Wednesday, June 4, 2014

ARC - the Alonso Robot Controller

So I'm teaching a robotics class, and hit a big problem.  Most cheapie robot projects don't include a remote controller, so they only do boring things like follow lines or bump into things.  I added an RC model style remote control to the project, and whoosh... up jumped the equipment price like crazy!!

Thankfully, I have the awesome good fortune to work with Alonso Martinez, of Gertie the Hopping Robot fame.  He had just the thing for me!  I'm noting the parts list here, and when the parts come in I'll add a build guide.

All up price range, for controller and receiving radio: $8 (tiny joystick) to $17 (wii nunchuck controller).  Add anywhere from $2 to $10 for your favorite flavor of battery, and it's quite a deal.

Thanks Alonso, you saved my neck on this one!!

Radio: $2 for two (transmitter and receiver)

Knock-off Arduino 3.3v: $8 for two (transmitter and receiver)

Joystick: $2

You could also get way cooler and get a wii nunchuck that come with accelerometers and a bunch of other buttons for $7

cheap Lipo battery for car $10 for two (one for robot and one for controller) :

If you're not set up to conveniently handle RC lipo batteries, you could use a 9v battery, $1.44 each:

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