Remote Controlled Jeep Destroyed For Your Amusement

Something you learn when you spend a good portion of your day trolling the Internet for creative and unique projects is that “Why?” is one question you should always be careful about asking. Just try to accept that, for this particular person, at this particular time, the project they poured heart and soul into just made sense. Trust us, it’s a lot easier that way.

This mantra is perhaps best exemplified (at least for today), by the incredible amount of work [Stephen Robinson] did to convert a real Jeep Cherokee into a remote control toy. But the crazy part it isn’t so much that he managed to convert a real Jeep to RC, it’s that the first thing he did with it was take it into a field and destroy it.

The stunt is part of a series of videos [Stephen] has on his YouTube channel called “How to learn anything”. His goal in this series is to learn two different skills from industry professionals and combine them in interesting and unconventional ways. The production quality on these videos is really top-notch, and definitely blew us away considering how few subscribers he currently has. If we had to guess, we’d say [Stephen] is about to get real big, real fast.

As it turns out, the process for turning a full size vehicle into a remote-controlled one isn’t actually that complex, relatively speaking. [Stephen] starts by removing the seat and replacing it with a metal frame that holds a motor salvaged from an electric wheelchair to turn the wheel, and a linear actuator to push the brake pedal. He lucked out a bit with the throttle, as this particular Jeep was old enough that there was still an easily accessible throttle cable they could yank with a standard hobby servo; rather than some electronic system they would have had to reverse engineer.

The rest of the hardware is pretty much your standard RC hobby gear, including a Spektrum DX6 transmitter and FPV equipment. Though due to continual problems with his FPV setup, [Stephen] eventually had to drive the Jeep up the ramp by line of sight, which took a few tries.

While this is still probably safer than riding around in a life-size quadcopter, we can’t say it’s the most sophisticated way a hacker has taken over a Jeep remotely.



17 thoughts on “Remote Controlled Jeep Destroyed For Your Amusement

      1. No, the one you’re thinking of is the one they use whenever they need a generic, fireball plane crash in movies. IIRC it was used as a joke in the movie Airplane!, where it was the in-flight movie.

        The one I mention was more recent. They converted a 727 to radio control, loaded it up with instrumentation and crash-test dummies, then flew it into the ground.

      2. Lovely! A giant tank full of pollution intentionally broke open to spill on the ground. They even thought to ensure that as little as possible of the fluid was burnt off so that it would all make it into the water table. I wonder how many 747s it would take to transport all the people living in the eventual cancer cluster.

    1. There is a really good hour-long documentary about how they did this. From converting the plane to remote control, to flying it in the ground. Very well done.
      Does anyone have a link to a video of this?

  1. Why reverse engineer a electronic throttle when you could just connect the servo mechanically to the pedal? Actually much easier than a mechanical throttle because you can take the spring out of the pedal and use a super small and cheap servo.

    1. If you want to do it again (and again…), the reverse engineering will pay itself off, probably even from a financial point of view, not to mention that a solid-state solution is mechanically more robust, you absolutely do not want the throttle getting stuck.

      A modern car with an automatic gearbox can theoretically be R/C’d just by plugging onto the internal busses, since the steering is an electric servo, throttle is electronic, brakes are electronically controlable (ABS and ESP) and modern auto-transmissions are also fully computerised.

  2. Hmmm this is really weird. Judging by credits at the end of video Larry’s, “helper” who is Professional movie prop builder and did ALL the technical work + provided all the tools .. was paid to do the video.
    Stephen is just some poor dude trying to “happen” on YT for 2 years now, producing shitty videos with couple of hundred viewers :(.

    so yeah, good job Larry.

    1. I was going to comment that the production value of his videos is off the charts for Youtube stuff. The subscriber count doesn’t really seem to follow suit. Generally you seem someone making some fairly rough videos, then slowly improving, with the viewer count growing along. Not in this case. He’s been making great videos for three years now.

      If this isn’t funded by some large organisation, someone needs to pick his production team up pronto.

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