SquaresVille / MSP430 to cheap RC Tank
UPDATE JUNE 11, 2011:
I'm calling this one done....
The goal was to learn how to program and interface the MSP430 microcontroller with a toy tank and make it drive autonomously in a square after a button is pressed. The project demonstrates simple control of two DC motors (output) and the ability to process a button press (input) with the MSP430. There was no goal to create a pretty robot and I guess I got that done as well. ;)
The material list:
$12.00 toy tank,
$4.30 TI MSP430 LaunchPad,
$2.50 SN754410NE Quad Half H-Bridge
The program is written in C and upload into the MSP430 via the Code Composer Studio 4.1 software.
See the final result (20 seconds) at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eoVR29Q0RmU
ORIGINAL POST JUNE 5, 2011:
My first post here. I'm a robot "rookie", but according to the FAQ I am "talented" so here we go.
I've never programmed a uController and wanted to give it a try. The MSP430 LaunchPad is just $4.30 (includes shipping!), so the price of learning is too cheap to pass up.
My goal is a simple one for most of you and it's been done a 1.0EE6 times: Use the MSP430 uC to control the tanks movements.
Here's a pic of my $12 tank:
Here it is 5 minutes later:
I figured out how to blink an LED on the MSP430. Not too hard. I connected that MS430 output to the output control on the tanks RC receiver. After only a short time I got some results. The RC receiver got pretty hot. Maybe because I was backdriving it(?). So, I cut the RC reveiver out of the tank. I'll use that on another project down the road:
And I just ran wires straight to the motors. I will use the MSP430 to controll my on order motor driver IC. Right now the tank looks like this:
Right now my goal is to just have the tank drive in a square or something. I have a PIR that I think I will mount as an input to change the tanks motion when it "sees" heat. The tank does have an airsoft cannon on it, but it only shoots a killer 12 inches or so...
I'll post back soon. Like I stated in the beginning, this is a first on many levels and I'm open to ideas on any cool things that I could make this thing do.