I plan to hijack a powerwheels-like toy to control it with the jetson nano. Here is the toy:


I want to keep it ultra simple so my idea is to just take off the 'handles'(levers) and hook the wires to two relays controlled by the Jetson.

What I do not understand is if the full 30amp current goes through these wires, so that I would need heavy duty relays, or if some little relays than just take like up to 10amps are fine since it's just a 'switch'.

  • $\begingroup$ where did you get the 30 A spec? $\endgroup$
    – jsotola
    Oct 1, 2021 at 0:50
  • $\begingroup$ @jsotola - there's probably a fuse rated for 30A. $\endgroup$
    – Chuck
    Oct 1, 2021 at 11:49
  • $\begingroup$ I believe I heard from discussions about 'motor controller' that amps could get up to 30. ie when people add their own motor controllers to powerwheels, it can have that much current. but I don't understand if that is the same circuit as a switch to go forward/backward. Ideally I'd like a very small solid state relay, not a big clunky mechanical or big expensive solid state. I don't want to burn up my relays or jetson eg because the vehicle drew 30 amps when stalled up hill. $\endgroup$ Oct 1, 2021 at 15:28
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You could just measure the current... $\endgroup$
    – Ben
    Oct 1, 2021 at 22:59
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    $\begingroup$ @AwokeKnowing I had a closer look at the link that you posted ... it turns out that the toy is made in USA ... so I would expect the quality to be better than average ... that makes me think that the control switches are only low current ... it is also possible that the joysticks are not directly electrical, but mechanically linked to control relays $\endgroup$
    – jsotola
    Oct 4, 2021 at 2:20

1 Answer 1


So the answer is that indeed, the motor current wires are exactly the same wires wired into the switches:

enter image description here

This is apparently the univerally most common way these things are wired, and it would be good for people on this robotics site to be aware of that.

I hope this future robotics prototypers hooking up computers to these toys. My 10-amp relays have not burned out yet, though I have no idea how much current they get when eg the toy is pushing against a wall.


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