Explore the cutting edge of automotive technology with this futuristic car. Construct the sleek, high-tech car, and then use your tablet or smartphone to control the car’s motorized wheels and steer it in any direction. On your device’s screen, watch the car as it drives through a virtual, augmented reality cityscape. Use the free downloadable app to script a simple program that instructs your car to automatically follow a predetermined course through your city.
To build your virtual city, spread the AR (augmented reality) code cards out across the floor and point your tablet’s camera at them. The app interprets the AR codes as buildings and houses so that a virtual city springs up on your tablet’s screen. Once you have built your city, you can manually steer your car through it or program a route using a special “draw and drive” function in the app. But be careful: If your car gets too close to a building or runs a stoplight, you may hear police sirens!
Through all of your experiments with the car, you will learn first-hand about the forward-looking technologies of driverless vehicles. Your smart car is actually a self-driving robotic automobile. Maybe you can’t yet imagine your parents watching a DVD with you while they drive around town or drivers safely texting their friends from behind the wheel. But automotive engineers expect that by around 2020 it will be completely normal for some cars to drive at least partly on their own. Major car manufacturers and technology companies are already working on their own versions of the self-driving cars of the future.
You will learn about the technologies employed in autonomous vehicles, including laser detectors, GPS navigation, radar systems, and on-board computers. These technologies will allow cars to do everything from helping drivers park and avoid collisions to communicating with other cars and eventually driving completely independently, without a human driver.
With the construction system in this kit, you can also build seven cool-looking models in addition to the smart car. Each of the models uses up to four electric motors, and each motor can be controlled independently with the app. The app’s programming mode allows you to switch each of your car’s four motors forward, backward, or off, in second-long increments, for up to three minutes.
Illustrated step-by-step instructions allow you to build, remotely control, and program models of a motorcycle, forklift truck, futuristic car, airboat, helicopter, airplane, and flying car. A full-color, 64-page experiment manual provides assembly and usage instructions, as well as lots of information about these fascinating technologies.
The special Bluetooth Low Energy interface means your model’s batteries will last much longer. Free downloadable app. Ages 10 and up. 219 pieces. Tablet or smartphone hardware requirements: iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch with Bluetooth Low Energy support, i.e. iPad mini; iPad 3 and 4 (iPad with retina display) or newer; iPhone 4S and 5 or newer; iPod touch 5th generation or newer; requires iOS 5.0 or newer. (Android device support in development.)