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Kinect used to control a robot

Posted in DIY by Conner Flynn on December 30th, 2010

We’ve seen Microsoft’s Kinect sensor hacked to do a whole bunch of stuff, and now someone is using it to control a robot using the sensor. Let’s stop this madness now. Before you know it, we will be facing robot armies controlled from some dudes living room.

The robot is dubbed the Veltrobot, a gyro-stabilized robot with some nice limb movement. The system maps the Kinect output onto a skeletal frame, transmitting that information to the robot, which may or may not venture outside to hurt others.

AutoBot app lets you control your car

Posted in Automotive by Conner Flynn on November 21st, 2010

AutoBot is a new iPhone and Android app that works with a Bluetooth OBD-II dongle and lets you diagnose engine problems, keep track of maintenance, and even locate your car via GPS if it is stolen. It can even be configured to automatically send a text to loved ones if you get into an accident, telling them your GPS coordinates.

The app recently won a startup competition at i-Stage 2010. It sounds great, but sadly it isn’t slated to be available until 2012. When it does ship it will cost $300 for the hardware and the software, with an extra fee to get rid of pop-up ads.

Control your iPhone with your mind

Posted in iPhone by Conner Flynn on September 7th, 2010

If only you could command your iPhone with your thoughts? Maybe you can after all. That’s the idea behind the XWave, a headset that turns your brain’s electrical activity into signals that can control your phone.

Details are scarce, but it is basically an interpreter, a middle man if you will, that allows your head and your iPhone to communicate. The XWave has a pad that rests on your forehead, picking up the tiny electrical signals that change along with your changing thoughts. The headset comes bundled with some apps that let you control your music library etc, and PLX is seeking out developers to create new apps for the headset as well.

Pioneer readies three 7.1 receivers with iPhone control

Posted in Receivers by Conner Flynn on March 26th, 2010

Pioneer’s VSX-920-K, VSX-1020-K and VSX-1120-K 7.1-channel systems for the iPhone and iPod are being readied for their release this May and June. All come with a compatible USB port which will play Apple devices and charge them.

The 1020-K and 1120-K come with support for the iControlAV app (available for free in the App Store) which will steer the receivers, including multiple audio or video zones, balance tuning and input selection. Aside from that, all three feature an iPhone Control button which offers control on the touchscreen display instead of the receiver.

Control A Cat remote

Posted in Humor by Conner Flynn on February 12th, 2009

Control A Cat remoteA remote control for your cat. No batteries are required as it’s powered by positive thinking. Just point it at your cat, press some buttons on the remote and hope for the best.

Some of the buttons include “Stop Scratching”, “Show Affection”, “Remain Aloof”, “Meow”and others. Your cat will be doing what you command it to in no time. Only $7. The “Fur Ball” button is loads of fun.

JVC’s new boomboxes with touch control, iPod integration

Posted in JVC by Conner Flynn on January 11th, 2009

JVC’s new boomboxes with touch control, iPod integrationJVC was feeling nostalgic, so it has upgraded that most classic of urban audio fixtures, the boombox. Make no mistake, this ain’t your grandaddy’s boombox. This is a boombox for the 21st century. How do I know this? Because it boasts an iPod dock and touchscreen of course.

Even the way that you wake the device from standby mode is futuristic. You wake it up from standby mode by waving a hand in front of the system, which illuminates all of the controls and the LED display. That’s not all, there’s a bunch of gestures and motions you can apply to the touchscreen to do stuff like control the sound.

Mgestyk Gesture Control System will put your mouse and keyboard out of business

Posted in Computers by Conner Flynn on November 6th, 2008

Mgestyk Technologies wants to bring gesture control to your home PC. They want to do it by using just a 3D camera and proprietary software. The Mgestyk gesture control system is can capture small hand movements and then translate them into commands. The commands can be applied to nearly all windows applications, but more importantly video games. It looks like it works pretty nice, but it looks like there’s some lag. It’s also a bit dorky looking shooting a gun. Pricing is expected to be around $150. No details on availability just yet, but you can sign up on their mailing list to get updates.


Control video games with your mind

Posted in Games by Conner Flynn on October 8th, 2008

Control video games with your mindSquare-Enix along with NeuroSky will unveil a mind-controlled gaming demo on Thursday at the Tokyo Game Show. It all works with a Windows PC and the MindSky headset. The PC runs Square’s software created specifically for the demo. The headset fits has earmuffs and an electrode that monitors brainwaves as you’re playing. Believe it or not, they say that the headset is even compatible with several different platforms.

No word yet on just how much control your brainwaves have over the game. According to Neurosky the headset monitors your level of relaxation and concentration. If you happen to be there, the demo will be in NeuroSky’s booth at TGS. This news will come as no surprise to those of us who have been controlling games with our mind already, by using it to control our hands.

