SmartWood: DIY toy cars you can control with your smartphone

Rather than plastic or metal, these RC cars are made of wood and promise fun for both big and small kids alike

The funny thing about the remote control toy car scene is that you're likelier to find a group of adults playing with them than a bunch of kids. But RC cars are fun for both big and small kids alike so the SmartWood DIY kits could prove engrossing fun for RC enthusiasts.

What's unique about the kits? One, the vehicles are Bluetooth-controlled and made from plywood. SmartWood is the brainchild of Academix Robotix LLC that specialises in fun projects for kids that include model airplanes, electronics and robotics.

While the premise of SmartWood is that it is, essentially, a toy, it's a toy that helps kids learn some simple programming as well pick up some engineering and technology knowledge while assembling the SmartWood kits.

Ready, set, assemble!

SmartWood isn't just one car but a range of cars and trucks. One, the dragster, is nearly two feet long after assembly. There's also crawler (think a tank minus turret), an army truck and a mobile hackable platform called a minibot. All the RCs have a workable range of 100 ft from the controller which is a decent enough distance to harass your household pet with.

You can be creative and add things to the cars as well, depending on which make it is. Think cameras, a rear swing-arm and whatever else your ingenuity can come up with. And all you really need, the makers say, to put the kits together is super glue or wood glue.

The team behind SmartWood also said that the kits are open source, thus very hackable should you have the inclination.

Fancy a wooden RC car kit of your own? Then back SmartWood on Kickstarter where it's made US$3,650 out of the targetted US$10,000 with 25 days more to go. Pledge at least US$59 and you can have a crawler of your own and pay a mere US$5 to ship outside the US.

Academix says it has signed the necessary deals and the apps are also good to go. So let's see if enough RC enthusiasts will make this project happen.

 

More after the break...

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