Awesome engineering and the number one “Coolest App Ever” until someone shoves an iPhone into the International Space Station computer, Texan scientists have hacked together an Oldsmobile Eighty-Eight controlled by an iPhone. And then surfed on it.
The “iPhone Controlled Car” is the latest project by the unexpectedly boringly named Waterloo Labs, who’ve previously built computer controlled fireworks and a way to play first-person-shooter games by firing real guns at them. Basically, the only reason they haven’t tried to take over the world is they’ve already got everything they want.
The remote control car cannibalises the power-window motors to control the brakes and gas, and a small motorbike engine to turn the steering column. These are controlled via a LabView program, remotely signalled by a wireless device – like the iPhone. In true (if unconventional) Apple fashion the app is a slick, attractive interface – simple sliders and buttons, or even the accelerometer to measure tilt, hiding the heavy hackery it controls.
It’s an excellent demonstration of the iPhone as the portable computer of choice, a standardized platform for even the most unconventional of applications.