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Old Nov 20, 2012, 04:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Akura2 View Post


So, so ugly

Although I do not own this car I think it is a very good bit of engineering, and I also agree with the above comments that the shell does let it down greatly.

Is it possible to produce after-market shells that can be switched by the user, or is the mounting too specific for the standard shell?

Unfortunately for me I feel the price is too much to justify, especially with the added customs fees and shipping fees to the UK where I am, to solve this a distributor over here would be great but I do think the market would be limited.

The only products I've seen that are similar are the die cast ~1/64 scale cars controlled by your Android phone/iPhone, although much nicer to look at, the electronics just don't come close. In shops these sell for a very high price considering they are only around $30 shipped or less online, so I think maybe the Zenwheels would be too pricey in a retail setting? I'm far from an expert in this field, so I'm just making an educated guess.

With regards to the android app, I think the most likely people to buy it will be those with the higher-end phones, simply because if they can spend that much on a phone, they can probably afford the car, whereas someone with a $50 Android phone probably won't buy a $90 toy. Having said that, I don't think it would be too much trouble to make two versions to solve your problems, a basic version, and standard version. The basic version only has the touch controls, then the standard version has the touch controls and the accelerometer controls etc like the iPhone app. Again, the issue with this is the lower end Android phones don't have multi-touch but I think you have to put the limit somewhere.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 01:46 PM
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Android doesn't have Multi Touch? Why not? Yeah, Android is fragmented, and this is one of the reasons why we did iOS version first. Android will come though.

That Juke is ugly as hell, but the ZenWheels car is CUTE! No comparison!

See if your $30 cheapo cars can do this:

iPhone R/C Microcar by ZenWheels (1 min 50 sec)
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Plantraco View Post
Android doesn't have Multi Touch? Why not? Yeah, Android is fragmented, and this is one of the reasons why we did iOS version first. Android will come though.

That Juke is ugly as hell, but the ZenWheels car is CUTE! No comparison!

See if your $30 cheapo cars can do this:

http://youtu.be/dQOjiGhHfXU
I only said the lower-end Android phones can't do multi-touch, the vast majority can.

Never said the cheap one could do anything like that, I said the electronics don't compare, it just looks a lot nicer.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 02:16 PM
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Well I totally agree with you that the Juke is ugly and the ZenWheels are beautiful lol!

Those Android users without Multi Touch. Those Android users who have not updated their OS. Some with bigger screens than others. I hope those issues don't cause support problems. We will support one flavor of Android only probably. I'm sure we'll disappoint someone out there who wishes they could buy our product!
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 02:47 PM
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In all seriousness though, we should be producing these with licensed bodies, we could do a Suburban or a Bronco or an X5 or a Range Rover, Kia, Cayenne, UniMog.

Perhaps one of the automobile manufacturers who would like to promote maneuverability and control of their SUV would be interested in an iPhone controlled 2 inch length model R/C car. They must sell lots of R/C cars on the Porsche website - they actually have a fairly nice selection. I can see them calling Plantraco about our ZenWheels iPhone controlled R/C Cars and making a special branded and licensed model.


We intentionally designed the ZenWhels cars with larger, oversized, out of scale wheels that would allow the car to overcome small obstacles.

There is some leeway for doing a scale top cover - the main tweaks that have to be done are usually to pull out the fenders wider up front for the steering arc. It would be great. I normally focus on the mechanicals and the performance and interface and less on the cosmetics. But yeah a licensed scale model would make us do it for sure.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 04:39 PM
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Maybe some dont, but If I can buy a cheap 7" Android tablet with multitouch and a tilt-sensor for $99, I would assume most every Android phone 4.0+ is going to have both of those. I personally havent seen a phone without both.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 08:48 PM
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Maybe some dont, but If I can buy a cheap 7" Android tablet with multitouch and a tilt-sensor for $99, I would assume most every Android phone 4.0+ is going to have both of those. I personally havent seen a phone without both.
I believe those are part of the Android 4.0 specification, however, I don't think only producing it for that version is sensible, there are a lot of widely used devices that are still on 2.3 I believe it is, phones that were nearly top of the line one or two years ago. Personally I haven't done any programming for Android yet, but I can't imagine it is quite as problematic as appears to have been made out in this thread. Just looking through the market at the various applications, and doing the same on my friends' cheap phone, I can't believe that the same version that my friend downloads, is different from the version I download for the majority of basic applications? I appreciate that when developing the application you need to select the target version in the SDK, but I'm sure the same code should work on a great deal of devices unless there is a significant change between versions that alters how for example, sensors are accessed in the code.

Hopefully I should have a better understanding when I start developing for mobile platforms in February sometime.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 08:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Plantraco View Post
Well I totally agree with you that the Juke is ugly and the ZenWheels are beautiful lol!

Those Android users without Multi Touch. Those Android users who have not updated their OS. Some with bigger screens than others. I hope those issues don't cause support problems. We will support one flavor of Android only probably. I'm sure we'll disappoint someone out there who wishes they could buy our product!
The electronics are beautiful maybe, the body, no
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Plantraco View Post
In all seriousness though, we should be producing these with licensed bodies, we could do a Suburban or a Bronco or an X5 or a Range Rover, Kia, Cayenne, UniMog.

Perhaps one of the automobile manufacturers who would like to promote maneuverability and control of their SUV would be interested in an iPhone controlled 2 inch length model R/C car. They must sell lots of R/C cars on the Porsche website - they actually have a fairly nice selection. I can see them calling Plantraco about our ZenWheels iPhone controlled R/C Cars and making a special branded and licensed model.


