Wii remote controling the vehicle you’re riding in

Make sure your health insurance premiums are all paid up; if you decide to replicate this project you may need it. [Corey], [Kris], and [Jess] built their own go cart which is controlled with a Wii remote. The website has a poor navigation scheme, but if you hover over the horizontal menu bar you can get quite a bit of information about the build.

The cart has two motors which use a chain to drive each of the rear wheels. A pair of H-bridge controllers let the Arduino interface with them. It’s also has a Bluetooth module that makes it a snap to pull accelerometer data from the Wii remote. The front end looks like it uses rack and pinion steering, but you won’t find a pinion or a steering column. Instead, a linear actuator is mounted parallel to the rack, moving it back and forth at the command of the Arduino.

We can’t help but think back to silent movies where the steering wheel comes loose in the middle of a car chase. See if you get the same image while watching the demo after the break. This doesn’t seem quite as dangerous as adding remote control to a full-sized automobile, but we’ve played MarioKart Wii before and know how lousy the accelerator performance can be. Hopefully the firmware kills the motors if the batteries in the controller die.

Comments

  1. ejonesss says:

    while the idea is good for making car platform universal so if you are going to travel overseas you dont need to buy or rent another car because the steering wheel and pedals is on the opposite side.

    i think a better idea is have cables run like you find on a shiftable bike and flex back and forth like on a printer or scanner.

    just keep the electronics and servo motors away from the steering wheel and pedals (remember the toyota scare (probably possibly because of non mechanical linkages))

  2. Stevie says:

    Health insurance wouldn’t cover an injury from riding this contraption. Do you intend to swap that text to a sold link later, or what?

  3. joushou says:

    That depends on the health insurance, Stevie. My (free, btw) health insurance would indeed pay every cent, no matter how the injury occurred. As long as the surgery isn’t a sex change operation, they’ll pay. (Cosmetic surgery will get fully sponsored, but only if it “increases your life value”)

    Anyway, while this thing doesn’t have airbags, all it needs is a killswitch and a manual brake. Electric (power resistor), mechanic, doesn’t matter, but there needs to be a solution to “OH SHI- I DROPPED THE REMOTE, AND/OR THE BATTERY IS DEAD”.

  4. Jay Swift says:

    Wait…accelerometer data is being used to steer the kart…which a moving vehicle… This does not seem like a good idea at all.

  5. ferdie says:

    mario cart can be done now in the real world.
    now it,s fun to hack hij conetion to take to control over it.

  6. StuartP says:

    Great build. Interested if any consideration was given to belt drive as an alternative to the chain drive.

  7. Whit says:

    Brakes? Corey never puts brakes on things before test riding them. They’re always an afterthought. :-P

  8. kaku says:

    Where do the turtle shells go? :P

  9. What about the G force of turning? Surely that will affect your accelerometer readings.

  10. Bill says:

    Cool idea, but would have liked to seen a real video showing it off and how it was put together. I found this fake trailer one annoying. No substance.

  11. alxy says:

    How well does this work on a bumpy road? Or on a rainy day? Does it even have seat belts? So what happens when you make a sudden stop??

  12. Garbz says:

    I just need to say that some hacks are a realllly baaaad idea.

    Awesome though.

  13. andres says:

    glad to see i was not the only one wondering how well an accelerometer worked for steering on a vehicle that is *accelerating*. seems like a stationary accelerometer on the kart would be needed to filter out the noise from the kart moving.

  14. xiuix says:

    Now we just need a way to get the red turtle shells to rotate around the kart.

  15. Kjeld says:

    Using a wiimote for controlling small and medium sized vehicles actually works quite well in many applications.

    Naturally there are some safety issues to consider as the wiimote is far from a proffessional remote control. But we have been using the idea for years for experimental purposes to remote control several of our robots including http://www.casmobot.dk http://fieldrobot.dk/armadillo and http://fieldrobot.dk/asubot

    It is really intuitive and easy to handle even very precise navigation of the vehicle. We just need someone to build a wiimote with proper safety measures required for vehicle control.

    A short video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RJoQd82hIqg

  16. Heywood says:

    I am appalled…

    Forget the fact hes not wearing a helmet, forget theres no kill switch, but what really troubles me is…. Hes not wearing the Wrist Strap!

    Press A to Continue…

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