Careful! That gas pedal is a Nexus One

Indeed, the gizmo above is meant to be used as a gas pedal. [Grant Skinner] came up with the idea to control slot cars using an Android phone as a gas pedal. He coded the software for the handset and a computer using Adobe AIR. Once connected, the computer is sent the accelerometer data from the phone, relaying the speed control to the slot car track with the aid of a Phidgets motor controller. See it ‘go’ after the break.

We’ve seen the Phidgets board used in several projects like the augmented vending machine and the plotter white board. What we haven’t seen is hacks that make use of AIR, a framework we looked at two years ago. If you’ve got hacks that make use of AIR we want to hear about them.

[Thanks Mike]


  1. alex says:

    I don’t see the video :(

  2. Mike Szczys says:

    @alex: There was a problem with my link. Thanks for pointing it out, it is fixed now.

  3. monkeyslayer56 says:

    really like the idea but phidgets? really? on the phidgets site their the cheapest controller is 50$ i mean seriously? just use serial and a ATmega 328(ya overkill) and a cheap H bridge give about the same performance as the 50$ controler i would think probably would have been cheaper…

  4. therian says:

    one more example of software hacker trying to do hardware- results are mega overkill :(

  5. Eric says:

    a bit overkill, but its a nice bit of coding work. I would have just used a hall effect sensor. I build electric scooters with them all the time, they work really well.

  6. T says:

    aehm… without reading throw all the infos,

    but is it not more likely to use the hall sensors in the device for such a application, to get the tilt information of the phone as an absolute data?

    Maybe I’m completely wrong but the acceleration data as some kind of relative data would only tell me whether the phone is just moving or not. If I carefully release the phone (with very little acceleration), I could go back to the initial state without change anything….

  7. Nooblet says:

    yep, you’re wrong!

  8. ch4rly says:

    You forgot the gravity.
    With the acceleration sensor you get a vector facing down, so if the phone is not in motion, you know the attitude of the phone.
    But moving the phone upside down downwards with 2g would produce the same sensor output as lying it on an even ground -> 1g.

  9. Potato says:

    tony stark could do it in a cave with cardboard and aluminium foil

  10. r says:

    the accelerometer measures strain (deflection) of a very small cantilever that is affected by gravity. The sensor reports X,Y or X,Y,Z orientation by using gravity, so it isn’t the same as the ones we made in physics class with a rubber band to ride on the roller coaster.

  11. Hacks says:

    lol @ potato! Hack on

  12. eraledit says:

    I don’t see the video········

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