Build Your Own Micro RC Surveillance Robot

Submitted by Canabots on January 16, 2009 - 10:32pm.

 

HOW DO YOU BUILD YOUR OWN MICRO RC SURVEILLANCE ROBOT?

 

Why don't I show you how?

Angled View of the Robot

 

Almost every roboticist has wanted to create a small Surveillance Robot at some point in their time. The biggest problem being the Receiver/Transmitter pairs are always too expensive. My solution: Extract the RC receiver from a small RC car and modify it for our purposes.


By the end of this tutorial, you will create and modify an RC robot to do:

1. Direct Radio Control using the remote's joysticks.

2. Computer control via a microcontroller connected to the remote.

 

Later, I plan on making this base teleoperational. When I do, I'll be sure to document it and continue the tutorial for it!!!!!!!!!! 

 

It will used the receiver from a $10 ZipZaps RC car purchased at a RadioShack (US) or a Microz GT car purchased at The Source (Canada). Any inexpensive RC car, though, will do. It will also use a wireless camera and 2 Solarbotics gear motors. 
The main goal of this robot always remains the same; to be able to perform surveillance that you could watch on your television or on your computer (this depends on the camera used). I broke this tutorial into steps for simplicity and organization of categories (why should you put the construction of chassis with building the electronics? :P)
Now for some general examples of the design for the robot (you don't have to follow my example exactly). The image at the top of the page shows an angled view of the robot.

Bottom view of the Robot (CAD)

This is a bottom view of the robot. You can see the motors and the caster, aswell as the wheels.

 

Front view of the Robot (CAD)

This is an image of the front of the robot, where the camera is clearly visible.

NOTE: The camera depicted in the image above IS NOT the one that will be used in the tutorial! That camera was inserted to give a generalization of how the robot should appear  when completed!

 

All these images were created using Google Sketchup, a free and useful CAD software which is popular amongst roboticists.

 

Now, during this tutorial, I will expect that the following tools are available for use:

- a soldering iron

- Solder wick or a soldering vaccuum

- a basic saw

- small set of screw drivers

- possibly a drill

- small pair of pliers

- a glue gun

 

None of these tools are 100% required, since you may have a better idea of how you want to build your RC Robot, but to follow this tutorial, those are some things I expect you to have.

 

Please vote for me in the SoR Contest!!!!!!!!

Feedback is much appreciated!

 

PART 1: Basic RC Robot

Parts List and Hours Spent - Explanation and Safety - Hacking The Receiver - Construction of Chassis - Finishing Up

 

PART 2: Computer Control

Hacking into the Transmitter - Creating a Board to Host the Transmitter - Programming (Part 1)

 

PART 3: Basic Teleoperation

Constructing the MCU Board - Adding it to the Robot - Programming 2

 

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