I bought an RC car about a year ago. A few days later I integrated an arduino nano into the vehicle. The only thing the arduino does is to receive the RC signal and pass it on to the esc/servo. So, basically it just does a big amount of NOTHING :)

Right now the wiring looks like this:

[Remote] -> [rc receiver] -> [arduino] -> [servo/esc/lights]

I added lights and I did some experiments with distance sensors and I will try to integrate car control via xbee + processing. This works via serial already.

What else could be possible with a setup like that? Here are some of my ideas:

  • perhaps some sort of autonomic driving? The car is built for offroad and the suspension is not too bad but it is pretty fast (40 km/h) so a crash would be fatal.
  • FPV (first person view) driving? I could add another servo to move a small camera.
  • "swarm intelligence"? I have built two of those vehicles. Both feature the arduino nano, a zigbee and LED front lights.
  • steering correction? I could integrate a gyro sensor to check if the car is not driving straight when it should.
  • telemetry to another arduino? I could build some sort of arduino-zigbee-handheld that shows me some information for both cars like motor temperature, current speed, uptime, battery voltage, sensor values etc.

Any ideas, anyone? Right now it is just driving like it normally would. I integrated an arduino into an RC toy that does an awesome amount of NOTHING. Makes me feel pretty stupid.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ If you wanted to implement all of the ideas you wrote and then add some, you could try mapping an enviroment with multiple vehicles. That would be very hard and I'd like to see the result, please :-) -- en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simultaneous_localization_and_mapping $\endgroup$
    – cube
    May 27 '13 at 11:42
  • $\begingroup$ wow, i guess that would exceed my spare time or at least my arduinos memory :) but if i ever have that amount of sensors and a little more CPU speed on my car i will give it a try. Anyway: thanks for the idea :) $\endgroup$
    – Jan
    May 27 '13 at 16:40
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry Jan, welcome to robotics, but from our faq: You should only ask practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face. Chatty, open-ended questions diminish the usefulness of our site. Check out How to Ask and tour for a good introduction for how stack exchange works. $\endgroup$
    – Mark Booth
    May 27 '13 at 23:16
  • Consider integrating an Android smartphone with the Arduino board, as then you get cameras, gps, accelorometers and even voice command.
  • If you have 2 units and you want to build in a camera on one, why not have it automatically follow the other one. This should not be too hard if you put a marker / beacon on the one without the camera, or even a couple of different coloured markers so you can differentiate which side you are looking at. You could then have a 'robot cop' chase the user controlled car.

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