RC car hack saves lives in war zone

R.I.P sand-colored radio-controlled truck. Your life ended with a bang and in doing so, saved some lives. This little work-horse is a hack that [Ernie Fessenden] put together and sent to his brother [Sergeant Chris Fessenden] who is on a tour of duty in Afghanistan.

[Chris'] team is trained to be on the lookout for roadside bombs, but [Ernie] wanted to sent him something cool that could also keep him safe. By adding a camera to the hood of the Traxxis Stampede and using a gun-mountable LCD screen, the soldiers now have a way to see what’s on the road ahead from their armored Humvee. Sounds like it would work just fine right? Well the hack just got a big endorsement when it tripped an IED made of around 500 pounds of explosives. [Chris] and five other soldiers on patrol were unharmed in the event, and [Ernie] already has a replacement model on the way.

[Thanks Rioexxo and Alex]

More proof that battlefield hacks deserve a place next to some of the high-ticket items you’d usually associate with weapons of war.

Autonomous rover roams the halls

[ESylin] built an autonomous rover that roams the vacant halls of his school. On the hood of the vehicle he’s mounted two Maxbotix sonar sensors that do a great job of keeping the vehicle centered in the hallway. It will follow a wall around a corner (favoring its left side because of the left-facing sensor) and it will stop to correct itself if it gets off course. That’s because when you’re not driving a dsPIC33 is, with a Traxxas XL-5 speed controller and a hobby servo for steering. But this little guy hasn’t lost all his pep. Manual control and be switched on from from an R/C controller so you can burn up the floor tiles. Take a look at the demo after the break, with the manual control demo shown at about 4:10. Continue reading “Autonomous rover roams the halls”