Screwdriver RC Car

screwdriver RC car

[don] built this RC car using two $10 cordless screwdrivers and a few parts from his bin. He cracked open the screwdrivers and relocated the switches to the outside. These micro-switches are activated using some servos and radio gear he had laying around. For as little time as it took to build, the car seems pretty serviceable. He mounted a camera to a turning servo so he could see the car’s perspective. The camera looks into the turn so it’s easier to drive the car than if it was in a fixed position.

17 thoughts on “Screwdriver RC Car

  1. hey wait a minute! Dont those things have a reverse system?

    Just make it a tank control system. Have one switch control forward another trigger back. Attach to one servo. Now do the same with the other.

    To turn. Either stop one or reverse for tighter spin.

    If they dont have reverse then they are really cheap.

  2. It seems as if it could easily be a piece out of a Rube Goldberg project. Using servos to activate switches seems a bit overboard. I know that he just had this stuff laying around, but I just find it a little back asswards way of doing it. But, nice job none-the-less.

  3. have done this in my early years good fun u can in crease speed by takeing out the resistors at the motor end only draw back is battery life but speed makes up for it or u could go over board and use makita 12 volt motors

  4. Hi, I made that car there. Thanks for the comments.

    A common comment seems to be around the use of (unhacked) servos and switches. If you look at it from a slightly different perspective it makes a little more sense. The radio and servo set is unmodified – it’s the car that’s been hacked together. Put another way, the object isn’t the “overkill” of the servos – it’s the simplicity of the switches. Bear with me for a moment:

    In a normal RC car (or at least the one I had some 20 years ago – I haven’t kept up) a servo steers the wheels and a servo actuates some kind of speed control electronics.

    My “car” uses servos in the same as-God-intended way – but the rest is much simpler. There isn’t an (electronic) motor controller to be seen, and there is no steering hardware. Yet it steers and drives just fine (albeit with no reverse ability without some additional work!)

    It would be much much cooler if I could have also hacked together an effective radio control for this thing, but I’m not that resourceful or smart – at least not this month.

    I like the fact that other than the wheels (which were from a broken toy) there isn’t a single thing on the car that is used for its intended purpose. To me, that’s a pretty good hack! Of course I wish I could say the same for the R/C unit – maybe next time.

  5. if you want to get rid of those servos, you could use an integrated circuit and/or a microcontroller, or if you don’t have any of these, use some transistors to make an H-bridge or just some electromagnetic relays and 2 diodes… I have made a vehicle from 2 screwdrivers, it’s bigger, on an alluminium chassis… made from scratch… I used the RC system from an older RC car, 4 relays (2 for moving forward/backward and 2 for steering – one to close each motor if it turns left/right)… it’s powered by two 18 V rechargable batteries from the screwdrivers… and that’s about all… it works quite fine, it has a hute torque and a quite resonable speed… it’s a bit hard to control, because of the tank-like steering… but I’m quite proud of it :D
    btw I’m only 16 :P

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