Friday Lolz: the rise of mobile-controlled machines

Alex Walls
March 8, 2013

Woah now, I’m not talking Skynet with that headline.

Nor am I talking about a rise of the machines, controlled from afar via that remote app you downloaded to your iPhone last week.

But I am talking about a paint gun that fires when you tweet it.

Oh, you heard me.

Wired reported that iStrategyLabs has built the PaintBot (good name), a paintball gun on a tripod and connected to a CPU chip.  It fires when someone tweets the hashtag #ISLPaint.

If you try it now, please note: the bot is offline for cleaning (although I’m kinda hoping they forget and reconnect the chip at some point so it randomly paints a wall of their lab).

There’s also no live feed or interaction with the PaintBot (“I.Love.To.Draw.Daff.O.Dils.”) to create your own Picasso, but these capabilities are apparently on the way, Wired said.

But it seems like the rise of machines controlled via your mobile is upon us. Remote control aspects appear in most major releases these days; Sony’s Xperia Z has an option which allows users to remotely control a connected TV, iPhones have long had this capability with iTunes playing through a TV and there are a whole host of apps to allow you to do this, as well as various car manufacturers starting to get in on the fun.

And then there are the far more practical, useful applications, such as the mini beer fridge cannon, which launches a cold beer at the launchee when aimed and directed via a mobile app, as shown on the Graham Norton Show:

And there’s the Parrot AR quadricopter (lots of fun at time of review, but very short battery life) controlled via iPad.

With smartphone brains and capabilities only growing, the world of mobile controlled machines is nigh. Just as long as it’s not mobile controlled people, I think we’ll be okay.

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