There is no shortage of remote controlled toy cars you can operate from your mobile phone but the iSpy Tank puts the bar even higher with some cool features.
In recent years toys controlled by mobile apps have started to become more and more widespread. Probably one of the most well known is the AR. Drone by Parrot – a remote controlled quadcopter which you can operate using your iPhone (and recently you can even set a flight path using a small GPS unit and let it fly on its own). –
i-Spy Tank on the other hand is a remote controlled ground vehicle which uses caterpillar tracks to move around, giving it high maneuverability and the ability to climb and pass obstacles a regular R/C car might find difficult. –
Unlike most R/C toy cars the i-Spy Tank is controlled using a free mobile app which let you move the tank in all directions, forward and backwards as well as operate a small camera mounted on a retractable arm which you can control as well. The app even has an option to control the unit using “gyroscopic movement” (in other words control the tank by moving the iPhone or iPad right or left, forward or backwards). –
The i-Spy Tankis operated by 6 AA batteries which are good for about 80 minutes of usage (you should defiantly use high capacity quality rechargeable batteries). The range of the unit is between 20-30 meters (depending on your mobile reception and environment) and since it works on WIFI it can work through walls (to an extent obviously). –
The slightly disappointing part about the i-Spy Tank is the quality of the camera. To make it inexpensive and allow for a smooth wireless connection its developers used a 0.3 megapixel camera (it takes 320×240 pixel videos at 25 fps). This might be far from Full HD quality but it should be enough for controlling the unit. The i-Spy Tank can take pictures (snapshots) but at this image quality its nothing you are going to write home about. –
The i-Spy Tank is available from around 80 dollars from ispytank. –
Iddo has a B.A. in Philosophy and Cognitive Science and an M.A. in Philosophy of Science from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is currently writing his Ph.D. thesis on the relationship between the scientific community and industry. Iddo was awarded the 2006 Bar Hillel philosophy of science prize for his work on the relationship between science and technology. He is a member of the board of the lifeboat foundation and was the editor of several high-profile science and technology websites since 1999.