Q4 controllers (via kickstarter)
Kickstarter's windfall funding strikes again.
RC car, plane and robotics enthusiasts looking for a controller that can handle just about anything need only to look at Quantum Robotics open-source Q2/Q4 controllers for their remote-control fix. The company recently surpassed their production goal of $7,000 US ($16,660 with 17 days to go) for funding on Kickstarter. The Xbee-based controllers have a staggering amount of gimbal, toggle-switch and button options that look as though they were designed for fighter jets rather than for RC interaction.
The Q4 model uses gimbals similar to those found on a PS/3 controller. Unlike the aforementioned peripheral, the Q4 features 4 joysticks (with horizontal/vertical and push-button control), 4 potentiometer dials, 10 regular push-buttons, 6 toggles, micro-SD slot and 2 X 20 LCD monitor. The Q2 revision is similar to the Q4, it features 24 wireless channels over the Q4’s 32 and features 2 RC gimbals over the previous controllers 4 regular joysticks. Both pads use a Parallax Propeller processor (32-bit architecture with 8 cores or cogs) and connect to your RC device thanks to an Xbee wireless RF module mounted inside each controller.
Depending on your preference, each controller can be programmed using Parallax’s Spin software (which was designed for the processor) or Propeller Assembly software which takes advantage of the processor’s multi-core architecture. Those looking to reserve one of their Q4/Q2 controllers should be aware that each is shipped as a kit and does require some soldering. For those with a limited programming prowess, controllers can be pre-loaded with a program if they so desire. The Q4 will cost around $240 US and the Q2 will cost about $260 US when they become available for the retail market; however get them cheaper by pledging $179 or $205 respectively for them on the Kickstarter web-page.