Let's Make Robots!

RC Jeep Robot

Drives around blind at the moment

Well, here's the post about my first robot.

It's not yet finished... so bear with me as I iron out all the bugs.

I purchased an RC Jeep at Walgreen's (US drugstore) partly because I love Jeeps, and also because I thought it would be cool to turn into a bot.

I took it apart and couldn't really figure out the board in the car, so after a light bulb went off in my head weeks later, I decided to bypass the switches in the remote and trigger them using transistors.

The thing with all the wires jumping out of it is the remote, gutted. It's currently being powered by my Arduino. 

Things I still need to figure out...


  • How to interface my Sharp IR sensor - right now I'm just all confused with it. Math is NOT my strong point, so I'm struggling through with all the numbers I have to deal with here. My sensor reads a low number when very very close to something, goes up, then again goes down after about 30cm (not sure if that's an accurate number, just guessing) I can get an LED to light up when a certain value is reached... and I've tried to transpose that code to turning a transistor on and off... but I need to find an elegant way to do this - I don't like cluttering my code up.
  • How to mount everything on top of the Jeep so the IR sensor can see where it's going. 
  • How to add more power to the Jeep itself - it's got a decent speed, but if it touches anything, it'll stop. Maybe more torque is actually what's needed. It only cost $10 though... so this isn't too important.
Anyway, that's about all I can think of at the moment. As I get him fixed up, I'll add more details.


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I have a SharpIR library for the Arduino platform over here: http://code.google.com/p/robocontroller/

Create an instance, give it the analog pin #, and which type of Sharp IR sensor, and then you can query back the distance (in centimeters). Documentation is here: http://code.google.com/p/robocontroller/wiki/LibraryDocumentation


Sharps should work from 30mm to thier upper limit (dependant on which model you have)

and yes anything less than 30mm sends the value back in the wrong direction - this inversion can be a pain for close up detection.

Thanks Gareth - I wasn't sure if my Sharp was just weird or what...

I won't need to deal with anything too close up, so I should be fine. I just need to average my readings to avoid any spikes, and find a distance my Jeep can stop before it gets too close.