RC Car Taunts Man’s Best Friend

[Arkos] gutted an RC car from his childhood and made it into a dog-taunting remote platform. An Arduino replaces the original circuitry with a Bluetooth module for connectivity. He uses an Xbox 360 controller and has added a small speaker to act as a siren. But for our money it’s the camera that makes this hack. It streams video back to a laptop and because it’s mounted on a couple of servos the left stick controls where the lens is looking. The next evolution should replace the Arduino for a standalone microcontroller but what he’s come up with as a first prototype is delightful. See Fido run in terror after the break.


18 thoughts on “RC Car Taunts Man’s Best Friend

  1. This is pretty nice if you want to do some “spy-work” in your house and i think its a lot easier to control such a vehicle with an xbox360 controller.

    But it’s a bit of an overload to let the PC read the data from the controller and then transmit it to the car. I bet it could be done directly (maybe by using the original xbox360 receiver from a wrecked box?)

    And it seems like the camera is being interfered by the bluetooth signal…probably they both run on the 2,4GHz band.

    there may be some improvements to make, but it still is a nice hack.

    1. @Ryan Leach,
      We were having more and more threads overrun with trolls and off topic arguing. This has really cleared a ton of it out. Don’t worry, we won’t delete your comments if they’re negative, only if they’re offensive/threatening/ consistently off topic et.

  2. “The next evolution should replace the Arduino for a standalone microcontroller”

    yes because that pcb with a voltage regulator is just too darn much!

    anyway its kinda cool, although I dont go chasing my pets around with rc cars anymore (darn I miss the 80’s)

  3. I’m just starting out with Arduino (lots of experience in electronics), and I can’t, for the life of me, understand why some people don’t like them. It’s a pcb with a microcontroller and bootloader, a regulator, and a USB interface chip to communicate and program it. I use a java IDE on my computer to develop sketches for it. If I “did it from scratch”, like some propose, it probably wouldn’t look as nice or work quite so well, but would basically be the same thing. So what’s up? Are these the same id10Ts that say we should be etching our own motherboards for our PCs? Or is it just a case of sour grapes? They couldn’t use Arduinos to learn with, so nobody else should either?

  4. @rallen71366: nah theres a simple theory: if it’s simple to use -> it sucks.

    and this will be my opinion about the people who say, the arduino isn’t good enough to be called a µC…at least as long as they keep saying it without a real argument speaking against arduinos (except of the size of course)

    PS: i have one myself and i think it’s great.

  5. I think a lot of things on this website are pretty neat, most of them are way beyond my level of ability to achieve. However, the only thing this project did was replace the radio and controller of an RC car. I don’t understand why this needs a a micro controller when hobbyists have been doing the same thing for dozens of years with standard radio remotes. Is there something I’m missing? A reason for this beyond the pure fun of building something?

  6. @Calis

    Outside of hacks born of necessity, the main reason for doing something like this is for the fun of it. It’s a skill building excercise that’s fun. As long as you’ve enjoyed building it and maybe learned something along the way. . .mission accomplished.

    Even if a project only serves as a cautionary tale it has served a purpose.

    Don’t worry about your ability level, just build, hack and have fun. Skills will accumulate alng the way.

    Just remember to have fun.

  7. This thing is awesome.

    Looks like he’s using a wired 360 controller, you can just plug those straight into a computer and use them as a regular joystick; so using a computer to decipher the controller signal is probably the easiest way to do it without “shaving too many yaks”.

  8. The arduino is an excellent platform and i think this is in fact a case where something like the arduino is perfect, if he wants to add more features he can quickly and easily, this isnt a finished project to be boxed up so why do you suggest he immediately move away from usin gan arduino?

  9. I agree that using a PC to read data from the controller is going overboard but that would require another obstacle to overcome: retrieving raw data from the controller and a uC to process it. Anyway, I loved the hack! That reminds me, ever since I was able to make my PIC16F877A talk to my PSX controller through SPI, I wanted to create something similar to this hack…

  10. I for one applaud the moderation, the trolling was getting to the point where I was going to have to drop the site. You can tell the difference now easily. And the delay is not that much to really notice.

  11. Got to say it really is counter-intuitive to replace the basic RF transmission with a full bluetooth control setup with a laptop, it would rank in my top 5 “why the hell?”s but at least it was quite well executed and as a learning process its great. I just prefer my hacks to be either an improvement or adding significant functionality.

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