A good chassis to use for a car

Hello.

My brother and I are making a large remote control car using the Arduino Uno. Right now, it will be autonomous, but after we get it doing donuts, we'll be getting an Arduino Esplora to use as a controller for it. Do you have any chassis recomendations?

Thanks

Why not just use a cheap store bought RC and test your code first, this way you can iron out any flaws. From there, you can then plan out how you want your bigger RC to look.

joepshoulak: Do you have any chassis recomendations?

Define "large".

When I think large-scale autonomous robotics - I think of something the size of quad-bike or larger.

That said - for that size, you can typically get nice quadbikes or go-karts (IC engine) or golf-carts (IC engine or electric) for only a few hundred dollars; heck, with enough looking around, you might even find someone giving such a thing away (just haul it away for them!).

You'll likely still spend more than a bit of money getting it running again, and then even more setting up a hardware interface to control it (such large machines require hefty actuators for steering, and high-power motor controllers and such - all of which adds up to a lot of money).

One step below this level - and maybe better for your budget - would be to get a Powerwheels (or similar) ride-on toy and convert it - many people have done R/C conversions, and there's a whole ride-on toy modding scene out there (check out modifiedpowerwheels.com for starters). It will be cheaper (still, expect to spend a few hundred dollars over the course of the project).

Below that, you are looking into large-scale 4WD R/C cars (T-Maxx, Losi, etc); still, you'll spend a few hundred dollars again.

Even building your own chassis from steel or aluminium, and low-cost hand-truck or garden-tractor tires, while possible - still won't be inexpensive. Basically, once you move past carpet-crawler size, you can expect to pay a lot of money for the chassis (especially if you want something rugged and capable of carrying a bit of weight).

84 - 88 Fiero - Electric if you can find one. 2.5 gas as an alternative

Yeah so "Large" was probably too large. I mean something larger than a shoebox, but not much past that.

joepshoulak: Yeah so "Large" was probably too large. I mean something larger than a shoebox, but not much past that.

Then either the T-Maxx/Losi style ready-to-run (RTR) R/C 4-wheel-drive trucks/truggies (if you can afford it), or some kind of lower cost but large toy R/C car (New Bright is a common manufacturer of these).

Note that the advantage of the T-Maxx/Losi hobby R/C car, despite the greater cost, is the fact that they are very easy to interface with; basically plug the steering servo and the ESC into the Arduino, and use the Servo library to control the actions of the vehicle. You can also plug the R/C receiver into the Arduino, and use the PulseIn() function to "read" the controller inputs; then pass them thru to the servos, record them into memory (or an SD card, perhaps), or trigger custom actions, or take over control (for instance, if you had a distance sensor up front, and it sensed an obstacle, it could automatically "apply the brakes" - or even auto-steer around the obstacle).

The advantage of the other option, of course, is a much lower cost - but you then have a barrier of interfacing to the R/C car. Hope is not lost, though - you could try looking through this thread:

http://forum.arduino.cc/index.php/topic,86883.0.html

...and hacking the R/C car - or add your own control system in place of what is on the car; but in the end, you will be spending a ton of extra time, and a bit more money to get the control system to work. Not an impossible task though, it's just the inevitable trade-off of time vs. money - depending on which is more important to you (and which you have more of, too).