Saturday, April 2, 2016

Budding Engineer

For Christmas N got an remote controlled (RC) truck and I while I'm a bit cynical about RC vehicles, even I have to admit that this one is pretty cool. I completely understand why kids, and adults for that matter, enjoy playing with RC vehicles - they're cool and interesting. I guess I'm just a boring and dull person, but at some point I start experiencing diminishing returns on the entertainment value. Then again, it could be rooted in the fact that I just haven't played with the right RC vehicles.

N has an assortment of RC planes, helicopters, cars, and even boats. Most of them seem to languish, but he's really taken to this new truck. It's a Traxxas Stampede, and even by my cynical standards, it has a lot going on. It looks cool and has a lot of power. It has these killer knobby tires for going off-road so he can go pretty much anywhere, and it can climb hills like they were nothing. We went to the skate park to drive it and it was pretty amazing. Not only does it go really fast, apparently in excess of 35 mph, but it was cool watching it launch off of jumps, and it landed on it's feet almost every time. I think it has a strong battery because he drove that thing for nearly an hour and it could have kept going.

Now what I find really cool about this truck is that you can actually modify it, just like a real car. All the components are replaceable, and there is some pretty interesting stuff. You can swap out the frame for different designs, and you can modify the engine to make it stronger or faster, as well as make changes to the suspension. There is an entire industry geared toward customizing these trucks, and I have to admit, it's pretty darn cool. N is completely hooked, and I can't say I blame him.

What's nice about it all is that it speaks to his creative and technical side. Not only can he do cool things to his vehicle, but it helps to understand how the engine works and how different modifications affect the performance of his car. I, for one, am stoked that he's passionate about it. Like his grandad and uncle (the Amazing PR Man), that boy is an engineer at heart. We'll have to indulge this one for as long as it lasts.

Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to faisal fahad for the pic.

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