Project - Radio Controlled Car Using Accelerometer As Controller

Hi,

Im an amateur Arduino user. I have completed one project using an Arduino Uno previously. This was to control a DC motor to raise and lower a chicken coop hatch. I got it all working and now Im working on a new project.

I want to design & build a radio controlled car that can be used by disabled children with limited physical mobility. Because these children might not be able to use a normal RC car controller, I want to design & build a controller that incorporates sensors to detect the limited movement of the child and send this data wirelessly to the car where it will produce movement and/or steering.

My initial plan is to use an accelerometer to detect the limited movment. The acceleromter would be attached to a low voltage power source and a RF transmitter. I might also use some signal conditioning hardware. These components will make up the controller that the child will wear.

On the car chassis I intend to house an arduino board, a RF receiver, two motors, maybe a gearbox, (probably RC car servo motors) and a low voltage power source.

I'm now thinking that maybe now I need a 2nd arduino board in the controller. I have researched wireless control using arduino and saw that you can get wireless shields and modules sech as Xbee to communicate wirelessly between two arduinos. Im not sure however what is the cheapest and best way to get my controller to communicate to the car wirelessly. Some questions I have:

  1. Could I just send the accelerometer data from the transmitter without having to use an arduino board?

  2. Is using an arduino wireless shield and an Xbee module the cheapest and easiest way to achieve wireless communication?

  3. If I want forward, reverse and steering capabilities in the car, I would want more than one channel on the transmitter and receiver. Does the Xbee module allow more than one channel?

  4. A h-bridge driver can be used to drive a DC motor using an Arduino. Is there an equivalent for servo motors I intend to use?

  5. If theres anyone out there with any advice or ideas the id welcome them on board or if someones completed a similar project Id like to hear their opinions.

Thanks,

Ruairi

parcark7:

  1. Could I just send the accelerometer data from the transmitter without having to use an arduino board?

  2. Is using an arduino wireless shield and an Xbee module the cheapest and easiest way to achieve wireless communication?

  3. If I want forward, reverse and steering capabilities in the car, I would want more than one channel on the transmitter and receiver. Does the Xbee module allow more than one channel?

  4. A h-bridge driver can be used to drive a DC motor using an Arduino. Is there an equivalent for servo motors I intend to use?

  5. If theres anyone out there with any advice or ideas the id welcome them on board or if someones completed a similar project Id like to hear their opinions.

  1. I can't think of any way to do that.
  2. There are plenty of cheaper alternatives but whether any are suitable will depend on your range and reliability requirements. If you only want direct line of sight up to 5-10 yards you could use nRF24L01+ transceivers at a fraction of the price of XBees, and there are other options.
  3. XBee transfers messages. Your sending and receiving Arduinos would need to send messages containing steering and movement commands. What you put in those messages is up to you and you can put in as many or as few controls as you need.
  4. To drive a servo you just need a digital output from the Arduino giving the PWM control pulses, and the servo will take its power from an external source (probably the same battery that is feeding the motors).
  5. I can't imagine how you will interpret the accelerometer input to decide what commands to give, but if you have a scheme for that then everything else you describe seems feasible and not particularly unusual in Arduino terms.