Tiny Wii Device Controls Giant Scary Grappling Machine
I love things that look like they come straight out of some sort of Arnold Schwarzenegger dystopian explosion-fest. Yeah, Terminator movies. I'm talkin' to you.
But... these things also sort'a scare me. Particularly when you see them in action-and they're real, not something from James Cameron's imaginary future world.
And they're controlled by a Wii remote.
That guy in the pic looks pretty happy and, in my opinion, justifiably so. His name is Simon Wittber. He works for Australian materials handling company, Transmin. In the photo, he is controlling that giant crane with a tiny little Wiimote.
And he has two of these giant machines-each weighing in at 15 tons. Each can turn at 45mph (72kph). The arms reach out up to sixteen meters.
Wittber and his team utilized Python, an object-oriented programming language, to link via Bluetooth with the Wiimote. This in turn links with the regular grapple control system, allowing for remote control of the huge machines.
Check this out:
I want one of these in my back yard. I'd practice complex professional maneuvers such as "Opening a Beer," "Lawn Bowling," and the potentially fatal "Ride the Arm." It would sit 18 meters away from my giant ice "shot block." On the other side (again merely 18 meters away) would be a giant, inflatable water slide.
And I'd be grillin' up jerked chicken and hot dogs.
Yep. Quite the summer party that would make...
Drifting into my Terminator world... well, it's not hard to see that these things would be scary as hell. They'd be all back lit, with smoke moving in front of them-spider-like silhouettes in the decimated countryside. Maybe they'd have lights mounted at specific points, just to show that there was something sinister waiting in the darkness. And there would blades on the end of those grapples.
Egad! I've sort'a scared myself.
SOURCES: Transmin and Slash Gear.