Thank you readers for your enthusiasm and kind remarks regarding this project! It has been a tremendous journey since I started this project back in March, but I am very glad with the resulting product and the excitement with which it has been received by the maker community. Happy building! -CyrusDo you like Legos?Do you like Arduinos?Do you like RC things that you can bring to life with the flick of a thumb?
I certainly do, so today I’ll be showing you how to make something that combines all of the above into one and go over a ton of other useful techniques and best practices as well!
I’ll start by giving a brief description of what I made, and then I’ll follow with not just how
to make it, but the reasons
behind it too! By explaining all the steps involved (like the design
, 3D modelling
, and even the Lego-building
!) and the decisions and thought process behind those steps (as well as the CAD files and code), I hope not only to share with you what you will need to make what I have, but also useful background and techniques that you can use not only in your own version of this
project, but in all your other
DIY projects too! Lastly, if there anything
that I might have missed or that you need additional information or clarification about, or if you have any questions whatsoever, please feel free to ask me in the comments or to message me! Now lets get started!
As you might have guessed from the title or seen in the video, the project I've been hinting towards consists of two parts: a completely custom Arduino remote control,
and a servo-powered RC Lego car!
The Lego part
of the RC vehicle is a medium-sized chassis built around a Lego drivetrain with four-wheel drive
and four-wheel steering
. The RC part
is a set of four standard hobby servos
powering the drivetrain; an Arduino
, for controlling everything; and an XBEE radio
, for communication with the remote control. There is also an onboard power supply (it’s an RC car! Of course it has one!).
The second part
of the project is the remote control.
It’s about the size of a Gameboy Advance
; has a 2.2” LCD color display
; is built around an Arduino microcontroller
; has a joystick, two potentiometers, and four buttons for input; and has the same type of XBEE radio module
the RC vehicle does. All of this is housed in a custom enclosure
made entirely from laser-cut acrylic
. The remote control supports USB cable operation via the serial port on the Arduino, but it can also be operated off a 9V battery which can be mounted onboard, allowing the entire remote to be operated, well, remotely. Fun stuff.
Now that you know what you’ll be making, we can start actually making it.Everything you'll need file-wise is available for download on my site, Kayrus.com.
Here's the link: www.kayrus.com/legos/diy_rc_zip (it should download automatically)
Included in the zip file are the latest Inventor part files (.ipt's), the combined AutoCAD drawing (.dwg), and the latest Arduino code for the car and Handuino (.ino's) and I'll let you all know if I make updates or improvements to these!