Many of you may not know this but the Nokia N95 has a built in accelerometer sensor. Andreas Jakl and Stephan Selinger have launched a ShakerRacer project, which allows a hacked RC Car to be controlled by the Nokia N95 using the sensor. They have modded the car to accept Bluetooth instead of the proprietary wireless module that the RC car came with. A small microcontroller and a Bluetooth module replace the original wireless components. On the side of the mobile phone, a Python script translates the input of the acceleration sensor to commands that the microcontroller can understand in order to manage the steering servo as well as the main motor.
In their own words:
When you’re playing a racing game or using an RC car, you will very often move your whole body when driving through tight turns or accelerate with full speed — but the control itself is very often still done through abstract buttons on a game controller or keyboard.
ShakerRacer does not need this additional layer and allows you to control an RC car directly through your movements – by using the acceleration sensor of your mobile phone. It works in a very intuitive way: just tilt your phone in the direction you want to drive. That’s it!