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Fitness Racer: PC Control of an RC Car

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the dance-dance-speed-racer dept.

Toys 111

An anonymous reader writes "This project gives step-by-step instructions + source for connecting a cheap RC car to your parallel port and driving it around with a Dance Dance Revolution pad (or joystick). A fun way to make an old toy fun for another few hours, and another way to pretend that reading Slashdot may eventually lead to body movement."

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Wifi + Webcam (5, Interesting)

aardwolf204 (630780) | more than 10 years ago | (#7274083)

Give it WiFi and a webcam and I'm sure it would be even more fun. ;)

Re:Wifi + Webcam (0)

BlueCodeWarrior (638065) | more than 10 years ago | (#7274169)

Agreed.

Re:Wifi + Webcam (1)

The_K4 (627653) | more than 10 years ago | (#7274331)

Supprisingly enough i did something simiular to this for a "senior design project" at college. I did add a couple of sensors and a micro-controller with some code, but it was largly the same idea. If you get the timings right you can use the serial port of the computer to simulate PWM waves (which is what most speed controls and servo motors on RC cars use for their controls) and you can acutally get analogue control working.

Re:Wifi + Webcam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7274426)

I've done the webcam part before and broadcasted it to the internet. I also planned on doing something similar to the article but never got around to it.

Re:Wifi + Webcam (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7274531)

^(O_o)^


ORF!

This is my troll. There are many like it, but this one is mine. Greetz to the 254-hi crew.

Re:Wifi + Webcam (2, Funny)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 10 years ago | (#7274839)

Next step: AI!

It'll be like a Roomba, but without the useful vaccuum action.

-- Dr. Eldarion --

Re:Wifi + Webcam (1)

dreamcatcher72 (643990) | more than 10 years ago | (#7274942)

very cool indeed.

well, isn't everything? (eom) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7275416)

slashdot insists that this have a body.

Bigger Penis is Better betsy (1, Insightful)

t0qer (230538) | more than 10 years ago | (#7275449)

I just randomly grabbed a subject from one of my spams figuring that it would be a good way to get attention to this comment.

I think this article is interesting not for geek reasons, but because it represents a thumb your nose to the slashvertisement [slashdot.org] we saw yesterday on the VIA-based Mobile Robot Design For Download [slashdot.org] . Even my own comment [slashdot.org] pointed out how you could basically build your own for for just the cost of few electronics.

Cool, slashdot is starting to tell their advertisers Kiss my ass! Way to go guys! Very admirable.

Robot Wars (1)

CityZen (464761) | more than 10 years ago | (#7276653)

and then add a pneumatic hammer or flipper and some armour, plus a bit of AI, and you'll have _real_ Robot Wars.

Re:Wifi + Webcam (1)

Tege (687436) | more than 10 years ago | (#7277283)

Check this Wifi-car [deviceforge.com] .

FP! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7274086)

Read 'em and weep biatches!!!Frosty piss...

fp dood (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7274100)

fp dood

for troll tuesday..... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7274104)

michael

Just Shut Up!!!

Why doesn't Slashdot (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7274109)

Cover stories like this one [sunspot.net] , about a 12 year old boy being investigated by the FBI because of his online research for a paper on a bridge.

Re:Why doesn't Slashdot (0, Offtopic)

ivanmarsh (634711) | more than 10 years ago | (#7274207)

Did you submit this story to /. ?

Re:Why doesn't Slashdot (0, Troll)

ivanmarsh (634711) | more than 10 years ago | (#7274596)

How is that off topic you moding dickhead!?

How can /. post a story if no one submits it?

Re:Why doesn't Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7274818)

its OT because it has nothing to do with THIS story.

dickhead ;)

Re:Why doesn't Slashdot (1)

ivanmarsh (634711) | more than 10 years ago | (#7275084)

Neither did the post I replied to.
Though my post was more relevant than it was.

Re:Why doesn't Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7274214)

Did you read the last few sentences? The transportation department is to blame for this one, they referred him to the FBI.

Re:Why doesn't Slashdot (1)

jabber01 (225154) | more than 10 years ago | (#7274234)

Because there isn't a story there. This is a case of the system working as intended. No rights were violated here. There is no cause for outrage.

