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DT
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Enter your design for the world's first slot car race powered only by Twitter

We're looking for SlotForum members who think they'll be up for the challenge of designing a slotcar control system, that will use the power of Twitter, to race two cars on a Scalextric track.

There is an API available that must be used, but you must come up with the physical interface design.

There's a £150 RS Components spending spree up for grabs if your design is chosen.

The closing date for entries is 31st July and the launch of the public voting will be second week of August

On your marks...

Please email [email protected] for more details.

@RSCompnents

#RSTweetRace

How it will work:

Once the system is built and the track is ready, a Facebook page will be launched accompanying the Twitter campaign.

The Facebook page will let people register with their Twitter handle and state which car they will be voting for (either Red or Blue for example).

Then each time a user Tweets the correct hashtag (either #RSRed or #RSBlue) the car will move automatically.

For one week the amount of tweets for each car will be recorded, and then on the final day of the campaign a live stream will run showing the cars moving depending on the amount of Tweets each has received in that week. And then for the remainder of the day people can continue to Tweet using the correct hashtags and the cars will move in real time.

Get involved for a bit of fun. Perhaps the slowest slot race of all time, but perhaps the race with the most amount of participants !
 

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Simon Platten
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An interesting idea and sounds like fun. What about marshalling ? There are two methods of operation here, one where the cars are running to a pre-defined schedule according to the number of tweets and one in real-time. Lots of questions:

Considering the first option, would the tweets be timestamped and delivered to the car in a playback mode ?
So pretty much real-time from the point of delivery?
If not how would the tweets be timed ad sent to the cars?
What controls the maxium speed at any given point on the track and prevents the car from leaving the track?
 

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Premium Member
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Seems a bit of a silly that they are going to give you £150 to buy some bits, when all it needs is a £120 to go and buy a C7042 Powerbase and a USB cable.


Rich
 

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So given that we have one hardware option with C7042 & another with my Display-Pro, which has an Identical Interface based on the Parallax Propeller board, which just happens to be an RS stock item
Is there anyone on the Forum that fancies writing a simple program to link their API to the C7042 SNC protocol?

Rich
 

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This will interest I T people like you Sy but will it get you slot racing again? I do,nt think so. We talked about it at the club tonight and nobody has the slightest interest in it.
 

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Simon Platten
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Shame JP...I think we need ideas like this to get the younger generation interested in slot cars, the hobby is full of 40+ people, no so many teenagers tho.

I see in your Sig RichG, a Wi Slot, I was playing around with Wii controllers a while back and it struck me then that it would make a good slot car controller...bluetooth, easy to talk to, hope it goes well.
 

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This one is not for me as it's PC software, happy to help anyone that wants to have a go? I got this reply from my sugestion to use a Scalectric C7042.

QUOTE I wasn't actually aware of the C7042! From what you've said, it sounds like the work required using that unit would actually be software based. Ie hacking together a piece of software, using our API, to control via the USB?

If I've understood that correctly, then it would definitely be a perfectly legitimate solution and feel free to submit that as your idea!

So if anyone wants to have a go, particularily any of the RMS writers? Then C7042 would be a very straightforward & reliable way forward, compared to designing some hardware from scratch.

If making a proposal I would also ask for Digital cars which then would mean that cars could run in either lane & be counted correctly (which I suspect they have not even thought of) Plus some interesting opportunities for random or Tweet driven Lane changing.


All you need is a simple program, reading the API, which looks to be a web based text string with the Tweet count for the cars. (Although they have provided no real info, just a link) Then I would sugest a program with a few setup options. Tweets / laps / speed etc that they can play with to set things up to keep the cars on the track most of the time.

You could also propose they produce an extension to the API to allow feedback from the lap counting / timing ability of C7042 to then generate Tweets giving a running commentry. Plus finally a random lap / speed generator to keep things going for when their API fails.


Rich
 

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Id be willing to have a go.

My thoughts:
Use the following Scorpius gear:
2 Scorpius controllers
2 Scorpius chipped cars
1 Scorpius lapcounter
1 Scorpius USB dongle
1 Scorpius RMS
Custom software for Tweets.

Use track of equal lane length.

Or use analogue with the following gear.
2 Scorpius Wireless Analogue Modules
1 Scorpius USB Dongle
1 standard analogue mechanical lapcounter
Custom software for tweets.

How it works: Every tweet receives applies 5 volts for 2 seconds to that lane. That way it cant deslot either.

We could have car manufacturers sponsor the cars.

Rick
 

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I'm trying to get a picture of it.
suppose it's possible to power / direct a car by sending a tweet, it can only be a thrill when it's live - so you can have a direct effect on the car and / or the outcome of the race.
So I imagine there has to be a site where you have a visual on the track and cars - say a few webcams, broadcasting live.
Then it's great to see things develop, and do tactical moves like choosing an inner lane, an overtake, etc.
So the system should be able to respond to multiple commands, like for instance: #redcarbrake, #bluecarthrottle, redcarLC, etc.

Merc
 

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QUOTE (-Sy- @ 19 Jul 2012, 21:51) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Shame JP...I think we need ideas like this to get the younger generation interested in slot cars, the hobby is full of 40+ people, no so many teenagers tho.

I see in your Sig RichG, a Wi Slot, I was playing around with Wii controllers a while back and it struck me then that it would make a good slot car controller...bluetooth, easy to talk to, hope it goes well.

Having spoken to severell youngsters at work and the club I have yet to find one with a twitter account so i can,t see it bringing younger people in Sy.
 

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I guess to you could use Twitter to update the lapcount.
 

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Simon Platten
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I'm not having much luck getting the API...have received two emails from sam, unfortunately both with faulty links.
 

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Hi all - Sam here, I'm looking after the campaign for RS Components

Some quality comments and emails, plenty of suggestions of things we didn't even think existed/were possible!

Things like:

QUOTE (RichG @ 19 Jul 2012, 22:56) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>You could also propose they produce an extension to the API to allow feedback from the lap counting / timing ability of C7042 to then generate Tweets giving a running commentry. Plus finally a random lap / speed generator to keep things going for when their API fails.


...all over it!

In terms of the API Sy, seeing as it's still currently in a private state we need to register you with the correct usage permissions. So I guess for anyone else who's looking into it, I'm more than happy to send a link to the API but will need a couple of other details too, just so it knows who you are.

In terms of "the point", it's about demonstrating what we can achieve when using a platform such a Twitter; an example of an online medium controlling an offline action (things like the Arduino chip exist to bring these ideas to life, and it's a pretty hot space to be in right now). We believed it could happen, so we're now just trying to prove it!

I saw a question earlier about the actual prize, it's £150 of RS voucher on top of the cost for the parts (so if your solution is to use a piece of hardware that already exists, then so be it!!)

I hope those answers clarify any questions - please to let me know of any more you may have, I'm happy to spend more time explaining!

Thank you! Sam
 
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