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Next: Lasersabers

Remember the floating training remote in Star Wars? Some people have done DIY versions of the remote that can levitate on your desktop. However, leave it to NASA to create the real thing and call it SPHERES: Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites: robotic bowling balls (OK, 18-sided polyhedron satellites) with autonomous propulsion, power, avionics, software, communications, and metrology subsystems, that fly freely in the ISS. First tested in 2006, they have been upgraded with Android smartphones, which makes them (for now) the less terrifying item in Google's growing robotic arsenal.
posted by elgilito on Aug 3, 2014 - 3 comments

Human - Remote Control Tourist(s)

For eight hours a day to Oct. 13, Facebook and Twitter users can log on to the Melbourne Remote Control Tourist website and "control" two volunteer explorers with helmet-mounted streaming video cameras. Users can check out the explorers' Instagram feeds, track their locations using Google Maps or FourSquare and ask them (via a tweet or Facebook) to visit certain places, check things out or even sing a song. via adage [more inside]
posted by doogyrev on Oct 9, 2013 - 4 comments

the scenic route to nowhere

Photographer Dietmar Eckell has taen a series of pictures of wrecked airplanes. It's called "Happy Endings," and no one was killed in any of the 15 crashes.
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jul 10, 2013 - 8 comments

DIY Drones, or rather, Autonomous Aerial Vehicles

Pretty stunning cockpit perspective footage of unmanned aerial vehicles interacting in close quarters, flying with a range of flyers (Echelon FPV). [more inside]
posted by infinite intimation on Jan 25, 2013 - 20 comments

Open the pod bay doors, Siri!

Hacker sets up SiriProxy and a Raspberry Pi-controlled relay to make his iPhone's Siri voice control open his garage door
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Dec 19, 2012 - 21 comments

Angry Birds With FLIR

"We finally flew our first thermal camera flight yesterday afternoon. About 10 seconds after launch my co pilot looked at the screen and said something like, 'We now have our very own predator drone'" A rice farmer in Louisiana had a real problem, feral pigs were coming out of the woods at night, into the rice fields, tearing up his crops and causing thousands of dollars worth of damage. The only solution is to bring in hunters to shoot the pigs. Hunting feral pigs in waist high rice plants, in the dead of night, is very difficult. You have to be within 10 feet of them to shoot them and it can take hours to stalk them down. So the farmer calls his brother, an Electronic Warfare engineer who flies RC airplanes as a hobby. $5000 worth of electronics, including a $4500 infrared camera, are installed on a $80 model airplane, and the Dehogaflier is born!
posted by smoothvirus on Oct 18, 2011 - 52 comments

"They asked us who we were, and we told them we were civilians from Kijran district."

A Tragedy of Errors. On Feb. 21, 2010, a convoy of vehicles carrying civilians headed down a mountain in central Afghanistan and American eyes in the sky were watching. "The Americans were using some of the most sophisticated tools in the history of war, technological marvels of surveillance and intelligence gathering that allowed them to see into once-inaccessible corners of the battlefield. But the high-tech wizardry would fail in its most elemental purpose: to tell the difference between friend and foe." FOIA-obtained transcripts of US cockpit and radio conversations and an interactive feature provide a more in-depth understanding of what happened.
posted by zarq on Apr 10, 2011 - 59 comments

Invasion of the blue UFOs!

“It’s weird. You only see this type of stuff in movies. Just as long as we're here, I'm sure there are other things somewhere." In the past couple of months, strange blue lights have been appearing over towns across the USA: Anaheim, College Station, and outside of Washington DC. Many UFO buffs and conspiracy theorists believe this to be a part of an alien agenda to force the US Government to disclose alien existence, or perhaps a plot by NASA to overthrow all the world's religions. [more inside]
posted by smoothvirus on Nov 10, 2010 - 52 comments

The ongoing mobile laboratory project: Makrolab

The structure functions as a living and working environment, solar powered, and able to support 3 people for up to 40 days. Avowedly utopian in its objectives, the insulation/isolation strategy aims to achieve total independence from social conditions in order to create a reflective space. [more inside]
posted by circular on Jun 14, 2010 - 3 comments

Who Needs Repo Men?

Honk if you've missed a payment A disgruntled former car dealership employee was arrested in Austin for bricking 100+ cars using a dealer-installed debt collection black box. Made by Pay Technologies, the system allows the dealer to disable a car’s ignition system, or trigger the horn to begin honking, as a reminder that a payment is due.
posted by letitrain on Mar 18, 2010 - 63 comments

Up, up and away.

