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.


  1. j_jwalrus says:

    to quote darth vader- “Impressive – Most Impressive”. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLeOSOe4GmQ

  2. brad says:


    are you sure it wasn’t mozart and forth?

  3. bty says:

    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.

  4. lwatcdr says:

    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.

  5. ftorama says:

    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.

  6. florinzgtrst says:


  7. modhappy says:

    At ftorama: dont be an asshole

    • ftorama says:

      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 ?

  8. Kostas p says:

    the first thing i thought at 0:13 was how easy could be a 360 picture with this robot :)

  9. wowme@wtf.com says:

    can we stop the lame (PDF warning)?????????

  10. wowme@wtf.com says:

    Hmm, if I hover my mouse over the link, my browser gives this info ;(

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