RC car and Beagle Board mate for a versatile robot build

Here’s a rover project that has plenty of power (translated) to go places. This is true not only of its locomotive capability, but processing power as well.

The RC car used here (translated) is not overly expensive, but offers a lot of versatility. It’s got front and rear steering via two servo motors, as well as independent drive motors for each end. The frame also offers an advanced suspension system that lets the vehicle flex to keep as many wheels on the ground as possible. It’s a great find if you don’t want to start off your project bogged down in the hardware design.

On the control side of things a Beagle Board has been choosen. The demo after the break shows it controlling an added turret servo, as well as the drive mechanism controlled via a keyboard. These are driven through the embedded Ubuntu image running on the board. This should provide plenty of processing power to add obstacle avoidance and autonomy routines in future versions.

[Thanks Carlos]


  1. N0LKK says:

    Mt first thought was how well does a rear suspension work as a front suspension? Well enough on a RC vehicle, I guess, going by the videos. Someday Hackaday will find one with that has a motor for each wheel to present us.

  2. Will says:

    Now the fun part… openCV for collision avoidance. I hope the beagle board has a enough horse power for that because in the past I found a pentium 4 micro ITX board wasn’t good enough.

    • Could always out-source the full AI to a wirelessly networked “brains” PC, and just use the beagle board for the vital functions… sort of like how the human brain works, lower lesser powered stupid brain keeps your heart beating, and your body ticking, smart brain ignores all that fluff and takes it’s time to think about what it wants to do and they work together.

  3. Scott says:

    this thing is a beast, can’t wait to see what he does with it

  4. If I’m not mistaken, that RC car is Tamiya Super Clod Buster. These cars have a reputation as being tough as nails and generally awesome.

    Good Choice!

  5. Scratch that, its very similar to a Clod but not the same. The model here is 1/8th scale not 1/10th.

  6. Gravis says:

    VERY cool! it was interesting that he completely replaced the Electronic Speed Controller but i think there is a problem with the reimplementation. it looks like it’s right below the Beagle Board which may become a problem due to heat. linear regulators put off a ton of heat and which isn’t good for Single Board Computers. :(

    it’s still super cool!

  7. atcomm1 says:

    I really want something like that for wire pulling jobs.

  8. Alston says:

    @DangerousDiver: Looks like from the link it’s a HSP Rock Crawler (see: http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_8191079/tm.htm)

    I’d be curious to find out what he’s planning on doing with the rig over the long run, since right now it looks to be limited to running on a bench with keyboard commands.

  9. Medved says:

    Take a look at this project: http://veter-project.blogspot.com

  10. Oscar says:

    This sort of resembles the making of a rock crawler, or if not, a vehicle that could be used on a battle field. Maybe this could be another unmanned source for battle that could save lives, such as the article about the Traxxas that saved six soldeirs in Afghanistan.

  11. Those wheels are bigger than the ones my wife has on her car! :)

    Love the concept and its a great way to give folks ideas on how to get a little creative and inventive in this hobby.

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