Introduction: Go Baby Go: Gracie
Go Baby Go! is an initiative started to provide opportunities for early, independent mobility, socialization and overall skill development for children with mobility limitations.
According to the Go Baby Go Initiative, Go Baby Go was founded by Professor Cole Galloway as part of a research project at the University of Delaware, but researchers have now trained volunteers in more than 40 communities nationally and internationally with satellite sites all over the world to expand availability.
The modified toy cars give children with mobility disabilities a chance to play and socialize with their peers more easily. Past research has shown that independent mobility is linked to cognitive, social, motor, language and other developmental benefits in young children. Being pushed in a stroller or being carried from one place to another is fundamentally different from having active control over one’s own exploration, which is where the developmental gains are seen. Beyond mobility and socialization, we hope that the ride-on cars provide children with disabilities a chance to just be a kid.
Step 1: Materials Needed
Some of the materials may differ from those initially specified. These parts will perform the same tasks but may have slight variation in installation.
Optional materials are listed because we discussed them and thought they would be worth adding. However instructions will not be included for them as we did not get the chance to include them in our vehicle.
12v UENJOY ride on car-
- This is the car we used for the project.
Single Throw Toggle Switch (kill switch)-
- Emergency stop switch used to cut power
Five Point Harness-
- Maintains the upright seating position and ensure maximum safety
· Hi Tech Servo-
- Makes a simple electronic steering system
- Controls the servo via joystick and buttons
- Wires into the Arduino to control the car
· PVC Pipe-
- Makes a structure to mount the harness on and can be purchased at a hardware store
- https://grabcad.com/library/picatinny-rail-14 (Slide rail)
- https://grabcad.com/landon.mahaney-1 (Joystick slider, Joystick add-on, Charge plate, Cover for slider)
RGB Led light strip-
- Will be used for cosmetic lighting
- To improve mirror functionality
Back up Camera-
- Will allow the child to see what's behind them(Can be a distraction)
Step 2: Assembling the Car
To assemble the vehicle correctly ensure that you follow the instructions from the manufacturers manual. This includes attaching the motors, wheels, axles, suspension, windshield, and bumpers. All of these parts should be included. If any of these parts are missing call the manufacturer of your vehicle.
- When complete check to make sure everything is operating as it should be. If something is not functioning properly, check all electrical connections. If problem persists call the manufacturer.
- We held off on the installation of the side mirrors to avoid damage.
Step 3: Installing Emergency Stop
This switch will be used to cut off the flow of power to the motors.
Remember to always disconnect live wires when working with electricity.
1. Decide on a location that will work best for the emergency switch to be placed.
2. Mark and drill a hole through that part of the car.
3. Connect the source and load wires to the respective places on the switch.
4. Connect the source wire to the positive battery terminal and connect the load wire to the input of the original power button.
5. Cover any open wire with electrical tape and secure the wires along the inside of the car.
6. Run the switch through the hole and screw on the cover.
7. Ensure that the outside of the car has a visual indicator as to whether the switch is in the on or off position.
Step 4: Programming the Arduino
This step can be completed at anytime, but it will be easier to test the components before they are attached to the car. We suggest coding and testing each component individually before combining and installing the parts.
- Link to code: https://github.com/LeviButcher/gobabygo/blob/maste...
1. Download Arduino IDE
- Windows: https://www.arduino.cc/download_handler.php?f=/ard...
- Mac: https://www.arduino.cc/download_handler.php?f=/ard...
2. Plug the Arduino into the computer with Arduino IDE installed via USB.
3. Copy the code from the GitHub link and correct any formatting errors.
4. Test the board to ensure it is giving the correct outputs based on the wiring diagram found in the "Installing the Arduino" section.
5.Check that all components are functioning properly before installing.
Step 5: Installing the Joystick
The joystick will be coded through the Arduino and used to control the driving of the vehicle including steering. We created an adjustable rail to attach the joystick to the car. The CAD files for this mounting solution can be downloaded at the link in the materials section.
- The original joystick is too small. A CAD file for an additional piece to increase its size can be found in the materials section. This piece will simply glue to the existing stick with any plastic adhesive.
1. Determine the side on which the rail should be mounted based on arm mobility.
2. After making the slide rails, screw them to the bar/door.
3. Make the joy stick holder and slide it onto the slide rail.
4. Put an 8/32" bolt threw the hole on the slide and tighten to lock.
5. Make sure the joystick is facing the right direction before making any adjustments permanent..
6. Connect wires from Joystick to the Arduino.
Step 6: Installing the Servo Motor
The servo motor will be replacing the existing steering motor. The servo will be used to steer the car and is controlled by the Arduino.
1. Turn the car on its side gently to avoid damage.
2. Remove the screws holding the current steering motor.
3. Remove the motor and gearbox.
4. Remove the front axle and steering column.
5. Drill two horizontally in the larger square bar 5 inches apart and evenly spaced from the center. Drill a third hole through the smaller articulating flat bar wherever it meets the servo arm (with the servo placed in between the two holes on the square bar).
6. Put a 5/16 inch piece of any durable material against the square bar with matching holes.
7. Put the servo against that piece.
8. Put an identical piece of material on the other side of the servo.
9. After ensuring the servo is lined up correctly, put a bolt through each hole and tighten until servo no longer moves (without damaging the servo).
10. Put a bolt or pin through the servo arm and flat bar.
11. Connect servo wires to Arduino.
Step 7: Installing the Arduino
The Arduino computer is a very important component in this project. It will be controlling all of the drive systems along with some of the optional modifications. Ensure that the battery is unplugged while doing any work with the wiring of the Arduino.
- Before starting installation, remove the OEM wiring harness leaving only the LED and drive motor wires as they will still be used in the new system.
- Link to wiring diagram: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B1apktyCbTzveVcy...
1. Start by locating an area to which wires can be easily routed.
2. Assemble the board via the pictures and wiring diagram.
3. Drill holes that line up with the standoffs from the board to bolt it into the car.
4. Run necessary wires to all electrical components.
5. Secure all wires to car and connect battery terminals.
Step 8: Installing the Five-Point Harness
The five-point harness will provide additional support and maximize safety.
1. Remove the OEM roll bar with lights on from the top of the car.
2. Based on the height of the child, cut the PVC pipe to a height a few inches above the shoulder so that the top straps come down over them.
3. Insert the pipe in the holes from which the roll bar was removed.
4. Measure the distance between the pipes and cut another piece to connect them.
5. Attach the top straps of harness to the horizontal PVC in a way that ensures it won't slide around.
6. Based on the child, determine the best place to attach the lower side straps.
7. Drill holes in the side of the car the size of the hole in the grommets and put the proper sized bolts through the holes in the car and grommets.
8. Drill an additional hole in the center of the car below the seat and attach the bottom strap.
9. The length of all of these straps with need to be adjusted on delivery/pick up day where the shoulder straps for the harness are connected to work as a head rest.
Step 9: Customizing Fit for Seat
The OEM seat does not provide any of the required support. Foam will be used to increase trunk support and increase comfort. We are using upholstery foam.
1. Measure the child and the available seat space to calculate the amount of material needed.
2. Cut the foam carefully without tearing.
3. Add some type of fabric over the foam to help protect against foam damage. This is also an opportunity to add cosmetic customization with themed fabric.
4. Using a stronger foam, cut out an extension for the seat to give extra support for the head and back. A good method for this is to cut a boogie board to attach to the top of the OEM seat.