Instructables

BARC Jeep - An XBOX Controlled Power Wheels

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Picture of BARC Jeep - An XBOX Controlled Power Wheels
Make a power wheels jeep that is controlled by an XBOX controller. This particular build is using Power Wheels® Jeep® Hurricane with Monster Traction™ but should be usable across many different types of power wheels with small adjustments.

I wanted to do this project so I could drive my kids around. They are 2 and 3. We take the jeep out a few times a week. It's great for going to the park or just walking around the neighborhood. It works kind of like a stroller as far as containing and protecting them, but obviously way awesomer.

This project has also been built with expansion in mind. Because the motor controller boards have feedback, and there's plenty of room left on the Arduino microcontroller, it will be easy to add things such as proximity sensors and driver profiles. That way, when I give it to my little boy to drive himself, I can set the driver profile to be gentler as well as activate proximity sensors so he can't ram a tree.

Also, in essence this entire build is a fairly simple way to get a robot off the ground. My project was particular to the power wheels because I'd been dreaming of sitting on my porch with my controller and driving my kids in the yard, but really the setup could apply to anything with motor driven wheels and a steerable front end. (motor size etc taken into consideration of course).

I hope you enjoy reading about my project as much as I did making it. And if you do decide to tackle this Instructable and build your own, please contact me for any questions. I want to keep improving this so as many people can take that old Power Wheels and make it into the coolest thing on the block.

Now let' s make it!
 
Things you will need: Tools / Supplies:
     * Soldering Iron (i like this one)
     * Solder
     * Wire Strippers
     * A saw or cutting wheel to cut metal (i used an end grinder with a cutting wheel)
     * Wrenches / Screwdrivers
     * Drill - (a drill press is good for the steering plates, but a drill will work)

Overview:
  • Connect the Arduino to the USB Host shield, then connect that to the Wireless gaming receiver.
  • Drive the linear actuator with the Pololu Jrk Motor Controller
  • Drive the motors already in the Power Wheels with the Pololu Simple High-Power Motor Controller
  • Connect both motor controllers to the Arduino so they are controlled by the Xbox controller.
  • Remove the steering mechanism currently in the Power Wheels
  • Build a custom steering mechanism that is controlled with the linear actuator.
Sounds easy, right!
 
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cellsk88 days ago

Hi friend, amazing work. I have a question, This hardware (http://articulo.mercadolibre.com.mx/MLM-452642616-convertidor-usb-serial-ttl-ftdi-uart-arduino-pic-atmega-avr-_JM) can replace this one "USB host shield"?. Thaks and congratulations!!!

cellsk88 days ago

Hi friend, amazing work. I have a question, This hardware (http://articulo.mercadolibre.com.mx/MLM-452642616-convertidor-usb-serial-ttl-ftdi-uart-arduino-pic-atmega-avr-_JM) can replace this one "USB host shield"?. Thaks and congratulations!!!

rtalley8 months ago
amazing work. the only thing i did differently was use an aftermarket power window motor and a pot to turn the wheel!
Pjr4888 rtalley4 months ago

This whole project is awesome. I have recently been planning to do
something similar, with the traditional r/c transmitter receiver. But
this would much cooler. How does the window motor and pot work? How do
you control limits, and does it return to center? Any information would
be greatly appreciated. I'm working on a power wheels escalade for my
daughter, it's a pretty heavy set up, how would it handle?

we used these for open cv experimentation in highschool
ADN Makers (author)  kyle brinkerhoff8 months ago
That sounds interesting. In my original conception of this project I was making an autonomous beer cooler to follow me around the beach. That is until I saw the complexity in vision recognition. Any positive/negative experiences with opencv?
its clunky as can be right now and without a serious on board computer its pretty hard to keep a reasonable frame rate. might be better off with a radio based system that could triangulate the position of a key fob or somethin like that
Tazmjm698 months ago
Very cool project! There is a 6 wheel rc cart by blvdminss here on instructables (for Marcaine Art, if you're interested). You're kids have a cool Dad!
ADN Makers (author)  Tazmjm698 months ago
Thanks Taz! I have a 2 and 3 year old and they love it. Also thanks for recommending the project by blvdminss. Pretty soon I will replace the lower plastic body of the Jeep with a metal chassis, rubber tires, beefier motors.
XandS_BARC01.jpg
ADN Makers (author) 8 months ago
Glad you liked it. Please feel free to ask any questions when you get a project started!
Marcaine Art8 months ago
This is really cool. I don't know much about the arduino programming but I like this a lot. It would be cool to adapt an old electric wheelchair for a yard cart that could carry heavy weight :-)