The week in gadgets: Batmobile stroller, electric skateboard and a robot worm

26 Jan 2015

This week in gadget treatments, a baby gets the Batman treatment, a skateboard gets the electric treatment and a worm gets the robot treatment.

Batmobile stroller

If you’ve spent hundreds of euros on a fancy baby stroller, please look away now as a newly-built stroller – purely for the purpose of showing off – has given one baby the opportunity to ride around in their own Batmobile.

Josh Earl, the father of Collin, is a massive Batman fan and scored big after he caught the attention of Tim Baker and his team of designers and engineers who go out of their way to create the coolest things imaginable.

Based off the Batmobile design that appeared in the Christopher Nolan series of Batman films that have arguably made Batman the coolest comic book character around, both Collin and Josh were unsuspecting of the bad-ass stroller, but sadly it won’t be able to pull off some of the amazing stunts as seen in the films.

Boosted Boards electric skateboard

While everyone is obsessing over this year marking the year in which Marty McFly travelled to the future to discover a world where hoverboards existed in the Back to the Future franchise, back in the real world, we’re left with the next best thing, an electric-powered skateboard.

While some critics may find the idea of a self-propelled skateboard as a bit of a cop-out, the Boosted Boards is due to launch with three models that will decide whether its motors power two wheels, four wheels or a deluxe four-wheeled model.


According to a journalist at Engadget who actually got to test one of the boards at CES this year, he was able to achieve an impressive speed of as much as 40km/h.

Don’t expect to be able to do your daily commute with it however as it has a max range of just under 10km.

You also might need to save up your money as the cheapest two-wheel engine model comes in at an eye-watering US$999 (€839) with the deluxe model coming in at US$1,499 (€1,332).

Worm-brained robot in development

Usually when we hear the words ‘robot’ and ‘worm’ in the same sentence, we’re usually talking about dance moves from the 80s and 90s, but alas, no more, according to CNN.

While placing a human consciousness into a robot’s body remains a process only seen in science fiction, a team of researchers are starting a little bit smaller, in this case, the brain of your ‘common-or-garden’ earthworm.

Known as the Open Worm Project, this ‘Frankenworm’ monster will eventually see the same thought-process of a worm re-created in a four-wheeled robot built from Meccano parts and a range of different sensors.

However, they’re far from creating a similar situation with Earthworm Jim and his super-suit, as the research team say they are only about 20-30pc in so-far with much work left until they can say they have created a successful worm robot.

Discgo mobile chargers

Australian Sean Brandtman and his company are aiming to end the days when people with low battery on their mobile phones clamber over one another to find a wall-socket to charge their phones in a pub, café or restaurant with his portable phone charger, the Discgo.

The small device is being targeted at owners of pubs and eateries as a way of enticing customers to stay in their establishments by giving them one of the small disc-shaped chargers that sits on a table allowing them to charge their phone without the need for dangling cables over the table’s edge.


The Australian company’s business model of targeting companies and store owners also has another advantage: it’s free for users.

Now located in hundreds of bars across Australia, the device is now on the international market with six so far in the Dublin/Wicklow area signed up, according to their website.

Nexus or bust for stock Android lovers

The curtains have come down on the remaining duopoly of mobile phone manufacturers selling phones with the stock Android operating system following the news that the HTC One M8 Google Play edition has been removed from the online store, according to Android Police.

So what does this mean for fans of the clean stock Android look? Well, you need to go directly to Google as their own Nexus range is now the only phones on the market offering it with all signs of other manufacturers showing no plans for offering their own versions.

When the HTC One M8 was being sold on the Google Play store, it was being priced in the US at a rather hefty US$699 (€621).

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Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic