This Upgraded Power Wheels Toy Is Powerful Enough To Need Traction Control

A Lamborghini Aventador Is beyond the budget of all but the most well-heeled fathers, but [CodeMakesItGo] came pretty close with a gift for his young son. It was a Lamborghini Aventador all right, but only the 6V Power Wheels ride-on version. As such it was laclustre even for a youngster in its performance, so he decided to give it a 12V upgrade. This proved to have enough grunt to cause wheelspin on those hard plastic wheels, so a further upgrade was a traction control system featuring a NodeMCU. No other child has such a conveyance!

Veterans of the Power Racing Series or Hacky Racers might have expected to see a Chinese motor controller in the mix, but instead he’s used a set of relays for simple on-off control. The traction control has a pair of 3D-printed sensor wheels that operate upon a corresponding  pair of optocouplers to provide feedback to the NodeMCU. A set of different drive options were tried, with finally an H-bridge board being found to be most reliable.

The video below the break shows the hardware, and goes into some detail on the software. The NodeMCU’s WiFi is used to provide some tweakability to the system on the go. The traction control turns out to lower the standing start speed a little, but makes the machine more controllable by its driver. he certainly seems happy with his toy!

Long-time readers will know this isn’t the first Power Wheels upgrade we’ve shown you.

15 thoughts on “This Upgraded Power Wheels Toy Is Powerful Enough To Need Traction Control

      1. i wouldn’t say necessarily – I’ve got another model, found old garden tractor tires fit over the stock plastic wheels nicely. Between higher rotating mass, (much) more traction, 24V PWM control (<= 70% duty), two kids in it, and being second hand with plenty of wear, I still haven't had gear/hub issues. Huh, the 'soft start' PWM ramping i built into the control logic probably helped a lot though come to think of it… Was more to reduce whiplash for kids on takeoff to not slam on the gas as the mechanical switch did, but bonus of reducing drivetrain stress.

      2. Those drive units are readily available and surprisingly cheap, normally with a 65W 12v motor attached. I’ve often wondered how much abuse the gears could take were I to take a bunch of them and make a multi wheel skid-steer Hacky Racer, but don’t want to waste a wad of cash just making broken gear teeth.

  1. Fyi. The old motor had a tachometer. This is strong evidence that the electronic control box was probably already ramping speed and limiting torque. Also, the price difference between a 6v motor power stage and a 12v motor power stage is tiny. I’d give good odds that the only difference with the OEM 12v system is a 12v battery, charger, and moving a voltage jumper on the microcontroller.

  2. I was reading this article and was thinking we must be screwed in Australia. I have a 4wd style car for my kids with twin motors and run it on 12v rather than 6 and it’s still gutless, we must just get the real crappy ones here. There is no way my car will spin it’s wheels on anything but wet ice.

    Then I had a look at his project page – it all
    Makes sense now ….

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