IPod Touch Spy Rover (Version 2)

Introduction: IPod Touch Spy Rover (Version 2)

About: I love making things and simple electronics!
This is an essential tool for all spies to have.  Whether you are using it for home security, watching your dog, or saving the world, this rover is a great toy for anybody!  My friend has a Brookstone app-controlled rover and he payed $100 for it.  I knew that I could do better than that, and it turns out that my rover not only costs less than the brookstone rover, it goes faster and has better features as well.  Here is a link so you can see what the real brookstone rover is: http://www.brookstone.com/rover-remote-control-spy-tank-for-ipad

One of the great features of this rover is its durability.  Since I used a Morphibian RC car to create this, this spy vehicle can travel just about anywhere and can even tackle the hardest terrain.  Another neat feature is the fact that the camera can be tilted up and down with a remote  which you can't do with the brookstone rover unless you do it manually. 

I was inspired to make this because...

- I wanted to show my friend that I could build a rover better than his.
- I wanted to use my remote control machines kit.
- I wanted to create something even better than my first ipod rover.

You should make this because...

- Each step is explained in detail, making it easy to build.
- It doesn't cost as much as the brookstone rover and it has some cooler features.
- It is awesome!

The videos show both the view from the rover and the view from the person controlling the rover.

I hope you enjoy building your iPod touch Spy Rover!

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Step 1: Materials/ Tools

You will need...

- Thames and Kosmos Remote Control Machines Kit (The specific pieces are shown in the picture and listed below)
- A morphibian (I used the blue shark one)
- A hot glue gun (with glue)
- 2 iPod touches (it can really be done with an iPod touch and any other facetime enabled device but I chose to use 2 iPod touches)
- 2 rubber bands
- AA batteries (only needed if you don't already have them in your morphibian and remote control machines kit)
- A screwdriver

Specific pieces from Remote Control Machines kit:

x1- Extra Long Axle
x1- Medium Axle
x1- Battery Pack
x1- Rod Connector
x1- Worm Gear II
x3- Small Gears
x1- Two-To-One Converter
x6- Anchor Pins
x1- Part Seperator Tool
x7- Square Frame
x1- Geared Motor With Wire Connector
x2- 11 Hole Rod (gray)
x2- 3-Hole Rod
x2- 3 Hole Duo Rod
x1- Remote Controller
x1- Long Frame

Step 2: Building the Tilting Mechanism (Part 1)

In this step and the next step, there are many pictures and each picture corresponds to a mini step.  For example, on this, step 1 would correspond to the main image.  Step 2 would correspond to the next image and so on.  If you have trouble understanding the step, look at the picture for reference.

Step 1. Link together two of the squares and link them to the long frame four holes from the side. 

Step 2: Link together two more squares and connect them 5 squares to the right of the first group of squares.  Using a 3 hole duo rod and a anchor pin, make a bridge between the two sets of squares. 

Step 3: Put the worm gear onto the medium axle and slide the end of the medium axle onto another three hole duo rod.  Put this three hole duo rod on the upper square of the two sets and make sure the top of the axle slides into the three hole duo rod above it.  This is a tough step so look at the picture for reference.

Step 4: Slide the extra long axle through the squares behind to the worm gear, and be sure to slide on a small gear in doing so.  Now slide a gear onto each end of the extra long axle so the first gear stays against the worm gear. 

Step 5: Attatch the motor so the spinning part attatches to the bottom of the medium axle.

Step 3: Building the Tilting Mechanism (Part 2)

Step 6 (main image): Link the battery pack onto the left side of the base and plug the motor into one of the ports.  I plugged mine into the middle so the blue buttons on the remote will control it.

Step 7: Take two three hole rods and the two eleven hole rods and make a rectangle.  Secure the pieces together with anchor pins.  Now put a two-to-one converter in the middle circle of the three hole rod on the bottom.

Step 8: Use two square frames and connect them to make one big rectangle.  Now Link the rectangle onto the third hole of another square frame.  Your result should look like the third picture.

Step 9: Using the two-to-one converter as a connector, connect the rectangle you made in Step 7 and connect it with the base you made in Step 8.  This is the part of the tilting mechanism that will tilt and hold your iPod.

Step 10:  Slide the iPod holster that we just made onto the axle sticking out on the right side and secure it there with a rod connector.  It is essential that the rod holder is tightly held in place because if that falls off, your iPod would tilt upside down and the remote wouldn't be able to control the tilting.

Your finished tilting mechanism should look like the last picture above.  Congratulations!  You have made it through the hardest part of this project!

Step 4: Assembling the Rover

To attatch the tilting mechanism to the morphibian, you must first take the top off of the morphibian.  You should then see the white cover over the battery pack.  Do not remove the white cover.  Now strap your ipod touch into the tilting mechanism by using one rubber band holding it in horizontally and the other rubber band holding it in vertically as shown in the picture. 

Now take the whole tilting mechanism and place it onto the white cover of the battery pack.  Mine slid right in pretty well.  To make sure that it is evenly weighted, find a way to glue it on so it doesn't tilt the car when driving.  To ensure that it will stay on, smother the white cover with hot glue so the tilting mechanism is really stuck on there.  To test that the tilting mechanism is properly secured, pick up the rover by the mechanism and if it holds, then it is good.  If not, then you may want to consider hot gluing it even more.

Step 5: Controlling/ Trouble Shooting

Strap your iPod into the tilting mechanism the same way you strapped it in earlier.  To control the tilting mechanism, press the button on your remote control machines kit that corresponds to the port on the battery pack that you plugged the motor into.  Now facetime one iPod with the other, make sure the camera is facing straight, and you can begin driving.  Be cautious when driving over big bumps quickly because the car can tip. 

A fun game to play with the rover is to have someone put a piece of tape on the floor anywhere in a room and you have to locate it and park as close as you can to it without covering it.  A tip for this game is to slow down when you are approaching the tape and tilt the camera down so you are seeing the front of your car.  Continue driving until the tape is right in front of you.

If your tilting mechanism doesn't work, go back through the steps and make sure you did everything correctly.  Also, try changing the batteries in both the battery pack and the controller.  If your Morphibian isn't working, try changing the batteries and if it still doesn't work, you may have a defective morphibian.

Step 6: Enjoy!

I hope you enjoyed building your remote control iPod touch rover!  Don't waste money buying the real brookstone rover when you can just make your own!

Lets go over what we have accomplished:

1. We built our own customizable "brookstone rover" for much less than they really cost.
2. We have learned how to build with the Remote Control Machines Kit.
3. We have hacked a Morphibian.
4. We had fun!

Questions, comments, and tips are appreciated so please post them below!


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