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Open source video blimp controlled by an iPad

Mike Schramm
May 18, 2010
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So far, we've seen a car, a helicopter, and even a Dalek controlled by an Apple device, so here's another form of transportation: a blimp, this time controlled by an iPad. Bonus points for making the video interesting and fun, too -- we get a well-edited and shot video montage of how the iPad got hooked up via code to a blimp, equipped with a propeller, a camera, and even some lights. The blimp is actually a "Blimpduino," a low-cost open source blimp design connected to an arduino controller. This blimp's controller is connected to an iPad's accelerometer, so tilting the iPad determines the blimp's movement.

Plus, it looks like they even threw in some basic augmented reality through the camera, too, just for the heck of it. Very cool. Speaking of augmented reality, Yelp's Ben Newhouse suggested a while back that the relatively inexpensive iPad could be used for all sorts of tasks that previously required much more specialized computers, and something like this proves that the iPad makes an excellent and cheap touchscreen and accelerometer-based interface for any kind of remote control. I don't know if we'll be flying real blimps with iPads in the future, but any sort of remote interface could definitely make use of a quick app that hooks up our actions to mechanics on the other end.

[via MacStories]






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