Artificial Intelligence has literally been the buzz word lately with every OEM and app maker trying to employ the same. While some might argue that AI has been an overkill it is still a technology that is going to change the way the World works. Well, Mattel seems to have taken the cue and has announced its own AI Toys. HotWheels has been one of the most memorable parts of our childhoods and the HotWheels set with the loop tracks was something we yearned for.
The project seems to make use of technology from Real Fx, a KickStarter project that had launched its own racing car set last year. HotWheels has improvised on the Real FX system and has also refreshed the controllers. The swappable car shells ensure that the kids are amused by the variety and customise their own cars.
Moving on, Hot Wheels has always bundled their racing sets with their own tracks and the AI is no different. The tracks are studded with an array of IR sensors and encoded track paths which ensure that no matter what the cars stay on the track. The best part is that your kid can play with the computer, just like in the virtual games. The tracks are modular in nature and this means that you can build your own race course.
The fuel to the car is an AAA-battery and the remote controls come powered with AA batteries. Thankfully you won’t be needing a smartphone to control the cars and can drive it on tracks just like any other RC controlled toy. Well, if you are wondering the top speed is 5mph (scale speed of 180mph) and that can be a lot of fun considering the twist and turns one can induce in the tracks.
Hot Wheels AI offers three modes, Beginner mode for the rookie, a mode in which cars will stick to track and move at relatively sluggish speeds. Advanced mode is kind of like disengaging the traction control in a real car and would require increased user input. The Expert mode is for the budding racer in you, this mode gives you complete control over the car and a chance to exhibit those RC racing skills. On the contrary, I would also like to add that the car uses basic mapping skills complemented by the
The Hot Wheels can be compared with the Anki Overdrive Starter kit which is more like an actual video game than an RC controlled unit. The Hot Wheels costs $100 and the box includes two cars, pair of controllers and 20 pieces of track. Expected to be released in October this can very well be one of the hottest Christmas gifts around.