DIY Robot Remote Control

[Patrick] wanted a remote control to control some of the robots he’s built. He also wanted to get some data back from his robots, so an inexpensive off-the-shelf solution wouldn’t be up to the task. Like all good geeks, [Patrick] decided to build what he needed.

For analog control, [Patrick] decided to use a Wiimote nunchuck. This turned out to be a very good choice – the nunchuck has a 2-axis joystick and 3-axis accelerometer in one small, easy to interface package . The wireless radio is taken care of with an XBee module. For the microcontroller, custom “lcd backpack” was created that provides an I2C port for the nunchuck, inputs for the buttons and the single pot, and 2 serial ports for the FTDI and XBee.

While the idea of fabricating a PCB with the pins for an LCD display already lined up is pretty neat, we’re wondering about what kind of data can be received from the robot. 9.6kbps isn’t a whole lot of bandwidth, so video is out of the question. If you have any ideas on what could be downloaded from the robot, put it up in the comments.

Check out the videos of [Patrick]’s custom controller below.



5 thoughts on “DIY Robot Remote Control

  1. It seems a bit overengineered to me if this is just for sending joystick info to the robot. However, I can definitely see him reusing the controller on other projects, so all in all it looks like a pretty cool device. I like the clean execution of it.

  2. Very cool. I don’t think it is over-engineered at all. It does mention that he wants to receive data back from the robot so it looks like it is a good design to do so. I am very impressed.

    I have been getting more and more interested in making my own remote controlled vehicle, lately… something like this could be useful to look at as it could help me to design my own controller and such. Excellent job.

  3. I like everything about this project except one thing tiny… he flips the toggle switch DOWN to turn the controller ON, I shouldn’t be surprised as he appears to be using a mac :)

Leave a Reply

Please be kind and respectful to help make the comments section excellent. (Comment Policy)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.