Let's Make Robots!

Total Rookie (First robot)

Hi everybody

a quick introduction, i'm Marc. A 17 year old boy from a small town i Denmark, and i want to build a robot! :D

Background: i'm work at a metal/blacksmithing shop (easy access to all sorts of metal and any kind of tools :D ) and i don't know That much about electronics, only on a "need to know"-basis 

i was searching the web some days ago, just to se if it was a "possibility" for me to build a robot. I fell across this site, and boy it's great!   

i want to build a radio controlled, 4-wheeled, full aluminum bodied robot. I'm about to finnish the Sketchup drawings on most of the construction(still trying to figur out the software) i will upload them as soon as possible. But here comes the tricky part: i don't know what electronic gear, motors etc i need to have, so if any of you have any ideas on what i should use, please tell. i was thinking about using a controller and a receiver from a RC air plain (does any of you have any experience using anything like that?)



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That's it, dude...

Goto "Start here" at the top of this website... Start there! 

www.rocketbrandcustom.com baby!!

My suggestion is to start small. Making it RC sounds cool, but make something small first and slowly add to it. Get something that moves on its own then get some RC stuff that maybe just moves a servo or revs a motor. Then add the two. If you try to start too big you will get frustrated and waste a lot of time and money. Not that I don't think you can do it... it will save lots of frustration.

Hello Marc,

Sounds to me like you want to build a radio controlled car with your own custom made chassis and not a robot that drives around by itself and uses sensors to measure stuff - is that right? If so then your choices will depend on what kind of steering you've got in the car; is it like a normal car that uses Ackermann steering or is it based on skid-steering where none of the wheels can turn but they can be driven like tank treads?

Standard Ackermann steered RC cars use one servo motor for the steering and one speed regulator for driving the motor (the speed regulator has an H-bridge with control circuitry inside and thus allows forward, reverse, brake and float) and that is a really easy setup to get started with since a standard radio control unit with 2 servo channels can interface directly with it. Later on the radio control unit can be replaced with for example a PICAXE chip that allows for easy programming of the car still using servo signals to control the car. This is actually the thing I have done with my own RC car :-)

- Jimmy

hey jimmy

i was thinking about going with the skid-steering, because i might be upgrading to treads sometime in the future, and i think it'll be the smartest/easiest way with my design. 

(The design of the platform i'll use, will be like a "topless" box. It's not going to be "that" big, something like 400mm X 250mm x 100mm. So it's not a huge platform)

But is there any catches using the skid-steering instead of the ackermann? something i might take up for further consideration? 


I have seen a lot of really nice robots - some using ackermann and some using skid-steering, so I think you will be able to do well using either of the designs. Skid-steering has the nice ability to rotate in-place - something that is very handy for a robot to be able to do.

I would think that ackermann is easier to get up and running when using a radio controller with 2 channel servo control since it is just plug and play while skid steering would probably need to mix the two signals into two separate motor outputs or something like that - maybe there are controllers for that sort of thing... after all they do make RC tanks :-).

All in all here are my two cents of (non-)wisdom... if you're going to build a remote controlled car I think ackermann using servo for steering and speed regulator for motor is the way to go unless it is too difficult to do the mechanical construction for that. If you're going to build a robot that will drive around on its own then go for skid-steering. Navigation becomes rather complex when you can't rotate in-place.

- Jimmy