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Topic: Help the n00b! Arduino Wifi RC Car (Read 3397 times) previous topic - next topic

arduinoaussie

Hi guys,

Nothing super exciting for those of you who are veterans I guess, but I'm trying to build a Wifi controlled car with an IP camera stuck to it. I've RTFF and *think* I have a pretty good handle on things, but I'm not totally sure. Any thoughts on my Parts List? Am I missing something obvious? Please let me know :)

(I don't have affiliations with any of these stores, but apologies if posting links to products isn't cool)

- Arduino (Duh… I was thinking just the UNO R3, or is there a more appropriate Arduino to use for a project like this?)

- Arduino Wifi Shield (something like http://www.toysdownunder.com/arduino-wifi-shield.html ?)

- Wifi / IP Camera

- Chassis / motor / servos (was thinking something like http://www.ebay.com/itm/4WD-Car-Chassis-PWM-Servo-Motor-Control-Built-In-Drive-Arduino-Project-/330658028448?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4cfcc11ba0)

- Arduino motor control shield (something like this? http://www.adafruit.com/products/81 - do I even need one of these?)

Other Questions

- Am I better off just sticking a wireless router on the chassis and interfacing with the arduino (like the guy did at http://www.jbprojects.net/projects/wifirobot/)

- Am I better off just buying an RC car, gutting it, and using that as the chassis? Something along the lines of http://www.aliexpress.com/product-fm/400948412-Free-shipping-1-10-R-C-radio-remote-control-RC-mad-truck-4WD-ESC-off-road-wholesalers.html

Many thanks in advance. I've been trying to do a fair bit of research before posting, but if anyone knows of some relevant resources, I'd be most grateful.

arduinoaussie

Free beer for anyone that can help!

zoomkat

My thoughts on the subject.

http://www.lynxmotion.net/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=6343
Google forum search: Use Google Search box in upper right side of this page.
Why I like my 2005 Rio Yellow Honda S2000  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWjMvrkUqX0

arduinoaussie

Hi Zoomkat, thanks for the reply.

Wondering why you connected an arduino to an ethernet shield and then plugged it into a wireless router, vs. just using a wifi shield.

Was it mostly a cost thing, or are there other advantages the router has?

Also wondering if I can use an Arduino servo/motor shield instead of the ssc-32 you're using?

virtuoosi



- Chassis / motor / servos (was thinking something like http://www.ebay.com/itm/4WD-Car-Chassis-PWM-Servo-Motor-Control-Built-In-Drive-Arduino-Project-/330658028448?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4cfcc11ba0)

- Arduino motor control shield (something like this? http://www.adafruit.com/products/81 - do I even need one of these?)




With that chassis you won't need a motor control shield. You can just connect the servos PWM wires to Arduino and use external power supply (battery pack regulated to 5V for example) to power the servos.

Take a look: http://www.arduino.cc/en/Reference/Servo

Quote

Note servos draw considerable power, so if you need to drive more than one or two, you'll probably need to power them from a separate supply (i.e. not the +5V pin on your Arduino). Be sure to connect the grounds of the Arduino and external power supply together.


There is also some stuff on the forums about powering the servos with an external power supply.

arduinoaussie

Thanks for the reply virtuoosi :)

I may go with that ebay Chassis then, though its a little small.

Am I right in my assumption that if I was going to modify an RC car for my purposes, I would probably need a motor control shield?

virtuoosi


Am I right in my assumption that if I was going to modify an RC car for my purposes, I would probably need a motor control shield?


Yes most likely. I have the Adafruit motor shield with two extra L293Ds so it can supply 1,2A per bridge with 2,4A peak. It is still kinda small for my rover which is built on the Rover 5 chassis by Dagu.

zoomkat

Quote
Wondering why you connected an arduino to an ethernet shield and then plugged it into a wireless router, vs. just using a wifi shield.

Was it mostly a cost thing, or are there other advantages the router has?

Also wondering if I can use an Arduino servo/motor shield instead of the ssc-32 you're using?


If the RC truck uses standard RC components, then there should be no need to use additional motor drivers. I like the router approach, as high powered ones can operate over fairly long distances with appropriate antennas, and can also send video from IP cams.
Google forum search: Use Google Search box in upper right side of this page.
Why I like my 2005 Rio Yellow Honda S2000  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWjMvrkUqX0

arduinoaussie

Thanks guys, I'm still in the research phase though I have started buying some components.

One of the RC Car Chassis I'm considering is a bit of a monster - a 1/8 size (~50cm long) electric truck. It's got a 75A ESC that comes standard.

How feasible would it be to skip the motor control board and just plug the Arduino UNO straight into that? In my readings, I have learned that ESC's are controlled in a similar fashion to the way a Servo is controlled. If this is accurate information, does that mean I could just 'unplug' the wires that connect the ESC with the receiver and connect them with the Arduino?

Or am I way off? Please let me know :)

zoomkat

Quote
In my readings, I have learned that ESC's are controlled in a similar fashion to the way a Servo is controlled. If this is accurate information, does that mean I could just 'unplug' the wires that connect the ESC with the receiver and connect them with the Arduino?


Generally speaking as far as controling RC components, an arduino should be able to perform the same functions as a standard RC receiver.
Google forum search: Use Google Search box in upper right side of this page.
Why I like my 2005 Rio Yellow Honda S2000  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWjMvrkUqX0

arduinoaussie

Great - that makes cannibalising an RC car very appealing :)

I'm even tempted to try something like this behemoth: http://www.aliexpress.com/product-fm/423155773-1-5-Brushless-RC-4WD-Monster-Truck-Prince-2-4G-radio-150A-esc-30kg-metal-gear-wholesalers.html

Roughly 90cm long, 50cm wide and weighs ~20kg - though maybe this is a bit too ambitious for a first project!

Zoomkat, do you have any recommendations as far as routers go? I was thinking of using a wifi shield and a wireless IP camera, but maybe a wired IP camera plugged into a router plugged into an ethernet shield is a better solution?

arduinoaussie

Quick update...

I've decided to go the ethernet shield + router option. I might be wrong, but I'm hoping I'll get more bang for my buck with this setup instead of just using a wifi shield.

The router I'm using will be the linksys WRT54G. It seems to be pretty hackable, and has been used in a lot of DIY robotics projects.

I've also got a big (1500mah) 12V Li-Ion battery to power the router and arduino. Is it possible to use a 12V battery directly with the Arduino, or do I need a voltage regulator and/or diode?

As always, any help is much appreciated!

strigoi8183

The arduino is capable of accepting up to I think 15v as long as you input power through the power plug on arduino... As it is connected to the onboard voltage regulator. Hope this helps

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