First project: Small car controlled by bluetooth. Are these the components?

Hi there,
This is my first approach to programming and electronics, and I would like to start using arduino with a specific project in mind: a bluetooth controlled vehicle.

But I have two issues with that: First I need to familiarize with Arduino (test with small projects), and second, every dollar in Argentina costs a lot of money, so I need to choose carefully.

So, first I thought that I could just buy an Arduino kit (USD 140 http://www.amazon.com/Arduino-Starter-Official-170-page-Projects/dp/B009UKZV0A/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1369091352&sr=8-2&keywords=arduino+kit), but after digging a bit I´ve found that maybe buying the components one by one could be cheapper (or pay the same with more components).

I´ve found this in Amazon:

  • Arduino Uno R3 USD 21.95
  • Arduino Basic Kit USD 22.50 (it comes with: Parts list: Breadboard X1, Breadboard jumper wire X 70, Red Led X 10, Green Led X 10, RGB led X 1, Ceramic Capacitor (10nF X 10,100nF X 10), Electrolytic Capacitor (100uF X 5), Resistor (330X10,1kX10,10kX10), Tilt switch X 1, Thermistor X 1, Photo resistor X 1, Diode X 1, Buzzer X 1, Push button X 5, switch X 5, Mini Servo X 1, Potienmeter with knob X 1, Resistor Instructor card X 1, Plastic Box X 1: http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/71mbfeRzjyL.png)
  • 5 Mosfet transistors USD 4.64
  • Ultrasonic Sensor USD 5.19
  • A nice Chasis (http://www.amazon.com/SparkFun-Magician-Chassis/dp/B007R9U5CU/ref=pd_sim_sbs_t_2) USD 26.95
  • Sensor Shield USD 11.80
    Total: 93.03

My questions are:
Do I have what I need? I want to save transport, and order all at once. I´ve read that the arduino kit has: 5 transistors, 2 Optocouplers, 1 Piezo capsule, 1 Small DC motor 6/9V, and 1 H-bridge motor driver. Do I need those?
Do I need a motor shield, or with the sensor shield is enough?
What shield do I need to add bluetooth in order to connect it with my android phone?

I really appreciate your help!
Rosamunda

That seems to be an extraordinary amount of money to pay for a kit when so few of the parts would be any help towards your planned project.

You're going to need the vehicle, a steering servo, a suitable motor, a motor driver, batteries or other power supply, the Arduino itself, and whatever Bluetooth receiver you want. You could get a long way just using a wired serial connection while you get the rest of the project working. At an early stage you need to work out the voltage and current requirements of your motor, which will define the spec for the motor driver and power supply. Since Bluetooth only gives you communication you will have to decide what you're going to be communicating with i.e. what hardware/software you're going to use to provide the user interface.

Thanks for your reply!
So the sensor shield isn´t necessary? And neither all those extra stuff?
That´s great!
Which motor driver would you recommend?
Thanks for your kind reply!!
Rosamunda

Hi, If you want to keep cost down, see:
http://yourduino.com/sunshop2/index.php?l=product_detail&p=244

...and there is good How-To learning materials here: http://arduino-info.wikispaces.com/ArduinoHowTo

Pages specific to that starter set are here: http://arduino-info.wikispaces.com/YourDuinoStarter

The YourDuinoRobo1 that comes with that kit already has many of the pins on 3-pin Voltage-Ground-Signal connectors like a sensor shield. That does make the connections much easier.

DISCLAIMER: Mentioned stuff from my own shop... (I have worked on contents of the kits for 2 years now)..

Here's a comparison of available Starter Sets: http://arduino-info.wikispaces.com/StarterSetsComparison

First off, decide what you want your car to have/do.

If you only want to control it with your android phone through bluetooth, then you don't need to spend a fortune.
You need:
Bluetooth dongle
arduino
motor driver
motors
chasis

I have used this Bluetooth dongle and it works great(keep in mind that the max range for Bluetooth class 2 is 10 meters:

9$

For the motors and the chasis, I recommend you buy a cheap radio controlled car for under 20$. You can even "hack" its motor drivers if you know what you are doing and use those. If you want an easier way, you can buy this motor driver which should work with all the cars that run under 12v:

4$

So, your total would be 9$ + 20$ + 4$ + arduino(11$) = 44$, quite a bit cheaper than what you were suggesting :slight_smile:
Of course, once you get it working, you can add fancy stuff like sensors and lights. Oh and one last thing, if you don't know android programming, then you should use processing for android which is very similar to arduino programming(its made by the same team).

Good luck on your project!

Thanks for your replies!!!
Well, now I´ve got a better idea, and it´s not that expensive after all.
I´m in the process of acquiring everything I need. I should get some of the stuff tomorrow (yay!).
As I understand, I just need a "slave" bluetooth control, I wasn´t sure about that, thanks!

I´ve read out there, that (specially when working with motors) you should take case not overcharging your arduino. Is there any way to prevent that and protect the shield?
Thanks (again!) for your help!!
Rosamunda