George Steinmetz takes aerial landscape photos from lightest powered aircraft in the world, a motorized paraglider (and sometimes a helicopter, a motorized hang glider, and a hot air balloon). Some of the places he has photographed include Arabia's Empty Quarter; Africa; the Dead Sea; the Altiplano; the Salt Deserts of Iran; and China. Warning: Flash based image display. [more inside]
posted by Mitheral on Dec 23, 2009 - 16 comments

Unclaimed land

Looking to found your own Independent Republic of Metastan? Land is hard to come by, and barring sudden volcanic activity, they're not making any more of it. The Law of the Sea (1982) says that the ocean can't be claimed, and Outer Space Treaty of 1967 puts the moon off-limits. But your fledgling nation still has a couple of choices of unclaimed land parcels: Bir Tawil between Egypt and Sudan, and Marie Byrd Land (lower left) in Antarctica. [more inside]
posted by echo target on Nov 13, 2009 - 13 comments

Its a long way away.

Lying 2,816 kilometres from the nearest continent; with approx 246 inhabitants; and having no TV until 2001; Tristan da Cunha is the most remote archipelago on the planet. There is an official web page. In 1961 the Island was evacuated because of volcanic activity but re inhabited in 1963. Early History; 20th Century History. Here are some pictures from the 1930's; from the 1960's and 70's and more present day. The Island people have developed their own vocabulary.
( wiki and Related).
posted by adamvasco on Sep 2, 2009 - 39 comments

Xbox Wars

Science fiction writers have always been writing about remote control war, the Isreali arms industry has been develping remote control drones (as seen in Pakistan), but only the US military has a remote control mini tank driven via an Xbox controler!
posted by Coyote Modern on Jun 12, 2009 - 37 comments

The remotest places on Earth

Ever wondered where the remotest place in the world is? Short answer according to New Scientist: the Tibetan Plateau. Lots of cool maps showing transport times and methods. [more inside]
posted by Joe in Australia on Apr 20, 2009 - 61 comments

East German (DDR) RC cars

DDR-Modell Autos.info meticulously catalogs radio controlled and flywheel powered cars made by East German (DDR) toy makers such as Presu, Elmes, MSW, Anker, Piko, Gevo, Plasticart and Sommermeyer.
posted by riffola on Jan 7, 2008 - 5 comments

Wiimote Controlled Murder Robot

Wiimote Controlled Murder Robot At first, I was sure this was fake, and one of these guys was going to die horribly. But now I'm not sure. If this isn't fake, it's coooooool. (via Gizmodo)
posted by gummo on Jan 25, 2007 - 28 comments

Remote Control Shark.

Remote control shark. No mention of attaching lasers. Yet.
posted by mecran01 on Jan 17, 2005 - 12 comments

Kill the television

TV-B-Gone. A remote with only one button: Off.
posted by me3dia on Oct 20, 2004 - 31 comments

Tiny camera reveals the inside story for patient.
This is pretty dam clever. Girl swallows pill size camera, and doctors 40 miles away investigate her condition. Echos of Inner Space and The fantastic voyage
posted by monkeyJuice on Oct 11, 2002 - 6 comments

Drive Me Insane!

Drive Me Insane! Want to send a man to the asylum? Paul Mathis's site allows you to control his lights, lava lamp, remote control car, and allows you to follow him around his Texan home camera by camera and microphone. I turned his lights on and off about ten times, so I've already had my fun. ;-)
posted by wackybrit on Sep 22, 2002 - 8 comments

A Novel idea.

A Novel idea. "Remote Sensing...provide service on remote sensing and its application to the satellite imagery map, as a core service system of remote sensing in Korea." This is just .01% viewing area of most countries' spying capabilities.
posted by wantwit on Oct 26, 2001 - 2 comments

Remotely control your desktop

Remotely control your desktop from any Java-enabled web browser. AT&T Labs' VNC (Virtual Network Computing) has existed for quite a while but never mentioned here. The tiny server runs on Mac, Windows and Unix platforms, installs quick and easy, and is free to download and use. See the neat screenshots of various client/server combinations if you're not yet convinced of its usefulness (35k GIF).
posted by waxpancake on Apr 9, 2001 - 14 comments

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