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Building a GoPro carrying beast of an R/C car - without Arduino? Answered

So here's the deal.

I've gotten it into my head to build a camera platform, primarily for GoPros but depending on its strength and durability perhaps other cameras as well. Seeing as there is nothing for it but to dive in over my head I started looking at robotics platforms and was immediately put off by the condesending tone and the "you's goin' back to schools" amount of reading, studying and groveling for answers at the feet of someone fifteen years my junior - No bleeping way.

So I wanna basically build an RC car from scratch out of a sheet metal box.

As far as I've come up with I need the following:

- An ESC - electric speed controller
- A 4-6 channel Transmitter and receiver combo (been looking at Graupner)
- A power source (to be determined by the motors and ESC)
- A power switch (well duh)
- 4 identical electric motors
- 4 Tires (preferably with a 12-14cm diameter)

So now for the stuff I need help from people that presumably know what they're talking about

What motors should I choose? - My guesstimation to the chassis weight is between 500 g and 1kg but was hoping for a payload capacity of appx. 3-5 kg and a top speed at load of about 8-12 km/h (brisk walking pace to jogging). Been told " geared and with an rpm of 250...ish".

What battery should I use as to get at least 20-30 min out of one charge at 80% of max load (also determined by the choice of motors)

What motor control/ESC should I get - I would like to avoid frying it by putting it under to heavy a load voltage wise when using it the first time.

Finally I need tips on a good transmitter and receiver combo for skid steer since I'll be running the motors at equal rpm's per side controlled by the left and right stick, steering by braking and reversing tank style.

Have I forgotten anything? Feel free to enlighten me if so.
Including my sketches/designs so you know what I am aiming at and should someone feel like building from them please go ahead (film a tutorial for me ;) )

In some of the sketches it shows the use of an Arduino board but I am looking to avoid this, they were early sketches and I didn't notice until I uploaded.

I am also VERY bad at higher level math or physics so please be gentle with me.




Best Answer 2 years ago

There are some very good you tube vids on building battle bots in the mid price range you are looking for.... They talk about drive reliability, heat rejection, motor types etc.


Type: 1:16 German Panther battle Tank.
Firing Mechanism: Electric Airsoft
BB Size: 6mm
BB Capacity: 35
Weight: 3200g
Speed: Scale 70kmh
Length: 520mm
Width: 240mm
Height: 200mm

Included.German Panther & Radio Controller
7.2v Ni-Cd battery pack
BB pack

Looks like pretty much all you need.

well this is one of the best so far except for one thing... plastic. Plastic makes me want to cry angry baby tears. I have however managed to almost find a thing that is close to nearly in the same neighborhood as the ballpark I am aiming at.

Sad thing as that it is the same price range as if I were to buy the parts and assemble it myself, especially with shipping costs being what they are (I swear it's like they buy a first class ticket for the package and then it pigs out on champagne and caviar)

They did however have high res images of the guts of the beast and I was able to lift serials and part names off of most of it. will be updating the question later tonight. Good find though and t(h)anks (oh god that was such a dad joke)

BUT It has ALL the other mechanical parts you need in a neat working package - All you need is to redesign in another material if you want to.

The next time your in Hobby king your going to need to start looking for FVP transmitter, receiver monitor/FPV goggles etc. NOW it starts to get expensive.

already checked that out but in other places, looking to build my monster this spring and then add a fat shark fpv setup for Christmas.

It gets REALLY expensive when you realize you want the ones with head tracking and a gimbal mounted fpv-cam.

One step at a time though.

Not wanting to dash your plans, but why not simply stick your GoPro on top of a decent RC car, using the mounts that came with it? Wouldn't that be more cost-effective than buying all the parts and building one?

there are two main reasons for this.

1. PLASTIC - I live way to close to the Arctic circle for anything with a plastic chassi and or under carriage to be a viable option and frankly once you've sent it down a flight of stairs (on accident or on purpose) it's pretty much anyones guess when it's gonna give up and fail.

2. SKID STEER - The robot/car itself needs to be able to turn in place for panning shots or "oh crap"-turn and bail scenarios. Extremely few RC toys have that capability and those that do are slow as molasses.

(3. If i really wanted cost effective I would actually buy a quadcopter with a gopro gimbal)

There seems to be a misconception that I don't actually want to build this.

If I didn't want to I wouldn't be asking for help, I would find someone to build it for me to the specs I want. If there was a platform out there that fit my purposes though I probably would by one to start with, if nothing else to dissect it and see what makes it go. Sadly the only ones that do meet my demands are police or military UGV's and as far as those can even be bought they overshoot the mark by a mile both in specs and price.

I want to build this because there is no middle ground between a $50 plastic toy tank and a $4000 bulletproof surveillance UGV.

I am fully aware that the price range I am looking at is between $400 and $900. In the end I am only asking for a best guess as to what parts wouldn't fry out and catch fire when I put them together.


2 years ago

With all the help you need, I recommend a toy RC car with much better specs and easy to mod to your GoPro platform....

the problem with that is that it wouldn't fit the bill of what I am going to use it for. I fully understand the sentiment though as the thought has crossed my mind more than once.

Get a remote controlled tank...
Use only the bottom half, gives you nice tracks, enough free channels for the cam and the speed you want.
Plus IMHO it will be much cheaper than buying the things you need bit by bit.