Radio Controlled Toys
Radio controlled (RC) toys can be toy grade or hobby grade.
The toy-grade Radio Controlled devices can be available at a cheap rate in almost every retail store. They are made of non-serviceable parts and are produced in bulk. The toys are not very robust in their speed or abilities. A radio controlled device of one toy cannot be used in another toy. They are not durable and are of “soft” material; these toys are mostly not able to take on the rugged terrain outdoors. They are available in “ready to use”, “buy and play” models and need no assembly. The only thing that will be required is to open the battery case and put in the batteries, and then the toy is ready for use.
On the other hand, hobby grade radio controlled toys are made of durable material, and are custom made. They are mostly simple in their design. The design is simple and can be re-used / remodeled, and can be serviced. The radio controller and the parts can easily be used in another hobby grade toy. They are durable and more robust. They are not always available in ready-to-use state, though there are many hobby-grade RC stores that will deliver the toy in assembled state. Many hobbyists like to buy the toy in parts, and prefer to do the assembly themselves. The design, assembly, and driving of the radio controlled toy is in itself a hobby. The serious hobbyists also indulge in the RC sports that have their rules and specifications, not to mention the winnings which usually will be an enhancement to their current RC toy or another RC toy.
Every RC toy is available as a toy grade or a hobby grade toy nowadays. They can be airplanes, helicopters, boats, cars and robots.
Airplanes come in various sizes and shapes ranging from small flyers to gas turbine driven aerobatic models. The models can be tethered to a fixed pole via rope, or can be free flying models. They can be electrically propelled, or fuel driven models. The latest radio controlled models can reach up to 250mph. RC airborne toys require a high level of knowledge and control, and will need supervision of adults. They are not suitable for younger kids. They are relatively more expensive than the rest of the RC models. This is another reason that younger kids cannot use it safely, since a crash can result in damage that can be too costly.
The RC car is the one most common toy among radio controlled model hobbyists. The cars come in various sizes and shapes and can also be fuel driven or electrically powered. Just like the cars come in various sizes and shapes, so do the enthusiasts! RC cars are relatively safe compared to the airborne toys, and can be controlled even by a child. They can be “off-road” or “on-road” models, referring to the terrain on which they can drive on. The RC car races are common for the radio controlled model hobbyists.
Helicopters: Another airborne radio controlled model. It is different from the airplane in design and flight, and some say that it is much more interesting to fly. However, the same considerations that apply to helicopters apply here too.
A radio controlled boat was the first “toy” to be remote controlled. Tesla demonstrated the remote control boat model which he showed to the public as a device that “obeyed people’s commands”, where in reality it was him controlling the boat according to the people’s commands.
Robotics: These are most popular in Japan, but the popularity is quickly catching up in other nations in the west too. Robotic hobbyists who design, control and model the robotics for various activities are common, and there are various competitions held regularly for them to create the best robot. Robotics however, are actually moving from radio controlled models to the latest artificial intelligence models and voice controlled models. But, radio controlled models of robots are still very popular as toys, as hobbies as well as a safety tool for remote handling of bombs and such.