Thursday, April 22, 2010

Hands-free bird puppets by Axtell Expressions

Check out this amazing "hands-free" remote-controlled puppet. A very small remote control is used to open and close the bird's mouth. Another button turns the puppet's head to face the audience or the ventriloquist. It even has a sort of "cruise control" mode in which the bird moves about in a subtle but lifelike manner, allowing the puppeteer to focus on other things or to work with multiple puppets at the same time.

Here is a link where you can learn more and see a full show featuring the Axtell Expressions hands-free bird puppet.


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Saturday, April 17, 2010

Micro Mosquito 3.0 Channel R/C Helicopter

Micro Mosquito 3.0 Channel R/C Helicopter
Yet another tiny indoor helicopter. Each generation claims to be more stable and easier to fly. Mine you, I can't verify this personally. (Dear Toy Companies: Send me one of everything cool and mechanical. Thank you.)

From the product description:
The Micro Mosquito 3.0 Channel R/C Helicopter is the world's smallest, most stable, lightest indoor helicopter. Flies forward with full control as well as up, down, left and right and has a long 7-minute in-flight time on only a 35-minute charge. Two frequencies available. Comes with everything you need to be flying within minutes including a radio control transmitter, flight battery and manual. Requires 6 "C" batteries and one 9V battery, not included. Measures approximately 5".

Here Amazon's page for the Micro Mosquito 3.0 Channel R/C Helicopter


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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Parrot AR.Drone - Quadrotor helicopter for iPhone

I've never really felt the desire to get an iPhone...until I saw this.

Here is a web site with more info on the ParrotAR.Drone.

[ Thanks Kev! ]


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Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Animatronic Tyrannosaurus Rex on sale

Animatronic Tyrannosaurus Rex
This remote control Tyrannosaurus Rex was selling for $199.95 and is now $129.95. It has some pretty cool features.

From the toy description:
This is the animatronic Tyrannosaurus rex that responds to noise or touch with over 100 different sounds and expressions, providing children with an interactive prehistoric pet. An internal system of servos, gears, and sensors form a biomechanical skeleton that delivers natural movements under a realistic reptilian skin. T. rex's eyes move, his tail wags, and he takes lifelike strides as he autonomously explores his environment. If he walks into a wall or furniture he will backtrack and growl at the impediment. Petting the back of the dinosaur's head elicits a grateful roar and calling his name prompts him to turn his head and walk toward the noise. A bone-shaped remote control has an "attack" button that prompts him to lunge forward and growl; pressing "guard" turns him into a sentry that scans a room for intruders and erupts with a hearty roar; pressing "prank" might cause him to release an ear-ringing belch.

Here the link for this Animatronic Tyrannosaurus Rex.


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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Mechanism for animatronic mask in latex and foam

video
F.X. Déco is a French company who creates video, sets, masks, make up, figures, costumes, prototypes, models, and animatronics. Shown here is a the exposed mechanism for mask done in latex and foam and animated with radio-controlled servomotors.

See more fabulous creations by F.X. Dé on their web site.

[ Thanks Karin! ]


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Saturday, December 05, 2009

The world's smallest remote-control ornithopter

The World's Smallest Da Vinci Ornithopter.
Check out this tiny remote-controlled ornithopter inspired by Da Vinci's drawings. It is about the size of a hummingbird and stays aloft by flapping its little wings 40 times a second.

From the product description:
"Digital proportional flight control enables smooth turns, climbs, and dives with the dual-stick remote. The ornithopter's frame is sturdy, lightweight plastic, with tear-resistant mylar covering the wings and tail. Its rechargeable lithium polymer battery provides seven minutes of flight after a five-minute charge from the controller. For indoor use only."

Here is the link for this miniature remote control ornithopter.


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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wooden mechanical remote-control dinosaurs

Wooden mechanical remote-control dinosaurs
I've seen wood dinosaur models, and even wood dinosaur models with a motor and simple movements. This pair takes it a step further with the addition of a infrared remote control and three different operating modes.

From the model description:
The R/C Wooden Puzzle Dinosaurs go one better and add movement and sound to this classic dinosaur format. First you must assemble of course, but once you've jacked in the included motors and electronics you're ready to rumble. Not only can you control your dino's movements via remote, he (or she) roars and reacts to sound.

Here is the link to these two wooden mechanical dinosaurs with remote control.


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Monday, November 02, 2009

Mini HoverDrone - the smallest flying R/C toy yet

Mini HoverDrone - the smallest flying R/C toy yet
Take a look at this very small flying toy...

