Earlier this week, news of iDriver hit the Internet. In case you missed it, it's an app that was developed by computer science researchers at Berlin's Free University to drive a modified minivan, the "Spirit of Berlin." Steering, break and accelleration commands are sent over Wi-Fi. In the demo video, researchers are driving it around an airport for testing. I'd really like a turn.
Of course, this isn't the first iPhone-controlled vehicle we've seen. Here's a video roundup of iPhone- and iPod touch-powered vehicles both big and small.
Nerdkits has posted video of a simple radio controlled toy vehicle. If you're unfamiliar with Nerdkits, it's a small group, founded by some MIT graduates, that sells fun electronics kits and similar goodies for you to assemble and enjoy. There are lots of projects to choose from, and this iPhone-controlled RC car looks like a lot of fun.
The FliPhone takes it a step further by controlling an RC helicopter. Enterprising nerd Josh at myauntishot.com used a Wi-Fi router and his own software to get his T-Rex 450SE V1 Helicopter off the ground. Josh explains just how he did it on his blog. Awesome!
Finally, here's a cool video from PimpMyRide.com showing a home grown iPod touch app that controls and shares data with a Mazda RX-8. With a computer and 3G antenna inside the car's trunk, the iPod app can be used to start and stop the engine, lock/unlock the doors and gain info like current speed, coolant temperature, fuel level and more. Jon, the software's designer, can even track the car's location via GPS and perform these functions no matter where the car is located.
That's cool, but what about the rest of us? If you've got Viper SmartStart installed in your car, the free SmartStart app [iTunes link] is for you. It lets you start and stop your car's engine, pop the trunk and engage the alarm. Note that you must have the SmartStart system installed in your vehicle for this to work.
Congratulations to all the enterprising geeks who are pushing the limits of the iPhones and iPod touches. We can't wait to see what's next.
- Key specs
- Type Smartphone
- Operating system iOS
- Screen size 4.7 inches
- Internal memory 16 GB
- Carriers (US) AT&T
- Dimensions 5.44 x 2.64 x 0.28 in
- Weight 5.04 oz
- Released 2015-09-25