Introduction: RC Submarine Hack - Android Controller (Arduino, Android, Submarine, Bluetooth)

In this project I hacked an Of-The-Shelf RC submarine (49Hz) to be remote controlled by Android Application! The whole project and each part of it can be used as a reference to endless variety of projects (Arduino - BT, Android - Arduino, electronics hacks, remotes...)

The main challenges were:

  • Hacking the remote buttons.
  • Activate the remote from an Arduino sketch.
  • Build a Blue Tooth (BT) connection to the Arduino.
  • Write an Android app to control.

The project was fun and challenging - enjoy!

Arduino Sketch and AppInventor Android app download link here

The (yet) UNHACKED RC submarine

The HACKED RC Submarine

Step 1: Electronics - Learning the Remote

I removed and dismantled the remote (As can be seen in the pictures) and searched for the location of the buttons, tried to figure out what is the working voltage the remote (6V), and how can I replace it.

The main thing that I wanted to gain is to be able to connect the Arduino board and the remote to the same power supply so If i need to ground a button in purpose to activate it, both (Arduino and remote) will have the same ground.

I found a variable power supply thrown in my junk box and set it to supply the 6V (I suspect that the current it gives is too low) - but it connected good and did the development role i needed.

I also found out that the when pressing on a key in the remote it grounds it, so I needed to imitate it to control the submarine.

IMPORTANT! the submarine doesn't "know" that it is controlled by something else then its original remote.

Step 2: Electrnics - Connecting to the Buttons

I carefully managed to weld 6 wires to 6 buttons to activate the buttons, and ran them through the holes I made in the remote, while keeping it still working as it did before the hack (I like to keep my stuff usable after my hacks...)

Step 3: Arduino Sketch

Arduino sketch download from my site: here

Or direct link: here (right click and download – might need to change file extension to .ino)

Step 4: Android Application

The Android application was written in MIT App Inventor (MIT AppInventor), a cool tool that let you make apps without really knowing how to program - you just drag and drop blocks to make your things done:

(download will be added later)

Step 5: Test Run

Embedded video soon...

Remote Control Contest

Participated in the
Remote Control Contest

Microcontroller Contest

Participated in the
Microcontroller Contest

DIY University Contest

Participated in the
DIY University Contest