [pchopper.com]
  • is it a Delorian?
  • That was our car! (Score:2, Informative)

    by JDFilms ( 662644 )
    It's great to see so many people talking about our car. And thanks for putting a link to my page instead of directly to the video file.
    http://www.jdfab.com/dp2/rccar.htm
    The old one is down and a new smaller file has been uploaded, we have had over 50,000 hits in the last two days and about 300gb of transfer on the server... Crazy...

    It sounds like some people aren't sure why we destroyed the car after spending time to build it. Well basically we wanted to build one for a couple of years, and the goal was to
  • This would be a lot more impressive if it hadn't been done before by the Junkyard War guys [discovery.com] in 10 hours. Their cars worked too.
  • I wonder if you'll still have to flip the remote-controlled car over to use the off/on switch. Maybe you can just crawl underneath.
  • As far as I knew, doing remote control on cars is a pretty old idea, and has been done rather often.

    I saw a show on Discovery(?) calle Myth Busters, they actually attemped urban ledgends to see what happened. In this case they did the JATO and the Impalla ledgend. They couldn't get a JATO, so they used some rockets that certian hobbiests use for high launches. They provided more thrust, but shorter duration than the JATO. So they used three fired in sequence.

    Since no one actually wanted to drive the t

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