Instructables

Autonomous R/C Tonka Truck with Head Tracking for FPV (Tonka Summit Build)

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Remember back in the day, playing with your big Tonka truck, running it through everything, feeling like it was an awesome monster truck that could go anywhere? Or do you live in a relatively urban area and would love to go mudding but can't because it's too expensive and there's nowhere to go nearby? Or maybe you just like making cool things? Well, here's the project for you!
With some work , you'll be able to modify a classic, pressed steel, 1970's/1980's Tonka truck to fit on a remote controlled Traxxas Summit to make a scale looking monster truck to go exploring in. Not only that, you'll be able to drive as if you were in the driver's seat. It's not quite the same as going out in the real truck but it's a whole lot less expensive and can go just about anywhere you want and since it's scale, you can get the same sort of videos too!
This requires obtaining a HAM radio license or you can get by without a license and just drive it line of sight and enjoy the video later. Please abide by your local regulations regarding video transmission.
This instructable will go over how to modify a classic Tonka truck to fit on top of a Traxxas Summit. Additional components will be added to allow the camera to pan and tilt so you can look around and see your surroundings, much like you would if you were in a real truck. For added realism, you can use a GI Joe and Barbie doll to drive your truck all with a moving steering wheel.
The video below give you an idea of what you can expect.

 
You can see the truck drive on its own from inside the truck with this video! Around the baseball field, you can see the truck hunting for the waypoint. What's even more fun is seeing me in the side mirrors following in another truck!


Keep going to learn more!

 
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fungus amungus11 months ago
This is amazing. I worked on a project with 3D-printed GoPro mounts for RC cars, but this is way beyond that. Great work!
hfb (author)  fungus amungus11 months ago
Thanks! I spent way too much time on this but know it will be useful for those interested in something similar. I had hoped to get more views in time for the r/c contest to get more visibility but that's my fault for putting it off until the last week. I just had too much going on at the time.
fungus amungus hfb11 months ago
You did spend a lot of time. But integrating head tracking and turning the steering wheel in the car? Never would've thought of that. The results are worth it.
hfb (author)  fungus amungus11 months ago
Definitely worth it. I'll be adding to this instructable in the next two weeks to add head tracking information along with using video goggles as well and possibly antenna tracking for better reception if I get around to making something like that.
fungus amungus hfb11 months ago
Very cool. I'm working on getting FPV going in a quad. Well, the FPV is working, but the quad had a crash and I'm waiting on a new motor.
hfb (author)  fungus amungus11 months ago
Too bad to hear about the crash. It slows me down when my tri goes down.
fungus amungus hfb11 months ago
Ooh, I was thinking about a tri or maybe even a y-6. How do you like it?
hfb (author)  fungus amungus11 months ago
I like it a lot, mainly because it's much more portable as you can fold it up into a small size.
fungus amungus hfb11 months ago
Yeah, that's pretty much exactly what I was excited about.
azharz11 months ago
Only one word to say- ASTONISHING!
hfb (author)  azharz11 months ago
Thanks! I appreciate it.
Jedrokivich11 months ago
Wow, this is really great! You put a lot of work into this and it really paid off as far as I can see. Now just imagine if you added an Oculus Rift and head tracking...
hfb (author)  Jedrokivich11 months ago
No need for an Oculus Rift. I'll be adding to this in a little with head tracking and video goggles that do the same thing. It's what I'm currently using and it works great.