Re:Why doesn't Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7274698)

move along people
there is nothing to see here

Damn you Slashdot... (-1, Offtopic)

Max Romantschuk (132276) | more than 10 years ago | (#7274113)

I was just about to go to bed, and now I have to read the article... dammit!

Great extension... (2, Interesting)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 10 years ago | (#7274118)

...to OSS racing games. :)

and yet more ways.. (3, Funny)

joeldg (518249) | more than 10 years ago | (#7274122)

and yet more ways to waste time..

somehow I remember time being at a premium..

seems a long time ago now..

time to get me an RC car..

April fool... (1)

lanswitch (705539) | more than 10 years ago | (#7274205)

Connect joystick. Pretend to use keyboard and joystick to play game. Watch crowd go crazy when the car is going round the room.

Re:and yet more ways.. (1)

Asprin (545477) | more than 10 years ago | (#7274700)


Funny, when I look back, I seem to remember time being as ubiquitous and free as air. Now that I am (ahem) MARRIED, I don't know what to do with the 30 attoseconds of free time per day I am alotted. Why, it's almost enough to pos[**QUOTA EXCEEDED**]

Server getting slow already, heres the text (4, Informative)

aardwolf204 (630780) | more than 10 years ago | (#7274124)

This page explains how to cheaply connect a Dance Dance Revolution pad to an RC car via your PC, for literally minutes of racing enjoyment. Even more fun than the "race tracks" we played with in elementary school, where all you actually did was hold down a button and wait for your car to fall off the track.

The general approach taken here is to use the parallel port to flip the switches in the RC controller, thereby avoiding all the radio stuff. A few transistors are required to help the 3.3V parallel port pull down some pins on the 9V RC car controller.

Source code is included below... it actually just uses DirectInput to talk to the pad, so if you're burning to drive an RC car around with your PC joystick or keyboard, that works too. If you're using this approach, the software also tries to pulse the pins on the parallel port to give you some crude analog speed control.

What you'll need :

A Dance Dance Revolution pad. I recommend buying one of the soft PlayStation pads, which run about $20, and nailing it down to a big piece of plywood, as is illustrated in the image to the left. The soft pads tend to slide around and/or rip apart without support, and the hard pads are expensive.
A cheap-ass RC car... the kind that actually has no analog steering, just four switches for forward, back, left, and right. This includes just about any car you get for $20 or less. I went with the fabulous Nikko Octane.
A few electronic components, namely:

# A DB-25-M connector
# Four resistors, about 500ohms
# Four NPN transistors
# Wire+solder

Total cost ~$6 at Radio Shack. I also used a breadboard to make nicer pictures, although this project is probably appropriate for the solder-in-the-air-and-cover-it-in-duct-tape-or-glu e approach.

Connecting the hardware :

First you'll need to open up the controller and take a look at the switches. The buttons shown here each have four terminals on them, but you only need to make one connection to each button. If you're using a different car than I am, you'll need to put a voltmeter on the terminals to find out which ones you care about. What you want is a terminal that is normally sitting at 9V relative to the battery ground, but goes to 0V when you press the button. For this particular controller, there were two terminals on each button that fit this description, and I picked one arbitrarily on each button. If you're looking at the controller as shown in the image to the left, I chose :

# The upper-right terminal on the "forward" button
# The lower-right terminal on the "reverse" button
# The lower-left terminal on the "left" button
# The upper-right terminal on the "right" button

Solder about 8 inches of wire to each of these terminals, and about 8" of wire to the battery ground.
Now we connect all the components, according to the schematic show on the left. The important points are :

# Battery ground on the controller needs to get connected to ground on the parallel port
# The emitter from each transistor goes to the common ground
# The collector on each transistor goes to one of the terminals in the car controller
# The base on each transistor goes through a resistor to one of the parallel port data pins

The software expects the reverse, right, left, and forward switches to be on the parallel port's data 1, 2, 3, and 4 pins, respectively. Data 0 got left out because it was mean to the other children on the playground.

If you left enough wire between the components and the DB-25 connector, you can plug the whole mess right into the parallel port. I like to use an extension cable so I'm less likely to knock things out of my breadboard in the heat of my excitement about driving an RC car with my feet.
You'll also need to connect your DDR pad to your PC somehow and get it recognized as a game controller, assuming you actually want to use the DDR pad (you can skip it entirely and just share in the joy of driving a $15 car around with your $1500 computer) (it's sort of like when you use a 3GHz machine to run a GameBoy emulator).

