IOIO Controller Replacement For An RC Truck

This RC truck can be controlled with the tip of your thumb or the tilt of a wrist. That’s thanks to the IOIO which was inserted in place of the toy’s original controller. [Exanko] made the hardware changes in order to use his Android phone as the controller. The white circle is a software joystick that acts as throttle when your thumb moves along the Y axis, and steering when it moves along the X axis. But while he was at it he also included accelerometer input as an alternative control option.

The IOIO board has a Bluetooth dongle connected to its USB port as a means of wireless communication. The dongle was hacked to accept an external antenna, thereby increasing the truck’s range. There is also some on-board flair like LEDs for lights and even a laser diode for… well we’re not sure what that’s for. Get a better look at the hardware internals in the clip after the break.

5 thoughts on “IOIO Controller Replacement For An RC Truck

  1. Circular “joystick” like that is not optimal. Should be rectangular, else whenever he’s not doing a hard turn with no acceleration or an acceleration with no turn, he’s losing maxima/minima on both.

  2. Hah! This is too funny :)

    Not only am I working on an RC car + IOIO project as well, but it looks like we’re using the same base car (just the alternative shell):

    For my project though, I wire the phone to the car over USB and control it over wifi/3G – streaming back footage from the camera.

    Once I have the hardware all polished up and dandy, the idea is to be able to send assembly to the phone for easy iteration on automated driving.

    1. Ohh Nice :)

      Make phone stand instead of roof window, it would look great.

      I wonder if there’s any possibility to connect any CMOS camera module to ioio and send picture to phone over bluetooth. I would be nice.

      TB6612FNG isnt the best for this car, on starting and slow speed, motor takes more than 2A (5V supply), so there is more than normal heat on the chip. Heatsink (small one for transistor) and Thermal Conductive Silicone Pad between them take some heat and help for my good feeling :). Maybe flyback diodes helps litle bit too.

      Stay me tunned about your project.

    2. Did that Wifi/3g thingy,too.

      You just have to programm it for Wifi, later you can set up a openvpn-network or similar to control it over 3g.
      Latency on 3g is about 50ms and acceptable to control a rc car.
      As a “remotecontrol” a choosed a ps3 controler which was hooked to my laptop via bluetooth, but there was a java-lib, for gamepads, so you could easily switch between drivingwheels, normal gamepads, and even simulator-controllers for rc-cars, aslong as they are recocnized as a game controller via windows.
      Sensors ,gps ,battery data and so on were streamed via xml-data and presented in my java-program on pc. Some funny things like a horn and light control were in there later,too.

      To bad that android has a lack of a good livestreaming protocol for camera-data, i sended them as compressed jpg`s but, this slowed connection down sometimes, and the android device has to be a 1ghz or up device. Without this cam stream any anroid device should work.

      here are some pic`s of the car (without led`s, controlled over light senor of the android device).

      Sorry for my bad english, i`m not a native.

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.