Unlucky GPS guided RC car

I think there isn’t any kid out there that hasn’t wanted a radio-controlled car. Well, at least us, boys. But what if you could build your own, with sonar and GSP too? Yeah, I know, pretty nifty. This project is rated ‘under development’ as it still needs some adjustments. It features an Atmega328P microcontroller, a HM55B digital compass, a PING))) ultrasonic range finder, two MC33886 H-bridge controllers and a GPS receiver chip.

While the Atmega acts as the brain of the robotic platform, the PING sensor plays the eye. Using extra pins, the latter can be mounted on a servo motor, so that the robot can look left or right. It can also smile, wave and say ‘I love you’ in fifteen languages. Kidding. Motion is acquired using two DC motors, one for forward/back, the other for turning left or right. Both of them are controlled with the H-bridge controllers which are connected to the PWM outputs of the microcontroller.

So, why is this slick RC car unlucky? Well, it seems that the PCB traces greatly influence the reception of the RF signal and the GPS signal is extremely poor. Replacing the antenna or connecting it directly to the GPS chip didn’t improve things, so contacting SkyTraq, the GPS manufacturer, was the next step in solving the dilemma. And let me tell you something, seeing that the guys who built the damn thing are willing to aid someone is always a pleasure. So, having considered their advice, the owner and constructor of the neat RC car promises a new version in the near future. Although the project does not possess sophisticated hardware or is a functioning one, it does have a certain appeal. Let’s face it, RC cars are cool. I’d play with one if I had it, I’m sure others my age would too.

Unlucky GPS guided RC car: [Link]