i-H2GO toy car runs on hydrogen, and is controlled by your smartphone
Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies’ new i-H2GO
It was back in 2006 that we first heard about Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies’ H-Racer fuel cell-powered toy car. Two years later, Corgi International teamed up with the company to create a remote-control offering, called the H2GO. Today, Horizon announced the latest model in that line-up, the i-H2GO.
Like the H2GO, the new car comes with a photovoltaic panel and a refueling station. Ordinary water is poured into the station, and the panel provides power to electrolyze that water, splitting it into hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen is then pumped into the car, which converts it into electricity. If the Sun isn’t shining, the refueling station can be powered via a plain old USB cable ... although that kind of takes away from the whole “renewable energy” aspect of the product.
The main thing that’s new about the i-H2GO is the fact that it’s now controlled by Wi-Fi using an app on the user’s iOS or (soon) Android mobile device – by contrast, the H2GO utilized a dedicated radio-control unit. Users steer and accelerate using on-screen controls, or they can opt for Gyro mode. In that setting, they just hold their phone up and turn it like a steering wheel, with the device’s gyroscope detecting the movements and transmitting them to the car as steering commands.
The complete i-H2GO kit is now available for pre-order at a price of US$180, with shipping scheduled to begin on August 15th. The car can be seen in action in the video below.
Source: Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies
About the Author
An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.
All articles by Ben Coxworth
I don't think this will appeal to hobbyists. While the hydrogen power plant is very cool, the actual car itself is very boring. Without offroad capability or even the ability to customize the body, I don't expect R/C car hobbyists would be very interested in this.
Furthermore, virtual thumbstick control -- especially one where you don't even have your eyes on the screen -- is a very bad choice for the primary controller. I realize it's beneficial for cutting cost, but the lack of any tactile or haptic feedback is a major drawback. They should have the option for a physical controller.
So if you can sell that for $180, how about one that can hold a single person for $18,000?
Kick-ass toy. When I was a kid I had the wooden horse. I could teeter on it and for the times it was a super-gadget. I had tactile contact directly with the subject of which was moving with me. Today's kids is offered only tactile contact with the touch screen and everything else is just eye contact. I do not even know it's good or bad.
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