Gyration MotionSense Air Mouse

Posted in Mouse by Conner Flynn on September 24th, 2008

Gyration MotionSense Air MouseMovea’s Gyration Motionsense Air Mouse weighs in at under 4-ounces and has fancy gyros and accelerometers inside so you can control your computer as if you were playing your Wii, by waving it in mid-air without the need of a wizard’s spell. The mouse uses 2.4GHz wireless technology with a 100-foot range and it’s got customizable buttons and gesture recognition. Two rotational gyro axes and three linear accelerometer axes detect your movements and it starts up in 20ms.

But if all that scares you, or if your arm tires, it has a standard laser mouse option. The Gyration MotionSense Air Mouse will be available in October for $100. One day we will have one motion device to rule all of our devices and our arms will be strong, where they once were weak.

Outel wireless USB remote control

Posted in USB by Conner Flynn on September 14th, 2008

Outel wireless USB remote controlIf you bought a laptop that doesn’t have a nifty remote control, the Outel Wireless USB Laptop Remote Control is a nice solution. It fits inside your laptop’s PCMCIA slot and will deliver full wireless remote control functionality. Just pop it out of the slot, plug the dongle into the USB port and you’re good to go. Great for controlling your music, video playback and other multimedia jazz from up to 30m away.

The best part has nothing to do with your laptop however. It’s all the fun you and your cat will have playing with the integrated laser pointer. It will cost you £15.59 and your cat will thank you, by chasing the pretty light and getting some exercise, while you sit and gain weight while using your remote.

Eizo may be the coolest remote/mouse ever

Posted in Remotes by Conner Flynn on September 13th, 2008

Eizo may be the coolest remote/mouse everThe Eizo C@T-one from Nanao Japan is a roundish mouse that also doubles as a TV remote. The wireless mouse works on the 2.4Ghz frequency, has a scroll wheel and an optical sensor which turns off automatically after 30 minutes in order to save power. It also sports a tilt sensor similar to the iPhone, so that when you tilt the mouse it activates the remote control.

It’s got all of your typical controls like power on/off, channel and volume control, mute etc. The device is powered by AA batteries which supposedly last for 3 months. The USB receiver is about the size of a pen drive and it’s compatible with Mac and Windows. Currently it’s available in Japan only for about $ 125.


Muso voice control for your iPod

Posted in iPod Accessories by Conner Flynn on July 16th, 2008

Muso voice control for your iPod
If having all of that music at your fingertips isn’t enough for you and you want a still easier way to access your music, this might be just the thing. The Muso is a gadget that plugs into the iPod, and gives you voice control.

It will synchronize with your iTunes library on the first use, without any training. It understands requests like “Play some Beatles”, “Give me Rap”, or even “Play me something like the last song”. It costs $159, and the battery lasts for 10 hours, which is plenty of time for you to have talked yourself hoarse, much to the dismay of those around you.

Remote control robot shops for the elderly

Posted in Robots by Conner Flynn on July 12th, 2008

Remote control robot shops for the elderly
Robot developer tmsuk has unveiled a remote-control robot that will give you a new way to shop from the comfort of your posterior. It’s a prototype of the telerobotic shopper, which is a modified TMSUK-4 humanoid robot that has a variety of cellphone communications technology. They had a demonstration on July 10 at the Izutsuya department store in the city of Kitakyushu, Japan, where it probably made the male robot wait while it tried on clothes and asked if each one made it’s ass look fat.

In the demonstration scenario, a grandmother unable to go shopping with her granddaughter sent the robot to do it for her. Using an NTT DoCoMo video-capable cellphone, the grandmother controlled the robot and did some shopping through the robot’s camera eyes. Surely this is a hoax. A grandmother who can use a cell phone AND a robot? The woman maneuvered the robot to the hat section, eyed what was available, and had her granddaughter model a few for her before deciding which one to purchase.

Remote Control Hummer H3 is life sized

Posted in R/C Toys by Conner Flynn on July 2nd, 2008

Remote Control Hummer H3 is life sized
Dr. James Brighton put a ton of hard work into transforming a gas guzzling Hummer H3 into a remote controlled vehicle. The project took around a month to complete, and it’s said to be the largest radio controlled vehicle.

If you want one, it’s going to cost you of course. At least $70,000. That’s one expensive RC car. It might be fun to have your friend inside while you control it, speeding up around cliffs and stuff. Just don’t wreck it. It’s not like you can just pick it up and dust it off and get going again.Check out a video below.

Remote Ray Gun channel changer

Posted in Remotes by Conner Flynn on June 25th, 2008

Remote Ray Gun channel changer
If you want a remote that says, “Freeze or I’ll turn your planet to rubble.”, or “Flash Gordon refuses to watch this crap any longer.” then this is for you.

Ray guns were a staple of Sci-Fi from the 40’s through the 60’s, isn’t it about time you changed channels with one? Damn straight. Cuz geeks are all about pretend, even when they’re watching some other people pretending to cruise through space on T.V. The price won’t zap you at only $18, but you’ll need to wait until August 16th when it’s available. This is great for fighting robots.

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