Pre-Programming an RC car.

i have a university project were i have to make a car of some sort navigate a simple course. after reading some other peoples success's with this sort of thing it seemed that buying a cheap rc car and using arduino to control it somehow would be the easiest way. i bought a cheap rc car and there is, what looks like, a simple pcb inside, it isnt the same design that i've seen in the 'tutorials'. i was hoping someone knew an easy way of using arduino to control the car, if its easier just taking the cars pcb out completly and wiring the motors with arduino or somehow replacing something on the board with arduino. i am very knew to arduino but all other teams doing the project are using lego mindstorm and i'd like to be different and cheaper.

You might get some ideas from here:

http://www.gammon.com.au/forum/?id=11506

Without more information about this cheap car it's hard to say. You probably need some sort of motor driver chip or board.

More ideas here

I need to controll a rc car with arduino. i know there are many tutorials on this but none with the chip design the car i have has. i will be using a duemelanove eqivelent. any help on this would be great, i am pretty new to arduino.

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Is this the right way to go about it?, what i'm really asking is, is it easier to add arduino to a rc car rather than put a servo and motors on a chasis of my own and use a motor sheild? and are freetronics equivelents good enough?