Autonomous Car

By: Laen

2009-01-07 15:12:11

Radio controlled cars make great robotics platforms.

  1. They're cheap. $30 will get you a brand new one, and used ones are usually available by the gallon from your local GoodWill.
  2. They're easy. Generally, they're just two motors and an on/off switch.
  3. They have a lot of internal space. They're designed to look like a car, so there's usually a lot of empty space inside for shoving in electronics.
  4. Their battery packs have the right voltages. They're typically AA battery holders, with at least 4 and sometimes more slots, and taps along the way so you can get pretty much any voltage you want (in 1.5V increments).

For my project, I got a little generic RC car from Fry's. It looks good. It has a lot of internal space, and even has a couple of white-LED headlights. I built a little board with an Real Bare Bones Board, and an L293DNE Half-Bridge driver.

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