Shopping Trolley Is Wired For Camp

[James] needed some cool transportation for the upcoming Easter Camp in New Zealand, so he created a custom motorized shopping trolley that is sure to turn heads. The base of this project is a standard mobility scooter, which conveniently has a modular design. All of the electronics have connectors for quick service and the entire rear axle and motor assembly pop off with the pull of a lever.

[James] had to do a bit of welding and chassis rework to achieve his goal of mounting a shopping cart top to the scooter’s frame. Once finished, though, the setup looked great. It was actually comfortable to sit in, as [James] made a cutout for the driver’s feet to pass through. The real fun came with the electronics. The trolley is the most wired mobility scooter mod we’ve ever seen. Most of the electronics are contained in a project box under the seat, with several Arduinos that control the various systems: interfacing with the original scooter electronics, a GPS receiver, and a GSM radio. [James] also went as far as to add RGB LED headlights, a horn, and a multi-tone siren from Jaycar.

Driving the trolley is simple. An arcade joystick selects the speed, and the scooter’s standard hand controls are used for forward, reverse, and steering. One of the more interesting mods [James] made was a custom Windows app to control the trolley via a USB radio module. The entire system can be secured, with the security code stored in NVRAM to prevent a power cycle from unlocking the system. [James] can even command the trolley to go forward or reverse from his touch screen. We’d love to see him add a steering servo to make it a completely remote-controlled solution, though this step would require some sort of clutch for manual control.

The final design works very well.  [James] may not win any drag races by keeping scooter’s original speed controls and associated electronics, but he did extend the range with larger batteries, so we’re sure the trolley will be a hit all over the camp. Similar projects have been built using the base of an electric wheelchair. If you have one that you want to control without invasive changes to the hardware, check out this accessibility hack which interfaces using a connector.

[Thanks Mike]

13 thoughts on “Shopping Trolley Is Wired For Camp

    1. Yea I agree its not ideal. The rear of the hole is a bit constrained as the electronics box needs to sit that far forward to clear the mounts under the seat and I wanted to leave a couple of rows at the front and on the sides so that the front of the trolley remains square to the rest of the frame. I guess it had to be a bit of a trade off between meeting both those criteria and also being easy to get in and out of.

  1. Fantastic. Could’ve used a Costco trolley. They’re much bigger and more comfortable to sit in.

    BTW, I’m curious as to how you acquired the trolley. Around where I am the nice ones have an off-premise wheel lock. (c;

    1. We’ve got these funny spring loaded barbed channels at the entrances to supermarkets in New Zealand preventing you from going out through the in door but as the trolley isn’t that much wider with the scooter on the base it shouldn’t be a problem I hope. I was thinking of starting up a supermarket police department though at some stage but the question is how long you’d manage to stay n the store and how easy it would be to convince the store manager that I obtained the trolley through legit means and didn’t pinch it from out the front of his store.

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.