Toys & Games

Radio-Controlled Toys And How It Influenced Civilization

“Radio-controlled toys” are a popular choice for children and adults all over the world. Many parents give them to their kids because they provide fun entertainment, teach how to work with electronics, help develop dexterity, improve social skills, etc. The earlier radio-controlled toys were simple, large objects that had to be lifted and carried around by the person operating them. The advent of wireless transmission has allowed toys to become smaller and more intricate in design.

Radio-Controlled Toys And How It Influenced Civilization

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At first, remote-controlled toy cars were built with little detail because the people operating them couldn’t see much from so far away. Many years ago, the only type of radio-controlled toy to exist was a car. Nowadays, several different types are available like Traxxas.

Where it all began:

In the early 1900s, the only things that were radio-controlled were devices used for research. In 1898 Nikola Tesla brought a little toy boat to life using his wireless energy inventions and shortwave transmissions from his lab. The toy worked by having a motor connected to an aerial which was then powered up whenever it received any signal from Tesla’s lab. This type of technology was later used to build torpedoes, originally known as “wireless motorboats.”


In 1908, the Nikola Tesla Company bought a patent for a product that allowed for wireless transmission of voice and music. Three years later, this company produced the first-ever commercially available toy car radio-controlled with all its parts, including the chassis, motor, and propeller.


In 1912, the toy car (that was radio-controlled) that looked like the real car was invented by an American named James Edward Estes. It included headlights and could go backward and forwards when given appropriate commands from the wireless controller.


In 1938, Robert Goddard built the first rocket that was propelled by liquid fuel. After his death in 1945, Wernher Von Braun and his team of scientists were brought into the United States under Operation Paperclip to work on rockets for the army.


In 1955, the first-ever radio-controlled boat was produced. It was created by an American inventor named Edward Fletcher, who also managed to patent this technology simultaneously as Robert Peary (who built the boat).


In 1964, a man named Nick Piantanida built a radio-controlled flying model of an F-104 Starfighter. It was 20 ft long and weighed over 500 pounds which were unheard-of for RC aircraft.


In 1985, a former BattleBots contestant named Brian Roe created the world’s largest radio-controlled car that weighed over 1 ton and measured 8 ft long.


In 1993, a man named Draganflyer X6 started working on an unmanned aerial vehicle system for police in situations such as hostage situations and disasters.


In 2005, a man named David Brin published a non-fiction book about the future called “The Transparent Society: Will Technology Force Us to Choose Between Privacy and Freedom?” In this book, he predicted that as technology becomes more advanced, people will lose their ability to keep secrets.


In 2007, the world’s first radio-controlled helicopter was invented by Chang-Jin, who managed to make an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that weighed only 25 grams. It could stay in the air for up to 15 minutes and reach speeds of up to 100 km/h. A year later, the X-37 was created by the US Air Force and NASA. This unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) had a robotic arm that could capture other UAVs while flying and an engine that could change its direction during a flight.


In 2010, Amazon started working on the Amazon Prime Air program, which would use unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to deliver packages to Amazon customers. Almost exactly one year later, in 2011, a German company called Perdix created the first-ever radio-controlled plane to fly across the Atlantic Ocean. The name of this unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was “Perdix.”


In 2013, DJI released the Phantom, the first-ever consumer-grade unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). A couple of months later, in June, Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos announced that they would start using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to deliver packages.

Today and tomorrow

Today, a radio-controlled vehicle is a great gift for young and old, promising hours of fun and entertainment whether it’s a car, boat, plane, or drone. As technology continues to advance, more and more radio-controlled vehicles will be made, but what comes next for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) is still yet to be seen!

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Jess Benoit

Jess is a homeschooling mama of 3, wife, gamer, Whovian, Nerd

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