Introduction: RC Vehicle With Raspberry Pi

This Instructable was written for anyone interested in making an RC car from common materails. Many of these materials can be replaced with others that serves the same purpose.

Experience required:

  • Soldering Experience
  • Laser Cutting Experience
  • Dremel Cutting Experience
  • General Safety Knowledge

Step 1: Tools Needed

Laser cutter (any model that can cut through wood and extruded acrylic)

Soldering Iron


Electric Drill (with 5/32 drill bit)

Dremel 4200

Small Wrench (optional)

Step 2: Materials Needed

  • Soldering Materials (Solder, Flux, Soldering Pick, Helping Hands, etc.)
  • Wood (we recommend MDF less than .5 inches)
  • Extruded Acrylic (we recommend acrylic with a .239 inch thickness)
  • Breadboard
  • Raspberry Pi (this Instructable uses Raspberry Pi B)
  • Assembled Pi Cobbler with Breakout Cable for Raspberry Pi Model B
  • 2 Full Rotation Motors (This Instructable uses ARDUINO T010051 MOTOR)
  • 9v Battery
  • Portable Cell Phone Charger (that can power a raspberry pi)
  • Matrix Robotics Beams
  • Screws and Nuts (that can fit through the holes of the Matrix Robotics Beams)
  • Rubber Bands (for grip of the wheels)
  • Edimax Wifi USB Adapter
  • [optional] 2 LED lights (for headlights)
  • [optional] LED strip lights (for under glow)

Step 3: Configuring the Raspberry Pi B for Remote Control Use

General Method: For this Instructable we are running a program that controls the motors of the car by virtually controlling the raspberry pi desktop from a separate computer using a VNC.

What is a VNC? VNC stands for Virtual Network Computing. What it does is it allows a user to remotely control the desktop interface of another computer screen. In our case, that computer screen will be the raspberry pi.

Setting up a VNC: First, on your raspberry pi open terminal and type in the following command: (sudo apt-get install tightvncserver). *Make sure you are running on the latest version of NOOBS operating system. If not, type this following command first: (sudo apt-get update).

How to use a VNC: Now that you have the right update to establish a VNC, you can follow these instructions from the official raspberry pi website: VNC. You would also need to follow these instructions for establishing a VNC client program on your computer.

Alternate Method: If you would like to use an SSH instead click here for instructions: Adafruit Lesson 6

Step 4: Circuit Design

How the L293D Chip Works:The L293D chip allows simultaneous currents to go through up to 2 DC motors.

Here we have the motors attached to the L293D chip. The L293D chip is connected to the Pi cobbler, which is . For more help visit: Controlling DC Motors

Step 5: Building the Frame

To build the frame, we first laser cut a rectangular frame and with a rectangular hole in the frame for the raspberry pi. We then, glued the breadboard on top of the raspberry pi (with the raspberry pi vertically centered underneath the breadboard). With this set up, we could place the bread board on the wooden frame with the raspberry pi sticking through the rectangular hole for easy access to the ports underneath. Then, we used matrix robotic beams to build around the wooden frame. Using acrylic we built a rectangular box (with holes that was laser cut through it) to hold the axle and gears of the wheel. For our setup, we used one axle for each wheel. Then, we simply stuck the axle hubs and axles through the hole and attached gears to the back axles. After this was done, we attached the wheels onto the axle and use glue to hold it in place so it doesn't move side to side.

Step 6: Making the Gears and Wheels

To make the gears we made a design and used the laser cutter. We also laser cut structural plates to connect to the matrix beams which will hold the axle, axle hubs, and gears.

Step 7: Finished Project