xDroid brings aspects of gaming to RC racing
Racing remote-control model cars can be fun, but then so can playing car-racing video games. A group of Austrian entrepreneurs has decided to combine the two (sort of) in the form of the xDroid system.
The setup consists of one or more 1:16-scale rough-and-tough 4WD remote-control trucks – which are the actual xDroids – along with an iOS/Android app, and flat LED-festooned devices known as xPoints.
Utilizing the app on their smartphone, users can remotely control the xDroids via Wi-Fi from a range of up to 80 meters (260 ft). That app can also be used to set them to different racing modes, however, in which the steering, top speed, acceleration and braking of the trucks are altered in specific ways. Some of these modes include Stunt, Drifting, and a fun-sounding Demolition mode, in which players try to ram each other's sensor-equipped trucks in specific locations – an LED "life bar" on each xDroid shows how it's faring.
The app additionally lets players choose between different racing games, accommodating up to five players/xDroids at a time. Depending on what game is selected, the Wi-Fi-connected xPoints give out different types of rewards as the trucks drive over them. Players can "capture the flag" for instance, by being the first one to go over an xPoint that starts flashing. The xPoints can also do things like awarding points, or improving recorded lap times.
Additionally, for every meter driven, game won and other achievements, the app gives each player xMiles. Once enough have been earned, those xMiles can be redeemed for things like unlocking new games or racing modes.
The trucks themselves are powered by a Ni-MH (nickel metal hydride) battery that should be good for up to an hour of runtime per one-hour charge, while each xPoint should run for up to 10 hours on four AAAs. And should someone already have an RC truck that they'd like to use, it's possible to make it xDroid-compatible by installing an optional xCore module within the vehicle.
If you're interested in getting an xDroid system, it's currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign. A minimum pledge of €129 (about US$152) will get you a truck and the app – but no xPoints – with delivery estimated for December if everything works out. The planned retail price for that package is €199 ($235). A set with two trucks and three xPoints can be had for a pledge of €299 ($353) or €515 ($608) retail.
The system can be seen in action, in the following video.
Potential buyers, who are perhaps more interested in racing cars on a track, might also want to check out the existing and somewhat-similar Anki Overdrive.
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