From the toy description:
With a diameter not much larger than a silver dollar and a single propeller on the bottom, the HoverDrone somehow manages to float in the air as it spins and flashes its blue LED. The simple slider control allows only up-and down movement... but this makes it so easy to fly that anyone can instantly control it.

Here's a link to the Mini HoverDrone flying toy.


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Friday, October 16, 2009

Remake of classic Robert the Robot toy by Ideal

Robert the Robot toy by Ideal
Robert the Robot was the first plastic toy robot introduced in 1954. This is a modern recreation now being sold.

From the item description:
As the first plastic toy robot introduced to the American Public, he not only walked but included the "sensational new patented talking device, better known today as phonographic record. Recreated from the original Ideal molds, this golden anniversary edition includes: An authentic numbered Robert the Robot, Numbered Certificate of Authenticity, Collector's Manual covering Robert the Robot's history and other exciting details. This is not a toy. It is a fine collectible to be enjoyed by adults. This is a new toy.

Here's an Amazon link to Robert the Robot by Ideal Toy


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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Motion mimicking boxing robot toy set

Motion mimicking boxing robot toy set
A pair of hand-held controllers with on-board sensors capture your hand motions in real time and translate them into little robotic punches directed at your similarly armed opponent. The set includes two robots and two pairs of infrared controllers.

"The infrared controllers have built-in tilt sensors and accelerometers to detect when you move your hands--when you punch, the robot punches; directional buttons control forward and backward movement. Each robot has a target area in the middle of its chest; when struck, it registers a "hit" on the four-LED display just above the target. Four hits disables a robot and wins a bout."

Now if we could just scale these up to the size of monster trucks...

Here is the link for more info on the Motion Mimicking Robotic Pugilists.


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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Metal Detecting Remote-Controlled Dune Buggy

Metal Detecting Remote-Controlled Dune Buggy
OK, so we've seen radio controlled cars for decades now, and they don't seem that exciting anymore. But...combine that remote-controlled car with a metal detector -- now we're on to something again. And hey...the four faux-gold doubloons are included!

From the product description:
This is the remote control dune buggy that can detect buried metallic objects when driven over suitable terrain, including backyards, dirt lots, low grass, or flat sand. The buggy can detect buried iron-based metals down to 4" and when it does, it flashes a red LED and begins beeping to alert you of potential treasure. The remote controls forward, backward, left, and right movement from up to 25' away. Metal detecting sensitivity can be modified to suit the terrain with a simple dial on the buggy.

Here's the link for the The Metal Detecting Dune Buggy.

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Monday, June 08, 2009

6-foot long remote controlled reproduction Titanic

6 foot long remote controlled reproduction Titanic
At six feet long, this must be the mother of all remote control boats. Priced at $2,500, let's just hope it stays afloat better than the original.

From the product description
This is the 6' long, remote controlled reproduction of the RMS Titanic that includes authentic period details for the most discriminating nautical enthusiast. Painstakingly reproduced at 1:150 scale and involving over 400 man-hours in its assembly, the model is constructed from over 300 individually handcrafted pieces, including sculpted cedar strips that overlay the molded fiberglass hull, white maple planks (stained to replicate the color of the originals) for the decking, and mahogany for various superstructures.

Here is the link to Hammacher Schlemmer's Authentic 6 Foot Remote Controlled RMS Titanic.



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Thursday, May 07, 2009

i-Bird and Hornet remote control flying toys

 i-Bird remote control flying bird toy
Flapping-wing flying toys are fairly well-established now. I never thought I would see the day.

Product Description
Built-in Li-Poly batteries for long flying time. Easy to operate & control through slow speed fly. Unique material withstands crashes. Precision speed control and rudder trimmer. 3 Channel full function control. Incredible stability and complete control.

Here is the line for the i-Bird remote control flying bird toy



Want a flapping-wing flying toy, but birds not quite your thing? Fine...here's an equally cool remote control hornet...
 i-Bird remote control flying bird toy


Here's the link for more information (and color choices) for the WowWee Flytech Hornet


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Friday, May 01, 2009

Palm-sized remote controlled hovercraft toy

The mini Hover-Q is a very small remote control hovercraft that skims over the floor on a cushion of air. You control the forward speed and right/left turns.

