Step 1: Prepping the Car
Step 2: Refurbishing the Electronics
In this picture, you can also see that the axle of the car is cut in half. This is because of how I had to do the steering. I had basically no money, so rather than install a big expensive servo to turn the steering, I just ripped off the front wheels and replaced it with an old single caster. The to steer, the back wheels were used like tank control, each one capable of different directions. I used a hacksaw to cut the axle to allow independent movement.
Step 3: Adding New Electronics
The final product had two 256 bit channels for rear wheel drive, the ability to stream live video, lights, speakers and a launch tube to fire model rockets (with an encoder, so we could calculate the parabola it would take). It communicated over Wifi, and had two network cards so it could switch networks without loosing connectivity. I wanted to use a cell phone for when we couldn’t find Wifi, but we didn’t have the budget for that. Instead, you could control it with an ad-hoc network if there was no Wifi.
Step 4: Enclosures
Step 5: Teleoperation and Code
For software, I wrote the code that ran on the microcontroller, which sent PWM to our Sabertooth 2×25 speed controller to drive the back wheels. To actually drive the rover, I wrote a central control webpage in PHP that sent commands to the microcontroller and allowed the user to control everything on the rover as well as see diagnostic information to help with troubleshooting.