Last year around this time, I wrote a piece about an RC FPV (First Person View) rig that a maker had put together using a USB racing wheel, a browser running the HTML5 Gamepad API, an Arduino UNO for the controller and an L298n H-bridge for motor control.
In the following video, Paul Yan details the FPV rig that he put together for him and his son using an Arduino Micro with the PS2 Shield on the (PS2) racing wheel, an Uno on an RC car, a 5.8Ghz micro camera, and two NRF24L01 wireless transceivers to talk between the wheel and the car.
Paul explains how the rig came about:
I got the idea for this project while watching my three-year-old son play with his radio controlled toy cars. These all use the conventional two joysticks. The left is isolated to vertical movement to control the motor and the right stick is isolated to horizontal movement to control the turning direction of the front wheels.
As a toddler, my son tends to only meaningfully control one stick at a time. It’s probably too sophisticated for him to infer that directing the car to a diagonal means he needs to press the left stick forward and combine that with the right stick’s sensitivity. What’s interesting, though, is that he has no such difficulty driving his big power wheel. Same operations but different interface. It has a natural steering wheel, a gas pedal, and a shifter to control direction. It got me thinking: what if RC car’s could be controlled by natural steering wheels too?
This diagram shows how the components are arranged.
You can read more about the project on Paul’s blog page for it.
Thanks to Make: contributor I-Wei Huang for sending along the link. I was also shocked and delighted to spot my son, Blake Maloof (also a periodic Make: contributor), in the video (3:23).