Project MAX: Autonomous RC Truck

17 04 2009

I have been working on and off  on this autonomous RC truck project for about 3 weeks. I am almost finishing Stage 1, and here are some brief pictorial of what I’ve accomplished so far. I will have a complete detail documentary about this project in the future.

This is going to be the brain of the vehicle. It is a PIC 16F874 Eval board. I also have a daughter board that is going to mounted on top of the Eval board provides extension circuitry for voltage regulator, connection headers, and future upgrades (GPS, xBee wireless debugging…etc)

The platform that will house all the electronics and sensors is this cheap RC truck I got at Fry’s. It only cost $15. However it is lack of variable speed control and steering; all it has is 4 discrete controls (forward, reverse, left, right). No complains for this cheap car.

This picture is showing my current progress on the framework. The PIC module and daughter board is in the back. The middle is the control circuit that came with the car, I added 4 control lines for drive and steer. The front has a ultrasonic sensor and servo that will scan the anterior view to detect obstacles.

Two problems I need to solve now are:
1) How to mount the sensor onto the servo?

2) No space for ICD2 connector with the daughter board attached. I need to rout the connections out or make it wireless. (xBee ICD2??)