Land ROV is Internet connected and packed full of stuff

[Blair Kelly] has always been interesting in the concept of Remote Operated Vehicles. As soon as he got his hands on an Arduino he began his endeavor to turn an RC vehicle into a land-based ROV. What he’s done so far is incredible.

Here he’s showing off features of the build using a PS3 controller. But it can also take commands from an Xbox 360 controller or an arcade-style steering wheel. We like the latter the best, which is shown off at about six and a half minutes into the video (embedded after the break). Since there’s a webcam on board, this ends up being a virtual cockpit for the pint-sized car. But it gets better. That webcam is mounted on a servo motor, and [Blair] included controls that pan the camera. This lets the driver ‘look’ left and right. On the front of the vehicle there’s an accelerometer. Data is collected by the Arduino and sent via the WiFly module. This adds rumble to the controller if you’re using one that has that ability.

It’s a big project already, but it sounds like [Blair] has not end of ideas for future versions. Right now he’s planning to increase the overall size which will let him explore places that aren’t as flat as his livingroom.

Comments

  1. asselinpaul says:

    Great project, great writeup. Well done.

  2. warspigot says:

    I think one with tank treads would be pretty awesome.

  3. Solenoid says:

    That has always been one dream of mine, physically construct your track with whatever at hand and just smash in them without consequence… video games just don’t cut it.

    The force feedback in the steering wheel adds enormously to the experience, but the electric motor with its on/off controller is a bit unrealistic, maybe a ICE motor “emulator” so you can change speeds and whatnot, more specifically what’s missing is some virtual weight. Another idea: go 3D for full immersion.

    Excellent project and presentation.

    • Coligny says:

      The ESC for RC car like this one is proportionnal. Problem usually comes from the fact that standard 540 size electric engines mounted on Tamiya M05 FWD chassis (this mini) are a bit excessively too powerfull. Thus it feels like ON OFF unless you are really light on the throttle.

  4. Jarel says:

    This is so awesome! Now add guns!

    …then pass the video stream through an OpenCV app and to a head-mounted display for easy target acquisition! >:-D

  5. Keith says:

    Thank you for calling it an ROV and not a robot!

  6. sandiegofoodreviews says:

    has always been interesting in the concept

    has not end of ideas

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