Wii Remote Controling The Vehicle You’re Riding In

Make sure your health insurance premiums are all paid up; if you decide to replicate this project you may need it. [Corey], [Kris], and [Jess] built their own go cart which is controlled with a Wii remote. The website has a poor navigation scheme, but if you hover over the horizontal menu bar you can get quite a bit of information about the build.

The cart has two motors which use a chain to drive each of the rear wheels. A pair of H-bridge controllers let the Arduino interface with them. It’s also has a Bluetooth module that makes it a snap to pull accelerometer data from the Wii remote. The front end looks like it uses rack and pinion steering, but you won’t find a pinion or a steering column. Instead, a linear actuator is mounted parallel to the rack, moving it back and forth at the command of the Arduino.

We can’t help but think back to silent movies where the steering wheel comes loose in the middle of a car chase. See if you get the same image while watching the demo after the break. This doesn’t seem quite as dangerous as adding remote control to a full-sized automobile, but we’ve played MarioKart Wii before and know how lousy the accelerator performance can be. Hopefully the firmware kills the motors if the batteries in the controller die.

20 thoughts on “Wii Remote Controling The Vehicle You’re Riding In

  1. while the idea is good for making car platform universal so if you are going to travel overseas you dont need to buy or rent another car because the steering wheel and pedals is on the opposite side.

    i think a better idea is have cables run like you find on a shiftable bike and flex back and forth like on a printer or scanner.

    just keep the electronics and servo motors away from the steering wheel and pedals (remember the toyota scare (probably possibly because of non mechanical linkages))

  2. That depends on the health insurance, Stevie. My (free, btw) health insurance would indeed pay every cent, no matter how the injury occurred. As long as the surgery isn’t a sex change operation, they’ll pay. (Cosmetic surgery will get fully sponsored, but only if it “increases your life value”)

    Anyway, while this thing doesn’t have airbags, all it needs is a killswitch and a manual brake. Electric (power resistor), mechanic, doesn’t matter, but there needs to be a solution to “OH SHI- I DROPPED THE REMOTE, AND/OR THE BATTERY IS DEAD”.

  3. glad to see i was not the only one wondering how well an accelerometer worked for steering on a vehicle that is *accelerating*. seems like a stationary accelerometer on the kart would be needed to filter out the noise from the kart moving.

  4. Using a wiimote for controlling small and medium sized vehicles actually works quite well in many applications.

    Naturally there are some safety issues to consider as the wiimote is far from a proffessional remote control. But we have been using the idea for years for experimental purposes to remote control several of our robots including http://www.casmobot.dk http://fieldrobot.dk/armadillo and http://fieldrobot.dk/asubot

    It is really intuitive and easy to handle even very precise navigation of the vehicle. We just need someone to build a wiimote with proper safety measures required for vehicle control.

    A short video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RJoQd82hIqg

  5. I am appalled…

    Forget the fact hes not wearing a helmet, forget theres no kill switch, but what really troubles me is…. Hes not wearing the Wrist Strap!

    Press A to Continue…

  6. Hello.. It was very interesting. Please provide more details. I would like to make one. Can you tell me the details of the H- bridge that you used in your driver circuit ?
    Please advise

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