RC Override For Autonomous Hardware

[Simon Inns] developed this board to act as a radio controlled override for autonomous hardware. It sits between some servo motors and two different sets of controllers for those motors. One set of hardware that can control the motors is a microcontroller programmed for autonomous tasks. In [Simon’s] case this enables a sailboat to navigate open water with out human intervention. But if that board fails, or if you just need to call the boat back to port, this module allows for a traditional RF vehicle controller to take command.

The board seen above, dubbed the Servo Switcher, uses a PIC 12F683 to monitor the incoming signal from the RF receiver. If that signal is not present it switches control of the motors over to a separate microcontroller board. This means that the override control is established simply by turning the handheld controller on. This will save you a swim to retrieve your boat, which is a nice convenience. But if you modify this for a plane or helicopter, it can save your aircraft from certain destruction. Check out the video walk through after the break.

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