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R/C Car sensor question


I am going to be converting a remote control car to automation and was curious as to what people thought about which microprocessor and language they would use. I am also curious about what sensors others would use.

Note that I have not posted my thoughts, rather I am curious.

So -

1) What processor and language would you use and why?

2) What sensors would you use and why?

Comments

  • 6 Comments sorted by Date Added Votes
  • well, I am biased, so I would use a Propeller 1.

    The why here is that the P1 has 8 cores and allows you to write independent running parts of software with more ease then a single core can.

    As of language, it depends on what languages you know already, Parallax is concentrating on BlocklyProp and C/C++ lately, but most examples and objects in the OBEX are still in Spin/Pasm. There are some BASICs out there and if you can handle it, a very powerful FORTH.

    As of sensors, it all depends on your needs.

    My guess would be some encoders to read movement and direction of the wheels, to remember where you are and where you are going. Next thing is obstacle avoidance, starting from simple whiskers on switches for 'I bumped into something', the classical PING ultra sonic sensor for short distances, the IR Ping for slightly longer distance and a laser range finder for even longer distances. All of these 3 sensors have different abilities to 'see' something.

    GPS might not make any sense indoors or for short distances, but if you plan to run outside around you house it might help. But keep in mind that the accuracy of GPS is around +-30 feet.

    Enjoy!

    Mike
    I am just another Code Monkey.
    A determined coder can write COBOL programs in any language. -- Author unknown.
    Press any key to continue, any other key to quit

    The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT", "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this post are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119.
  • I write all my code in C. It gives me near assembly language results and then write in assembly language for the time sensitive code.

    I have written an RC decoder for the Propeller that I use to control a two wheel unit with a camera on it and drive around the house with goggles on.

    If you look at the ELEV-8 flight controller you would have all the sensor and code you needed. If you look at the code you will see it's a mix of code and very hard to follow.

    There is also the ArduPilot product that already will control your car for you. This would take all the fun out of coding it but should work out of the box.

    I have tried the encoder piece of code and found that the wheels slip and getting accurate reading not easy. Even the 360 servos work as well for this use.

    Using a laser ping sensor may be a better fit since you could mount four of them on the car and get distance readings from all side and decide what you wanted to do based on distance. No encoder slippage with them. More like a self driving car. You could also use a servo and 1 laser ping sensor and do a 360 sweep.

    You may want to start with an ActivityBot 360 which has all the parts and then move on from there. I have a 3D printer so I can build my own frame for putting things together.

    Mike
  • AIman wrote: »
    I am going to be converting a remote control car to automation and was curious as to what people thought about which microprocessor and language they would use. I am also curious about what sensors others would use.

    Note that I have not posted my thoughts, rather I am curious.

    So -

    1) What processor and language would you use and why?

    2) What sensors would you use and why?

    You left out a lot of details. How big is it? Is this indoors or out? GPS navigation? How fast do you want it to go?
  • It is a truck about 15 long and 5 wide, complete with shocks and about 20mph for speed.
  • 15 what? Meters, feet, inches, potatoes... sorry, couldn't resist :smile:
    - Thomas Vikstrom (banjo)
    Location: A hop from the longest bridge in...Finland
  • Given the size (if inches) I'd so go with the Flip or Prop mini.

    Do you own any sensors?

    If not start out with a Ping sensor. Get it setup on a breadboard. Get a standard servo to simulate the RC car's steering, and a continuous rotation servo to simulate the RC car's motor. Once you have everything working on your desk, and have some experience with the code, then move it to the car.

    There's still a lot more info needed. I'm guessing your RC car uses standard servo for steering and ESC for motor control. Both run the same flavor of communication and they're easy to work with. It's just a guess though, your car may not work like that at all.

    If you could send closeups of the electronics, battery packs/connectors, or even the model of the car, it would be easier for everyone ;)
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