First tests for Android remote control

Over the last couple of days I worked on the basics to use my Android powered mobile phone as a remote control for my R/C boat. The first test covers reading the motion sensors of the phone (accelerometer specifically) and visualizing it. The result can be seen in this video:

Since it currently seems to be impossible to embed a YouTube video without it loading tracking scripts the video can only be viewed directly on YouTube.

I plan to steer the boat as one would control a vehicle in a game on the phone.

Some kind soul already mixed up an XBee module and a bluetooth module for Arduino to create a nice little module that can be used to control an Arduino from an Android device.

In other news, I ordered an motor control from Adafruit I want to use to control the motors of the boat. Can’t wait to start playing with it.

Not quite mint condition

Looks like I was a little too enthusiastic about the condition of the boat. For some reason the range of the remote is about 1.5 meters. There is nothing I can see which could be responsible for it, at least no loose wires, but I’m far from being an expert.

The second thing I realized when I opened the box containing the electronics is that there is only one circuit board containing everything. I guess that makes it cheaper producing the boats, but I guess I’ll have to replace everything except the motors.

This box contains everything, the wires are connected to battery, motors, ON/OFF-switch, on the backside is another one to the antenna.

Well, considering that I would have replaced all that stuff anyway I still consider it a pretty good deal.

Boat arrived

Today I got the boat I ordered last week. As stated previously, it is an “Atlantic Yacht” by Heng Long. The boat was returned to the retailer, so he sold it as defective on eBay. Since it was returned I expected something broken, but hoped it wouldn’t be serious. Well, it exceeded my expectations. At least regarding the “broken parts”, its performance leaves to be desired.

First a full view of the boat.

Continue reading Boat arrived

New Project: RC boat autopilot

Today I took the first step for a new project that kept returning to my mind for the last couple of days.

I bought a remote controlled boat on eBay. The boat is an Atlantic Yacht by Heng Long which is sold by the retailer as “defective” because it has been returned by a customer. No idea what’s wrong with it, I hope it’s just the control unit I’m going to replace anyway.

Currently I’m planning to equip it with an Arduino based¬†ArduPilot¬†that is modified for marine usage.