Last updated: 2003.12.21

DigiQ MicroIR Remote Control Car Review

Other News
  • There will be digiQ trains and tanks !! See the official site -- it's in Japanese, but I think you can figure out the pictures. The tanks should be release 9/19 or so, in just a few days!
  • From Nikkei News:
    A model car maker, Takara, has reversed its tradition and has made a real car
    based on its model car, Choro-Q. This is the demo of its first car, a sport type electric car, "Qi" (que-noh). (in REAL format). This is the full text in Japanese.
  • Japanese Instructions translated to English here.

Introduction

This is the second type of micro remote control car coming out of Japan. (The first type is the BitChar-G, reviewed here).

Summary comparison between DigiQ and BitChar-G, the DigiQ is:

  1. No assembly required
  2. Remote control is via Infra Red
  3. Product bundling is different, you typically buy one controller and multiple cars

Out of the Box Experience

First thought -- hey, no assembly required! I can just find some batteries and start playing.

The controller takes four AA batteries. The batteries goes into the bottom of the handle. However the door to the compartment is very difficult to open and close. You ahve to slide it and flip itto open, and difficult to close.

 

Charging the Car

Inserting the car into the charger stand is also tricky. You must align the back of the car with the black bit, push back, put the car down, and the spring wil pushes the car forward and catches it between the spring and the front catcher. Once you figure it out it is actually better than the bitcharg verson.

Speed

The remote controller has two settings, easy and normal. In normal mode, the car goes, really really fast!

 

Technology

This is the coolest part of the DigiQ. The car does not steer by turning the front or back wheels ! It turns by varying the relative speeds of the two driving (back) wheels. If the right back wheel is spining (driving) faster than the left back wheel, the car turns left going forward. Make sense?

The determination of the relative speed ratios are determined by the controller. The car is "dump". So, you can actually tune the behaviour of the car at the controller.

In fact, DigiQ has another controller (the professional version) that allows you to make adjustments to the way the motors are driven.

 
 

Future Possibilities

This is my own thinking -- since the car is driven by IR, can one write a driver for any devices (PC, Palm) that has IR output? Can you make a PC drives the car directly? Anyone want to try? Let me know !!