One easy way to do this is to use on of many PlayStation->USB adapters available (eBay has lots of them), e.g. the Kiki Joy, which goes for about $10.

Another way is to connect your pad to another parallel port. The PSXPad driver will find a Playstation (or SNES, GameCube, etc.) controller on the parallel port and make it look like a windows game controller. The driver comes with directions about how to hook your pad up to your parallel port. This is what I did, as illustrated in the image on the left. Since the car will be using one parallel port, this requires that you have two. Extra parallel ports are a good time for hobbyists, and extra parallel ports - via USB or PCI - are under $10 (also a good eBay item).

Software :

This zipfile includes :

# The Fitness Racer software as a Visual C++ 6.0 project and a compiled binary
# The PSXPad driver, for talking to a game controller that's hooked up to the parallel port
# The PortTalk driver, for talking directly to the parallel port

To run the software, you'll also need DirectX 8.0 or higher installed.

Hours of enjoyment :

You are encouraged to have hours of fun with your new toy. Please let the author know if you experience even a small number of hours of fun.

That's really not necessary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7274371)

Nobody on here is going to seriously build one .. we just want to look at the pictures

spoken like a true novice (1)

monofish_X (593804) | more than 10 years ago | (#7274753)

As any truly enlightened geek know, the mod IS its own reward.

Re:Server getting slow already, heres the text (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 10 years ago | (#7275813)

Too bad backyard hackers couldn't be bothered to learn basic microcontrollers. Using the parallel port for direct electrical I/O is contrived at best. It's not as if serial port work is hard with any good microcontroller, many of them have it built-in minus simple RS232 level conversion provided by a simple MAX232 chip. Program a few instructions to set up the chip, a few more to respond to new data, etc.

Re:Server getting slow already, heres the text (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7276607)

Too bad monday morning quarterbacks like yourself couldn't be bothered to even think of a project such as this. It's easy to bitch about it when you are sitting off to the side, isn't it?

Rather than criticize someone else's work, why don't you do something of your own, such as improve upon the idea. Not as easy as sitting on your ass, sedentary as usual, eating hostess products and picking apart the efforts of others, is it?

What would be even cooler... (1)

gpinzone (531794) | more than 10 years ago | (#7274125)

would be to conenct the remote to the parallel port, instead of the car. WTG, Michael!

Re:What would be even cooler... (2, Informative)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 10 years ago | (#7274197)

That's exactly what he did. He used NPN transistors to simulate the pressing of the buttons on the controller.

Granted, it's not perfect. He's going to end up with a small (~.2 to .7V) potential across the transistors, but that's not bad.

I'd like to see an analog controlled device with proximity sensors at -45, 0 and 45 degrees forward and back.

Re:What would be even cooler... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7274725)

.2 to .7 V? Just curious, where did you come up with those numbers?

Re:What would be even cooler... (1)

Theobon (691491) | more than 10 years ago | (#7274975)

A diode has a 0.7V drop. A NPN transitor in the on setting acts like a diode. The 0.2V is probably an arbitrary guess at the voltage drop across FET which can basically be used the same way.

Re:What would be even cooler... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7275278)

Gaah. Just too wrong... .2V is a typical saturation voltage. The parallel port has limited drive capability and the original poster was probably assuming that the port wouldn't have sufficient output drive to put the transistor into hard saturation.

Given that control currents in these controllers are probably in the milliamp range, and the parallel port outputting similar currents, the voltage across the transistor would probably be freakishly close to 0V.

Fun for another few hours? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7274130)

driving it around with a Dance Dance Revolution pad (or joystick). A fun way to make an old toy fun for another few hours

This is Slashdot! The first coronaries will start after about 20 minutes.

Re:Fun for another few hours? (-1, Offtopic)

NessusRed (710227) | more than 10 years ago | (#7274141)

why do you cut me?

or a joystick? (5, Funny)

wankledot (712148) | more than 10 years ago | (#7274152)

OR a joystick?

Am I the only person that thinks controlling an R/C car with a DDR pad is retarded?

"You can drive this car with a wheel and pedals... OR you can control it using this jar of peanut butter and a hockey puck, wired to this monkey. "

Re:or a joystick? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7274289)

"...OR you can control it using this jar of peanut butter and a hockey puck, wired to this monkey. "

Please, tell me more about this.

