Author Topic: Controlling a robot with an RC Plane Controller  (Read 1283 times)

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Offline CyclonedTopic starter

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Controlling a robot with an RC Plane Controller
« on: February 13, 2014, 08:26:01 PM »
Hey guys, I have a few questions! I need to make a few robots for different competitions in my college, and they need to be manually controlled. So I was wondering if using a transmitter/receiver RC would be a viable option.

I don't have much access to a variety of different RCs and stuff. The only RC I can purchase is this one. Would it be possible to purchase 3 servos, and connect it to that RC and immediately control them? I watched the SoR video (http://www.societyofrobots.com/remote_control_robot.shtml) and it seems like that's all that has been done.

Now, servos. I just did a bit of research and found out that most servos only rotate 90 to 180 degrees, so I would need to find one that rotates 360 degrees right? And servos come with 3 output wires, that just need to be plugged into the receiver correct? Dont need a ESC (electronic speed controller) for servos right?

Also, would I need to program the RC, or like in the video will the servos be controlled as soon as they're plugged in?

I might be paranoid here, but I am afraid of spending quite a bit of money of this hardware, and worried that it might fail or something might go wrong.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2014, 08:30:55 PM by Cycloned »

Offline waltr

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Re: Controlling a robot with an RC Plane Controller
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2014, 06:59:03 AM »
1- the link the the RC set you have is broke so I don't know exactly what you have.
2- If you RC TX/RX is standard then any standard servo should plug into the RX and work.
3- You will need to modify the servo for full rotation. Read the $50 Robot project in the Robot Tutorials to learn how. Or there are a few places that sell full rotation servos (modified).
4- program to RC? any of the simpler RC sets do not need to be 'programmed'. Some however may need to be setup for stick throw, stick end points, rate and expo. Otherwise you just plug the servo into the RX and it'll work.

Offline jwatte

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Re: Controlling a robot with an RC Plane Controller
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2014, 11:58:19 AM »
Do you need 360 degree rotation with position sensing/control (like a radar dish)? That will be hard to do using hobby/RC servos and motors.
If you need 360 degree rotation for wheels, then you don't want a servo, you want an ESC and a motor that matches. (There are "geared/brushed" motors and ESCs, and there are "brushless" motors and ESCs.)

And, yes, your link didn't work.

A RC transmitter sends some number of channels of control inputs to the receiver.
The receiver receives this control, and turns it into PWM signals, where the pulse width is 1.0 milliseconds for "smallest" and 2.0 milliseconds for "biggest."
An RC servo reads these pulses, and sets its position within its range of motion to match.
An ESC reads these pulses, and sets the speed of the controlled motor to match.
You also need a way to power the receiver and the motors. Typically, this is all tied together to a LiPo battery, although if the voltage needs of different parts are too different, you will also need a UBEC to convert the high voltage to lower voltage for the parts that need it.


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