Who doesn’t want to drive a tank? Joe over at Instructables sure does, and that’s why he went through the trouble of building his very own laser-wielding remote control tank and a web app to drive it around and have it shoot at things. Ultimately, the idea is for the project to culminate in a full-fledged game called TankWars where players drive their tanks around and fire things in meatspace. For the moment, the game is limited to single player target practice, but is impressive nonetheless.
Even in its larval stages, the game is pretty sweet. The app allows the user to control the tank by sending it instructions over Wi-Fi. Those instructions include forward and backward movement, along with left and right turning, of course. The user can also control turret rotation and three different firing modes for the turret-mounted laser: Single shot, burst fire, and spray. As if all that wasn’t enough, the tank also has built-in obstacle avoidance, which compensates for the understandably touchy controls.
As it stands, all the app can do right now is drive the tank around and register hits on a stationary target. In the future, joe plans to include scoring and a multiplayer element which, presumably, includes another tank. While an iPad seems pretty well suited to this game, the actually control mechanism is just a web app, so it’ll work on a wide variety of devices. Clearly, the game has a lot of potential.
If you want to play though, you’re going to have to do a lot of building. At least, that’s the case for right now. If you do feel like building yourself a sophisticated remote control tank from scratch, however, there is a pretty detailed Instructable on the project, but it’s not exactly something for beginners. I guess it’s all about how badly you really want to be able to drive around and control a tank from your iPad.
So far, the game seems pretty promising, and I can’t wait to see what kind of features will get implemented down the line. As much as I like video games, there’s something distinctly exciting about real-world stuff. Let’s hope this kind of stuff really catches on.
(via Hack a Day)
- There has to be some kind of awesome potential for this plus smartphone laser tag
- The new iPad will explode if hit with sufficiently strong lasers. Watch it happen
- This web app interface could be really cool with Jamie Mantzel’s awesome mechs
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