I have zero experience with robotics, but I need to build a mobile platform for a streaming camera. The idea is that I'll plug in my Android phone into the pan/tilt unit on my wheeled robot and then drive and look around via WiFi. I have already solved all of the software, interface and controller issues, but I would appreciate some advice on how to build the wheeled platform.
My initial idea was to buy a cheap RC car, remove all electronics and replace them with my own. This approach almost worked. I purchased this New Bright F-150 Truck. The size is good and there is plenty of storage space:
However, I quickly ran into a problem with this thing. I assumed that the front wheel would be turned by some kind of servo. Instead I found this nonsense:
That small gear shaft is not driven by a servo - it's a conventional motor, which spins until it is jammed at the extremes of travel. The wheels are straightened when power is removed by a small spring on the other side. This means that there is only one angle at which the wheels can be turned, and that angle is way too small for what I need. So using this RC car will not work.
Before I start buying more things, I would like to hear some opinions from more experienced people. Am I on the right track? Do I simply need to get a better RC car, or are they all designed like this? Perhaps there are other options that would be more suitable for what I am doing?