Re:or a joystick? (2, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 10 years ago | (#7275078)

no the retarted part is using a computer to do it.

you are using the DDR pad's switches to tell the computer to trigger the RC car's remotes... SWITCHES!..

Ooh boy. using a $1000.00 pc to translate switch closures to switch closures.

whoopdie. I can do the same thing with $6.00 worth of wire,connectors, and bits.

what's next on slashdot how to use a cray supercomputer to turn on a monitor?

Re:or a joystick? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7275932)

what's next on slashdot how to use a cray supercomputer to turn on a monitor?

That's a rather uninspired analogy. A better one would be:

What's next, an article on how to use a cray supercomputer to drive your Christmas lights?

Re:or a joystick? (1)

CharterTerminal (199214) | more than 10 years ago | (#7275521)

Peanut butter and hockey puck, definitely!

What ? (2, Funny)

Jesrad (716567) | more than 10 years ago | (#7274159)

another way to pretend that reading Slashdot may eventually lead to body movement.

All this scrolling and clicking and typing is a lot of movement for me already, you insensitive clod !

RC cars are gay. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7274166)

yep.

Re:RC cars are gay. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7274406)

(Score:-1, Offtopic)???

RTFA asshole. Its about R FUCKING C CARS!

Fat parallel cable (2, Funny)

3Suns (250606) | more than 10 years ago | (#7274176)

connecting a cheap RC car to your parallel port


Haha, I had a picture in my head of someone trying to drive round a little car with one of those awful, fat, stiff printer cables attached to the back. Silly me.

Misspelling (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7274182)

The second to last word should read: 'bowel'

A simple comparison. (0, Troll)

UnassumingLocalGuy (660007) | more than 10 years ago | (#7274184)

Nintendo Power Pad > DDR pad. 'Nuff said.

Re:A simple comparison. (1)

EvilFrog (559066) | more than 10 years ago | (#7274651)

The Power Pad can't be used as a regular controller, so even on that merit alone a DDR Pad is superior.

Slashdot leading to body movement (1)

TWX (665546) | more than 10 years ago | (#7274191)

It's led to body movement several times recently, as people have come upon the latest SCO story and laughed so hard that they had to get up off of the floor, back into their chairs...

That, or they've become so annoyed that they've actually gone outside to do something.

Well it would, but (5, Funny)

JemalCole (222845) | more than 10 years ago | (#7274194)

. . . and another way to pretend that reading Slashdot may eventually lead to body movement.

Well, it would if the editors would accept more of my Natalie Portman stories, it would.

I like where it says.... (1)

KJE (640748) | more than 10 years ago | (#7274202)

"Image shown for display purpose" in the picture of the kikijoy [brown.edu] playstation-usb converter.

What else would the image be used for again?

This Project reminds me of (1)

headbulb (534102) | more than 10 years ago | (#7274223)

When in highschool My friend had a car that was the perfect size to make into a remotely Controled Real Car.. I would have Rhinolined the whole vehicle. Take it out to nowhere and Had fun Just watching a real car going, without a driver. we never did it... If I find a small vehicle I may do it Then make a webpage complete with my in handcuffs (ok maybe not) But hey maybe I could get that on slashdot. It would be halarious to see people look over on the highway at car with no driver. (In which case you really would get to see me in cuffs) Oh and for those wondering about safety I would of had a backup remote for brakes. The things you would do for the hell of it.

Re:This Project reminds me of (1)

Gekko (45112) | more than 10 years ago | (#7274416)

Mythbusters did this already on Discovery Channel.

A 67 Imapala with rockets on the top. Dang cool.

Re:This Project reminds me of (0)

NessusRed (710227) | more than 10 years ago | (#7274537)

I'm sure I'll get modded down for this but without a doubt you are the stupidest person I have ever had to the displeasure of knowing and hopefully you will leave slashdot and never ever come back again. Bye bye.

Re:This Project reminds me of (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7274967)

http://www.pchopper.com/mirror/RCCar_video_new.wmv .zip [pchopper.com]

I'd like to hope I don't slashdot whoever's server that is, but that is a cool video of an example of a real R/C car being driven out in the desert. Exactly what you guys are talking about.

Re:This Project reminds me of (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7275010)

http://www.pchopper.com/mirror/RCCar_video_new.wmv .zip [pchopper.com] oops, there isn't a period in the link.

