Building an autonomous robot from an Xbox 360 controller

Wow, it’s amazing what [Carl] was able to build using an Xbox 360 control PCB as the base for his robot. His forum posts just touches the surface of the build, but he linked to a PDF file which has the full details.

This build basically attaches sensors and replacement motors to the controller board… and that is it! Some distance sensors are connected to the analog inputs for the left and right trigger. The whiskers use a couple of leaf switches soldered to controller button pads. The motors are geared replacements that use the same connectors as the rumble motors did.

The idea is that the controller is connected to a PC via the wireless radio it has on the PCB. Once the connection is made the PC software can read from all of the sensors and drive the motors accordingly. It would also be really easy to use a single-board solution like the RPi to do away with the need for a remote PC. But this is a fantastic start, and an approach which we had never before considered. See some video of the little guy getting around the room after the break.


  1. evocube says:

    cool build. i would however mute it if your tired. that song put me to sleep.

  2. Aaron says:

    Now that is a hack. Well done!

    (On another note, does HaD get a consideration for pushing the Raspberry Pi so hard, or is it just free advertising for them? — speaking of which, I hear the order-to-ship time is down under three months now!)

  3. iisjreg says:

    Now that’s clever. I’d like to see the controller with wires going out to the parts.

  4. NewCommentor1283 says:

    anyone up to add support to arduino? lols JustKidding!!!

  5. Robot says:

    So cool!

  6. corey topper says:

    arnt the 360 controllers powered by an AVR?, if so it should be possable to reflash the AVR and have the controller do whatever you want?

  7. roboman2444 says:

    hm… with wheel encoders acting as digital buttons (opto interrupters)… you could even track its location.
    would be cool to use an xbox360 controller to map a room

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