Barbie’s Web Rover


[Hunter, Kyle, and Dylan] sent us some information on their Barbie Web Rover. It’s an old barbie power wheels jeep that’s been converted to a web enabled remote control car. They ripped out the old drive train and tore out the steering system. The rear tires are now independently driven for steering. It’s using an Arduino to control the motors and an Acer Aspire loaded with linux for the higher functions. It’s cool that they mention the farthest test being over 1600 miles away, but when it’s web enabled, does distance really matter?

They mention that the coolness factor is proportionate to the size and we have to agree, as long as they keep it small enough to not cause any real damage. You can build a web enabled rover with a little more effort from just a router, if you don’t want to give up your laptop.

6 thoughts on “Barbie’s Web Rover

  1. shane, the software is designed to keep track of how far away from the router it is and won’t allow the users to go any more past that area outside of a safe wifi connection. couple this with a 3g/edge dongle on the laptop and you have an freeranged unit :)

  2. My first foray into ROVs utilized a two-seater powerwheels barbie jeep.
    mine was radio controlled and used a powerful gear motor coupled to the steering shaft.

    it was brute-force engineering, as I simply reinforced everything to handle the torque of the motor hitting the limits of the steering.

    it all worked splendidly, however it absolutely sucked going over rough terrain because of the plastic wheels.

    (i was trying to design something to go off-road and unfortunately it was terrible at it, even when I tried studding the plastic tires.)

    If you are staying on fairly even terrain or pavement then these are really cool platforms, but i ended up designing and building my own base using differential (tank-like) steering for my off-road ROV platform.

    another advantage to these things is they have their own battery for moving, so you can keep that stuff isolated and get less noise into sensitive systems like micro controllers, sensors and/or video equipment like cameras or transmitters.

  3. sorry there’s more

    awesome use of the swivel up front to give that differential steering.

    I really have to pull my ROV out of mothballs one of these days.
    Between my netbook and my smartphone’s internet connection my dream of super-long range is actually doable!
    (I was using a commercial 2.4ghz video transmitter that limited my range)

    also, remember the three laws of robotics when building stuff that has the capability of hurting folks, first law especially.

    thanks for getting my brain going, hack a day!

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