Thinkgeek.com on steering the hovercraft:
In typical hovercraft fashion the control is a bit like playing asteroids... thrust, over-compensate and then turn to reverse-thrust and correct. You'll be surprised how fast the Hover Q can go at full throttle so you'll either need to keep a gentle touch on the speed control or find a large smooth area...

Here is the link for more information on Palm-sized remote control hovercraft toy.



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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Remote controlled underwater manta ray toy

Remote controlled underwater manta ray toy
Here's a novel twist to the remote control toy: an underwater manta ray. The really cool thing about it is that you can perform tricks and moves in three dimensions (like a plane) but with much less concern for crashing the thing into the ground at high speed!

From the product description:
Forefinger triggers on the underside of the remote enable independent pitch for each thruster, providing control for steep, powered dives to the bottom of pools and rapid ascents. Thumb toggles on the topside of the remote allow for independent thrust operation of each shrouded propeller, providing the ability to move forward, backward, make left and right turns, barrel rolls, or complete underwater loops--even intricate submerged Immelmann turns.
I have no idea what "Immilmann turns" are, but the range of motion sure sounds like a lot of underwater fun.

Here is a link to more info on the Remote Controlled Manta Ray.


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Monday, April 13, 2009

Kid Galaxy RC Bump-N-Chuck Bumper Cars

Kid Galaxy RC Bump-N-Chuck Bumper Cars
A fun looking set of remote control bumper cars. The object is to knock the other driver out of his seat. They are rated well by Amazon customers. I love the name.

From the product description
Bump...and watch your opponent's driver fly through the air! Hit your opponent's car straight on or sideswipe it and watch his driver eject or "chuck" through the air activating cool sounds. Cars are designed with fans that really work giving the illusion of wind power and adding to the effect. Set includes two remotes, two cars and two drivers. Cars are full functional. Requires 10 "AAA" batteries, not included. Measures 8.25" x 6.25" x 14.5".

Here's a product page with a short video of the Kid Galaxy RC Bump N Chuck Bumper Cars


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Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Anatoly ZAYA-RUZO's hybrid automaton/robot

Anatoly ZAYA-RUZO's hybrid automaton/robotAutomata maker Anatoly ZAYA-RUZO has unveiled his new creation, entitled ATTABOY.

ATTABOY is a hybrid automaton/robot that has 8 body movements, can speak, do a card trick with special prop, and draws 17 images on the paper with a marker.

The piece includes some 15 motors, 46 relays, 34 cams, and a 24-button wireless transmitter/receiver.

More about this automaton will be soon be available on Anatoly’s site.


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Monday, March 02, 2009

Amazon Toy Outlet update - toys at 25% - 70% off

Amazon Toy Outlet update, 2009
Amazon informs me that they have recently updated he Toys Outlet section of their site. They say that you can save 25% to 70% on a bunch of action figures, games, construction toys and more. They also have weekly specials and daily 'Gold Box' offers for toy bargains.

I'm guessing you, Dear Readers, will be most interested in the following sub-sections of the Toys Outlet:

* Construction Toys
* Hobbies and Models
* Learning & Exploration

Play! Have fun!


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Friday, February 27, 2009

Dark Blade 3-Channel R/C Helicopter


Dark Blade 3-Channel R/C Helicopter
After trying and selling a number of the small remote control helicopters on the market, the folks at ThinkGeek decided to create the perfect micro indoor helicopter themselves. The result: the Dark Blade 3-Channel R/C Helicopter.

Here are some of the features the Dark Blade boasts:

* Easiest to fly, most precise controlling R/C copter yet
* 3 channels for up/down, right/left and forward/backward control
* Amazing miniature size for a 3-channel helicopter
* Sleek black plastic body with a drop-ship style design
* Choose from two different channels and fly with a friend
* Dual counter-rotating blades for hovering and stability
* Innovative tail design with hidden downward facing rear rotor
* Helicopter Charges from Remote
* Easy to adjust trim dial
* 7 Minute fly time, 10 minute charge time

Get all the details on the Dark Blade 3-Channel R/C Helicopter ThinkGeek.com


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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Wicked looking black 3 -channel R/C Helicopter

Black Stealth Helicopter
I have an unusual affinity for black -- especially flat black. Combine that with complex mechanics, some electromagnetic communications, and flight and well...you've got a winner in my book.

This litle Black Stealth Helicopter has 3-channels communication for controlling up-and-down, right-left rotation, and forward and backward.

The dual rotors on the top spin in opposite directions to cancel out hard-to-control torque making for stable flight. The folks at ThinkGeek.com claim that it is probably the easiest to fly small remote-controlled helicopter that they have tried.

