[dunk] sent his home made Radio Control system. It is constructed from a Playstation 2 controller, an Atmega 2561, microcontroller, some RF modules and various servos and motors. It seems to work pretty well. You can get all the schematics and source code on his site. Several people have submitted a similar project which involves an iPhone and a helicopter, but that one is a bit dubious, mainly due to it’s lack of detail.
[Travis7s] has built this giant Nerf Tank. Featuring Radio controls, a web cam, laser sights, and the ability to play music, this thing is pretty awesome. He’s using the Nerf Vulcan rifle, temporarily modified with a servo for remote firing. This thing is pretty huge, as you can see from the video, it sits about as high as the seat cushions of the chairs in his house. The sound system is an amplifier and some speakers hooked up to an iPod. This thing could use a nice coat of paint to make it a little more menacing and a little less Nerf. What it really needs though, is the ability to play sounds from a sound board. Imagine the Imperial March as it enters a room, or maybe a sound board with appropriate insults and phrases for the onslaught.
A team at UNC Charlotte has been working on an autonomous vehicle to drag a cart that has sensing equipment. Starting with a stock Honda ATV, different systems were added to give a Renesas processor control of the ATV. A model airplane receiver was attached to the Renesas to give remote control for Phase 1 of the project. Basically they’ve turned the ATV into a giant remote controlled car.
Later revisions will incorporate LIDAR, cameras, and multiple GPS units so the ATV can autonomously traverse most terrain with a high level of accuracy. Path planning will become a large part of the project at that point.
Scientists at the university of California have managed to implant a chip in a giant flower beetle that makes it respond to commands from the computer. They can tell it to fly, stop, turn left and turn right. The controls are done through its optic nerves and wing muscles. Though the article states that flight signals are sent to the optic lobes and steering is done through stimulation of the wing muscles, the video shows steering being accomplished through optic lobe stimulation.
Though we’re sure there’s some grand scientific goal behind this, we can’t help but think (hope) that we’ll be seeing giant robot controlled beetle battles with lasers and rockets.
[prabbit22m] has written an instructable on how to build a radio controlled sphere. The mechanism is fairly simple, with one drive motor, one servo and a gyro for stability. To turn, the servo shifts the center of gravity off to one side. You can see that the system works pretty well in the video above. If it didn’t have that gyro, it would be insane, believe us, we’ve done our own experimenting. If you like this, but want more features, check out this one that has a camera and takes pictures wherever it goes. We can’t forget Swarm either. The autonomous swarm of robot spheres. Of coarse [prabbit22m] might have the best idea of all. Dress it up as a regular ball to mess with people.
Cheap radio controlled toys can provide countless hours of amusement, especially when friends have one too. You can’t always plan ahead enough for everyone to have a different frequency and sometimes, it just isn’t an option anyway. There is a solution, and it isn’t very difficult. [frickelkram] takes us through the process of changing the frequency that the toy runs on. He starts with the simplest way, which involves replacing one piece in the controller and simply adjusting the receiver. He notes that this often fails as the receiver just isn’t built to be adjusted easily. He continues to show how to get it done even if the first method fails.
[Olivier] told us about this fantastic project where he built his own RC airplane. The airplane itself is nothing special, it is the controls that are worth paying attention to. He used an Arduino Diecemilla , some XBee transceivers, and a SparkFun Wee. The main site is a general overview, but there are links to more detailed breakdowns of how to build some of the parts. There are several videos of him flying it as well.