Remote Controlled Basket Ball Robot - HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS -




About: I would love to find a job where I could play with fabrication tools all day and be creative. Anyone have a suggestion?

Here I will show you how to build a remote controlled basketball robot. That's right, no joke! I have built a similar ball for the HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS and now you can build your own.

Here's a list of supplies you'll need.

7" Hamster Ball

Sports Shop:
High Torque Metal Gear Servo. I used the HS-645MG
Aluminum Servo Shaft Horn 250HS
(3) Aluminum Hubs 3463H
RZ12-90-128RPM Gear Motor
Servo Mounts
Gear Motor Mount
(2) 1/8 ID Bearings
1/ 4 ID Bearing

Any Hobby Shop:
2 channel radio and receiver set (More channels are fine)
(8) Elite 1500 batteries
Cheap ESC (Electronic Speed Control)

Hardware Store:
3/ 4" Aluminum Flat Stock
3/ 4" Steel Flat Stock
Misc Nuts and Bolts
Double Stick Tape
Lead weights (Or steel)
Great Stuff Expanding Foam

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Step 1: Sketch / Plans for the Ball

Here are rough drawn plans for the ball. It has a Gyro for stability control, a servo for steering and a gear drive motor for propulsion. This ball moves only because the weight at the bottom moves. So, the idea is to get as much weight as far below the centerline as possible. Led or steel weights are added to help.

Step 2: Attach Drive Hub to Ball

Attach the aluminum hub from servocity to the ball using screws as shown. Take care to make sure it's on the centerline.

Step 3: Make the Chassis

Next make the chassis. You can make it out of one piec of Aluminum if you prefer or bolt together 3/4" flat stock. The important thing to remember is to keep all servo splines, bearings, motor shaft in the same plane. Other than that everything can fudge a little.

Take a look at all the pics and you'll get a good idea of what you need to do.

Attach another one of the aluminum hubs to the gear motor drive shaft. Screw some bolts into it and sand them down so they fit nicely in the hub that you just mounted to the ball.

Step 4: Make the Steering Arm

Now for the steering arm. It's basically a piece of 3/4" flat steel bent in a U shape. The battery pack is attached to the bottom of the U and I put lead weights on the sides for more drive torque. You'll see the self designed servo saver on ones side. It's made with the horn shaft, hub and 1/4" bearing mentioned in the materials list.

Step 5: Video of the Servo Saver in Action

Here's a video of how the servo saver works

Step 6: The Cap Side of the Ball

There it is inside the ball. On this end I made a steel bar that attaches to the ball with bolts. It has a perpendicular shaft bolted to in down the centerline that slides into the drive rotational bearing.

Step 7: Video of Gyro Stability

You DEFINATELY want to put a Gyro in. Even WITH the gyro this thing is sqirley. Without it it's almost impossible to control.

Step 8: Make a Basketball Shell

I cut a REAL basketball in half, filled it with Great Stuff Expanding Foam available at ACE hardware. Then I hollowed it out with a dremmel so the hamster ball will fit inside snug. Pop the shell on and drive away.

Step 9: VIDEO of the Ball in Motion

Here's a Video of the Basketball In Motion

And here's one of the hamster ball without the basketball so you can see the insides.

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    125 Discussions


    Question 1 year ago on Step 9

    Does the remote conrtol basketball still weigh the same and feel the same as a real basketball? And can it still bounce like one?


    4 years ago on Introduction

    what kind of gyro you were using? I cannot find to buy

    Why not to try to put some microcontroller like Arduino, that can implement PID and Kalman filter to the gyro this will make it move like charm without any oscillations. I saw an robot called GroundBot made by rotundus that uses the same kind of motion, it moves very smoothly i think it uses some kind of PID and other algorithms.
    Also great project i will try to make something similar.

    Patrick S

    6 years ago on Introduction

    This is awesome! I think Sphero has a mechanical design something similar to this? Anyways I will definitely be making one..


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Are those geared motors u mentioned for the ball brushed or brushless? tnx ^^


    8 years ago on Introduction

    what does Gyro basically mean? Would you please lighten ma ignorance? :-/


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Or you could get one of those cars with huge wheels that can do flips on walls and stuff.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    About how much could I expect a project like this to cost? Not counting the multi-channel transmitter, I suppose, since that would drive the cost up considerably.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    I'm really curious to see your remote controlled tennis ball! I've been thinking that an RC soccer ball or something similar would be a great toy for my dog, but a tennis ball that I can bring back to myself if she decides she doesn't want to fetch it? That's effing brilliant!


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    sorry but I don't have any pics and I sold it but ill make another and do an Instructable on it but it might take a while before I can make it though