Check out the video on for this Black Stealth Helicopter.

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

WowWee's Tribot talking companion robot toy

WowWee's Tribot talking companion robot toyTribot is one of the latest from robot toy makers WowWee (of Robosapien fame). Tribot has a number of different modes, some of which (like guard mode), are semi-autonomous. Tribot can also be controlled via remote. The standout features of this robot toy are the slick omni-directional wheels and very quick remote-control response.

From the product description
Tribot is one of the latest in the line of personal robots from WowWee. This innovative talking companion is more than just your average robot -- Tribot is fresh off the robot assembly line and is ready to interact with you whether it is playing with his built-in games or telling you jokes. Remember though, he's only a young robot so he will need help from you to give him commands using the remote controller. Requires eight "AA" and three "AAA" batteries, not included. Measures 9"L x 8.5"W x 15"H.

Here's a more complete product overview of the WowWee Tribot Talking Companion.


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Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Diminutive R2D2 Astromech Droid Robot

Diminutive R2D2 Astromech Droid Robot
Hasbro's new R2D2 toy give me "a new hope" that we are not too many years away from having ACTUAL R2 units helping us out. This smaller robotic toy has some pretty impressive features.

R2D2 responds to voice commands when you alert the droid by saying "Hey, R2!" This is then followed by one of 40 voice commands it understands.The droid can also move along on his own, follow you, play music, and act as a room sentry with an alarm.

For a toy, we are off to a good start. I expect fully functional R2D2 Droids in the next thirty years.

Here is more info on Hasbro's Interactive R2D2 Astromech Droid Robot.


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Friday, November 21, 2008

Remote controlled car powered by water and sun

Fuel cell powered remote controlled toy car
I've raved in the past about a fuel-cell powered toy car kit. Here's something to get even more excited about: a remote controlled toy car that may never need batteries. Ever.

From the toy description:
The included fueling station is powered by a solar panel and uses electrolysis to safely deconstruct ordinary tap water into hydrogen and oxygen atoms. Simply connect the fueling station's plastic tube to the car and hydrogen gas transfers to the car's patented fuel cell, where platinum plates compress the hydrogen and convert it into electrical energy to power the motors. The car maneuvers like a traditional remote-controlled vehicle...

While the explanation above of how a fuel cell works is somewhat different than my understanding, there is no question -- this is the start of something good. Water and energy from the sun are what ultimately power this toy. No sun? Well...it comes with an AC adapter that will allow you to refill the hydrogen fueling station, but that's cheating if you ask me.

Here are more details on the first remote controlled hydrogen powered toy car.


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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Indoor Remote Controlled Gyroscopic Plane

Indoor Remote Controlled Gyroscopic Plane
There has been an explosion of new flying toys in the last few years. Here's a configuration that I haven't seen before. It's not unlike the self-stabilizing flying saucer toy I wrote about in July. Like the flying saucer, this remote-controlled airplane uses four individual propellers and a gyroscopic stabilization system.

Similar to a helicopter, the plane can take off vertically and hover. The remote control sends an infrared signal (so this is a line-of-sight only toy) to the plane that causes the appropriate propeller(s) to speed up, sending it in the desired direction.

Here is where to find the Remote Controlled Gyroscopic Plane.


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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Animatronic singing and talking Elvis bust

Animatronic singing and talking Elvis bust
This animatronic Elvis bust depicts The King in his 1968 Comeback Special glory -- leather jack, sideburns, and all. The robot moves its mouth, eyes, and head as it sings eight Elvis tunes including 'Love Me Tender', 'Hound Dog' and 'Jail house Rock'.

It has something of a watchdog feature too. Infrared sensors hidden in the jacket detect motion, and trigger animatronic Elvis to speak famous catch-phrases when someone passes by. Put this in a dark room and you could really freak somebody out with this thing. I'm freaked out just writing about it.

Here is where you can learn more about the Animatronic Singing and Talking Elvis.


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Sunday, November 09, 2008

Intelli UFO RTF Electric Mini RC Helicopter

Intelli UFO RTF Electric Mini RC Helicopter
Check out this miniature remote controlled bubble/UFO. It is basically a tiny remote controlled helicopter with counter-rotating blades. It uses the dual fan-style blades for forward and backward movement and easy left-right turning. They come in three different control frequencies so you can fly several at once without interference.

Here's a page with more information and video of the Intelli UFO RTF Electric Mini RC Helicopter


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