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Nokia N900 Used as Toy Helicopter Remote (Video)

Nokia N900 may be able to support Flash in the Mozilla browser or multitasking, but it’s also got some funny tricks up its sleeve, like the newfound ability to control a toy helicopter. This feat was shown in the video below, but you can notice that there are some limitations to it:

It’s all based on infrared transmission, but the range of N900’s IR transmitter is only 2 feet, so controlling the flying gizmo will be tricky, because it tends to fly out of range. Also, the helicopter poses a threat to the user’s face and hair if it gets too close.

The N900 sends controls signals to the PicooZ helicopter, acting like the usual remote for such toys. This required some coding skills from the part of the dude testing the device and he used LIRC on a Linux PC, plus a Microsoft MCE USB IR receiver (from a remote) to record signals sent from the real control device.

After recording signals, he wrote an interactive bash script to run on the N900, allowing the user of the smartphone to adjust the power level, steering input and send the right IR signal. On the N900 you’ll use the E key for more power, the D key for less, U to turn left and I to turn right.