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iPhone flight controls

No more thumbs
  (+14, -1)(+14, -1)
(+14, -1)
  [vote for,

Use the accelerometer on the iphone to control the roll, pitch and yaw of remote control planes. Thrust could be a slider on the face of the phone.The phone could be plugged into a transmitter. This would provide a very intuitive way of flying a remote control plane.
leinypoo13, Aug 06 2008


       I can't beleive it takes a gadget to produce ideas.   

       Maybe a PS3 contrtoller with it's far more accurate accelerometer and more buttons would be better, while the extra buttons and analog triggers would enable instant throttle control needed for stunt flying.   

       The iPhone is a phone, but a controller is a controller.
Giblet, Aug 06 2008

       Next thing we know Boeing will be flying their planes with Wiis.
swimr, Aug 06 2008

       I thought this was going to be a joke about how mobile phones interfere with aircraft instruments, and the next logical step was to bump up the wattage and have the passengers fly the plane on their iPhones.   

       Bad idea, yes. Logical progression, absolutely.
theleopard, Aug 07 2008

       Is the throttle slider thumb controlled?
Giblet, Aug 07 2008

       //Is the throttle slider thumb controlled?   

       No. The thumb presses the menu button which activates an autopilot for when the phone rings.
leinypoo13, Aug 07 2008

       Your idea says no more thumbs.   

       Just wanted to point that out.
Giblet, Aug 07 2008

       // Your idea says no more thumbs. Just wanted to point that out.   

       Thumb(s). It is impossible without at least one thumb.
leinypoo13, Aug 07 2008

       I love this idea. You should be able to the lateral, longitudinal, and vertical axis easily and thrust could be controlled too. That's about all there is to flying. Works for me. [+]
Klaatu, Aug 07 2008

       Great idea. I wonder what sort of accuracy / resolution accelerometers can give?
wagster, Aug 08 2008

       The iPhones seems to have an obvious delay.   

       I just think we're a long way off from an iPhone doing this well.   

       My iPhone takes about a third of a second to change from landscape to portrait, and I've owned it for all of 8 hours.
Giblet, Aug 08 2008

       [Giblet], you need to get out more and meet "people". Yes, most of them will run away because you smell bad and your mother makes you dress funny, but keep at it. It's called "society" (apparently).   

       If you find any, please ley us know where it is.   

       <Resumes tilit testing with iPhone and stopwatch>
8th of 7, Aug 08 2008

       [Giblet] It's more sensitive than you think. Try downloading the free Labyrinth LE game app. If you are over 30, you probably played it as a youth. It is the game where you roll the metal marble through the wooden maze.
leinypoo13, Aug 08 2008

       [8th of 7] I'm quite surprised at this personal attack from you. You know nothing about me, and your assumptions are wrong. I was at a baby shower filled with friends today, and never took my new fancy phone out of my pocket. I'm home from work right now on compo since I almost cut off my arm, and I am enjoying my time playing with my new toy.   

       To sum it up, go screw yourself.   

       "Pallid, tubby, balding, middle aged technology-fixated Trekkie geek and wannabe Borg."   

       That's your own desctiption.   

       But I don't get out much.   

       Oh yeah, that's what I said alright.   

       That was uncalled for.   

       [leinypoo13] I have tried the app you said and a few more and the accellerometer works great. I have changed my vote accordingly.
Giblet, Aug 10 2008

       What is the problem to which this is the solution?   

       The radio-controlled aircraft controls we have now seem to work fine, though granted they are quite bulky, but then again so is the radio-controlled aircraft.   

       I've played a couple of games on the PS3 which has an option to use a six- axis controller in this manner, and it's much much worse for controlling things with. The problem is you can't find the 'neutral' spot as easily as with a stick controller, which will spring back to neutral when you let off the pressure. The stick controller is also much quicker and more precise as you can tell exactly where the maximum range limit is because you calibrate it to be at the outer edge of the stick's range. When you try doing all of this with your hand while looking at another object there is a slight feedback delay between your brain and your hand. You make an adjustment, observe what effect this has on the vehicle, by which time it's veered of course slightly, you correct in the opposite direction, but you over-correct, etc.   

       When we're riding a bike, driving a car or flying a plane we have other forces like gravity and centrifugal force to 'feel' what's happening.
mecotterill, Aug 10 2008

       Other then the issues I meantioned earler with analog controls being better, I still kinda like this.   

       Controller preferences aside, bluetooth has far too short a range for a radio controlled plane, and wifi is deisgined for 100ft, but can reach around 1000ft with line of sight, still not all that much for an rc plane. If it was working over the cell network, the the delay would be too great.
Giblet, Aug 10 2008

       //The phone could be plugged into a transmitter// Your phone *is* a transmitter! OK, it needs to be direct and not via the network, but the range should be fine.   

       For levelling, I suggest a weight fixed perpendicular to the bottom of the iPhone, on an arm.
Ling, Aug 10 2008

       What if you receive a call during flight?
tatterdemalion, Aug 11 2008

       Well, I guess the rule about turning mobile telephones off, on board the aircraft, will need to be extended to when flying the aircraft, too. But it would be very comical to see.
Ling, Aug 11 2008

       //What if you receive a call during flight?//   

       Depending on how long the call takes, low earth orbit? Contact n-prize for funding.
4whom, Aug 11 2008

       //I wonder what sort of accuracy / resolution accelerometers can give?//
Not that great. For MEMS, about 14 bits over a range of around 1.7g seems to be the best performance, but only around 50Hz update rate.
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Aug 11 2008


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