Instructables

Sphero's Automobile

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Sphero driving a car?! Yes. Pretty awesome, right?

Sphero is the first robotic ball that you control with a tilt, touch, or swing from your smartphone or tablet.  In addition, Sphero has iOS and Android SDK's for developers, which allows virtually anyone to program new games and apps for Sphero. Find out more information on our website.

In the video below, Sphero commands the toy car where to drive. It does this through a trackball similar to the one used in a computer mouse or in the arcade game of golf . Sphero sits on the trackball’s wheels and his weight and momentum cause them to move. The wheels have encoders that then tell the car what direction Sphero is moving by sending out x and y coordinates of the movement to the motors. Roll Sphero forward and the car drives forward. Roll Sphero to the right and the car turns to the right.

Sphero’s car was created by our Junior Developer, Skylar. He got all of the electronics for the car from Sparkfun. This included a trackball, an Arduino board, and an H-bridge. The actual car was an old toy Orbotix had bought for $10. It only took a handful of parts and a tiny bit of coding in Arduino to make it happen. Sphero does the rest. The really amazing thing is that we are using Sphero’s brains and technology to create other robots!


 
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Step 1: Gather Parts

Picture of Gather Parts
*Please read tutorial and reference images before building project for best case results*

The original Sphero Car included a breadboard using an Arduino Board - meaning it is pluggable instead of soldered. This tutorial will be explained in terms of the pluggable breadboard. 

Parts:

Arduino uno 
http://www.sparkfun.com/products/10356 $29.95
or
Atmel Micro Processor with Arduino BootLoader
http://www.sparkfun.com/products/9217 $4.95

RC Car 
http://www.amazon.com/Kid-Galaxy-Morphibians-Killer-Whale/dp/B0032HF60M/ref=pd_sbs_t_5              $21.98

Wires, Heat Shrink, Bread-board & Headers
http://www.sparkfun.com/products/8803
http://www.sparkfun.com/products/9353
http://www.sparkfun.com/products/9387
http://www.sparkfun.com/products/553

Trackball- PS/2 
http://www.sparkfun.com/products/10758    $14.95

H-bridge & Heat Sink
http://www.sparkfun.com/products/315       $2.35
http://www.sparkfun.com/products/10746

Battery 
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__7303__Rhino_460mAh_2S_7_4v_20C_Lipoly_Pack.html

Other Suggestions
Arcade Button Switches
Metal wire or "fencing"
make a ramp to get back on the car
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