A very simple Android recon vehicle

Desperately in need of a graduation paper, [Andrei] decided to build a few computer controlled recon vehicles (PDF warning), and we’re really impressed with the minimalist approach [Andrei] took.

The Computer Operated Recon Entity (C.O.R.E.) mk. I is based around a laptop. Instead of an Arduino, [Andrei] used a car stereo amp to control the motors. The two channel amp [Andrei] picked out has four outputs. Tying a motor to each output gives a four-wheel drive robot that’s really clever in its simplicity. With an onboard webcam, [Andrei] can do live video streaming from his remote vehicle. Outputting a specific tone with the sound card allows for full control of the robot.

The C.O.R.E. mk. II uses a Samsung Galaxy I5500 phone – the cheapest Android phone [Andrei] could find. The setup is similar to the mk. I C.O.R.E. with a WiFi connection sending video back to a base station. Control of the two motors is still handled by playing sound files and sending that to a stereo amp connected to the motors.

Check out the C.O.R.E. mk. II going Bach and forth after the break.

13 thoughts on “A very simple Android recon vehicle

  1. The simplicity of this design is very nice. The idea to use the soundcard to drive the motors.

    I have one of those chinese iPad clones (running android) lying around of which the resistive touchscreen is broken. I was thinking of using i2c to interface to another mcu to control motors. Already built a custom kernel with userspace i2c driver, but havn’t gotten around to building a motor controller yet.

  2. The audio to drive the motors is very cool. My wife has a GalaxyII and it has gyros. Her phone would make one heck of a drone controller.

  3. Driving motors with analogic is one of the worst idea I’ve ever seen on mobile robots….Efficiency is so poor that the battery will be emptied in few minutes.

    building a PWM stage driven by the analogic output of the soundcard would have been much more interesting.

    1. That may be true, but considering what he had available I think it’s the greatest hack I have seen in a while, worth the “MacGyver” label.

    1. Why do you need to insult me?

      a simple analog to PWM stage could have been cheaper than an audio amp, with much mire efficiency…

      When you’ll see a car with square wheels, will you still defend it as it’s original ?

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