We intentionally designed the ZenWhels cars with larger, oversized, out of scale wheels that would allow the car to overcome small obstacles.

There is some leeway for doing a scale top cover - the main tweaks that have to be done are usually to pull out the fenders wider up front for the steering arc. It would be great. I normally focus on the mechanicals and the performance and interface and less on the cosmetics. But yeah a licensed scale model would make us do it for sure.
Sounds good. I don't think the over-sized wheels should harm the overall look too much. Functionality is important, and the main feature of the car, so the bodies don't need to be perfectly scaled with the wheels, just look more appealing that the current blob.

One thing I forgot to mention, maybe additional tyres could be sold, I don't think they will really wear out, but maybe some tread patterns. Even some different rims to choose from if possible.

Although a bit ambitions, further down the line, you could even have a "build your car" section, just like most car sites, and people could customise their car. But to save costs instead of assembling at the factory, send out the car in parts, so you have the actual car, the body, the rims, and the tyres. I think that would be quite enjoyable for people in the hobby.
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 12:52 PM
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I have a Blackberry Playbook that can play Android apps. When your developer builds the Android app make sure it can be ported for the Playbook!
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 04:51 PM
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How do I disable the clutch thing for rock crawling or getting up steeper grades?\

If you guys are going to do the different bodies when are you going to publish them?
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 10:10 PM
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that's a reely cool car! kind of expensive though for it's size , understandably high at least unlike other products i've seen... a couple tips though, 1.) make the car look sweet. do something like the traxxas gymaka fiesta (i'd definitely buy this car if it looked like that ). 2.) put some music in your commercials and film it like a good car add, you don't need to show everything that it can do every time. that's what the other vidios are for. have you seen traxxas's ad for the XO-1? it made me shiver the first time! do something like that and you will have lots of customers!

these are just suggestions, you have an awesome product, keep up the good work
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 10:44 PM
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Originally Posted by x5252x View Post
I believe those are part of the Android 4.0 specification, however, I don't think only producing it for that version is sensible, there are a lot of widely used devices that are still on 2.3 I believe it is, phones that were nearly top of the line one or two years ago. Personally I haven't done any programming for Android yet, but I can't imagine it is quite as problematic as appears to have been made out in this thread. Just looking through the market at the various applications, and doing the same on my friends' cheap phone, I can't believe that the same version that my friend downloads, is different from the version I download for the majority of basic applications? I appreciate that when developing the application you need to select the target version in the SDK, but I'm sure the same code should work on a great deal of devices unless there is a significant change between versions that alters how for example, sensors are accessed in the code.

Hopefully I should have a better understanding when I start developing for mobile platforms in February sometime.

It is not a simple 'port', since much of the current app is built with iOS-native interface widgets and conventions (some games are easier to port when they are built with a generic game framework, and when most of the interface is custom). It will have to be built for Android, using Android libraries and interface conventions.

There are many many more Android physical devices and OS versions than with iOS. This might require more graphics work. Also, we'll have to decide on a 'reference platform' and decide what we want to support, and if there are certain devices we''ll just ignore, or which will have to drop some functionality (tilt/accelerometer, etc.)). We are going to have to say "not supported, run at your own risk" or even refusing to run on older or uncommon devices. We want to target the devices that have good penetration; no sense spending a ton of time on an older or less common device.

On the positive side, we have a full/perfect specification (the existing app), and hopefully little will need to be changed in firmware or at the communications protocol level. Might be some minor tweaks to the protocol strings to deal with Bluetooth communication setup.

Hopefully those Android folks would put their money where their requests for "Android App" is.
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Last edited by Plantraco; Nov 28, 2012 at 10:49 PM.
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 10:49 PM
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Originally Posted by FouYucker View Post
How do I disable the clutch thing for rock crawling or getting up steeper grades?\

If you guys are going to do the different bodies when are you going to publish them?

I should make a video or pictures.

You can do it endoscopically (lol!). If you know where, you can poke a hole and stick a toothpick with a drop of CA on it and it will wick into the crown gear clutch - deactivating it until the CA happens to lose grip.

I should try to show you that - give me some days and I'll try to get it here for you - it's easy, and worthwhile as long as there are no kids around who like to pick up the car and run it across the table going "vroom vroom" as they destroy the gearbox. That safety clutch is there for a good reason.

Another thing to do is to simply double the springs, or change to a stronger spring.
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 10:53 PM
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Originally Posted by builder bob View Post
that's a reely cool car! kind of expensive though for it's size , understandably high at least unlike other products i've seen... a couple tips though, 1.) make the car look sweet. do something like the traxxas gymaka fiesta (i'd definitely buy this car if it looked like that ). 2.) put some music in your commercials and film it like a good car add, you don't need to show everything that it can do every time. that's what the other vidios are for. have you seen traxxas's ad for the XO-1? it made me shiver the first time! do something like that and you will have lots of customers!

these are just suggestions, you have an awesome product, keep up the good work
What if price were inversely related to size. The smaller the car, the more expensive it is. That's how it is sometimes. Not always, but sometimes it is.

At Plantraco we like a challenge, and we like making original stuff that has never been done before, or at least has not been commercially available before.

I'm gonna search for the video you are talking about - must be good!


Oh this one!

Traxxas XO-1 - The World's Fastest Ready-To-Race Supercar. 100+mph top speed! (1 min 30 sec)
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Last edited by Plantraco; Nov 28, 2012 at 11:00 PM.
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