Re:This Project reminds me of (1)

Astrorunner (316100) | more than 10 years ago | (#7275279)

already done. Junkyard wars... two remote control cars fighting to the death.

Screw RC Cars (1)

Bendebecker (633126) | more than 10 years ago | (#7274252)

How about doing that with a REAL car?

Re:Screw RC Cars (1)

calethix (537786) | more than 10 years ago | (#7274670)

I knew I had seen this idea [slashdot.org] before. It doesn't use a DDR pad though.
The movie linked in the article appears to be gone but maybe you can find it elsewhere.

Re:Screw RC Cars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7276314)

You mean like this? [google.com]

That's Nothing! (3, Funny)

speedfreak_5 (546044) | more than 10 years ago | (#7274254)

Try playing Gran Turismo 3 with Dance Dance Revolution pads. Against a drunk person, with said DDR pad.

Fun times, fun times.

Re:That's Nothing! (1)

geoffspear (692508) | more than 10 years ago | (#7275043)

Tekken Tag is the best game to play with a DDR pad. Although it would actually be less tiring to just fight your opponent for real.

Re:That's Nothing! (1)

Fammy2000 (612663) | more than 10 years ago | (#7275104)

Second that for Tekkan Tag. =)

I was actually beaten by someone using a DDR pad while I used a dual shock controller. A testament to my Tekken skills.

I couldn't keep the party around long enough to get a DDR controller vs. a DVD remote control Tekken battle.

Re:That's Nothing! (2, Funny)

AndyChrist (161262) | more than 10 years ago | (#7276413)

I once played Street Fighter 2 on the SNES against myself, hands vs. feet. My feet actually did pretty well.

Did this once (2, Interesting)

proj_2501 (78149) | more than 10 years ago | (#7274257)

For one of my senior-year classes at URI, we took apart the remote to a cheap car and did a similar trick of using transistors to simulate the switch-hitting.

We connected the transistors to the parallel port of a Motorola ColdFire eval board and wrote some software to program routes.

It would have been useful if the damn thing had any range whatsoever, but we spent a whole nine dollars on the car, so I'm not worried.

Re:Did this once (1)

micromoog (206608) | more than 10 years ago | (#7274608)

a similar trick of using transistors to simulate the switch-hitting.

If only the Cubs had known about this trick in time.

Bug Notice- (5, Funny)

wo1verin3 (473094) | more than 10 years ago | (#7274283)

Version Number: V1.0
Revision Date: 10-21-2003
Patch(es) Replaced: None
Caveats: None
CVE Number(s): CAN-2003-4751

Tested Software:
Affected Software:
* Microsoft Windows 2000, Service Pack 2
* Microsoft Windows 2000, Service Pack 3, Service Pack 4
* Microsoft Windows XP Gold, Service Pack 1
* Microsoft Windows XP 64-bit Edition
* Microsoft Windows XP 64-bit Edition Version 2003
* Microsoft Windows Server 2003

Software Not Affected:
* Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition
* Microsoft Windows Server 2003 64-bit Edition
* Linux - All

Untested Software:
* SCO - No One Uses It So We Couldn't Test

Technical Description:
A security vulnerability exists in the Remote Control Service that could allow arbitrary code execution on an affected system. The vulnerability results because the Messenger Service does not properly validate the length of a message before passing it to the allocated buffer.

An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could be easily drive remote controlled cars in to grandmothers or small children. This has been seen in the wild but has been limited to chasing cats.

The next thing we need... (1)

GillBates0 (664202) | more than 10 years ago | (#7274285)

is something to work that dance revolutions pad. Something like this [ananova.com] should do the trick.

So much for body movement.

Re:The next thing we need... (1)

AndyChrist (161262) | more than 10 years ago | (#7276436)

Goodness me! It's Marylin Monroe!

Powerful car (1)

sharkey (16670) | more than 10 years ago | (#7274288)

connecting a cheap RC car to your parallel port and driving it around

That must be a whopper of a car, to be able to drag a PC around with it.

body movin' (1)

edalytical (671270) | more than 10 years ago | (#7274320)

and another way to pretend that reading Slashdot may eventually lead to body movement

What you mean you didn't actually do some pushups before you voted in this poll. [slashdot.org]

Now add a camera... (2, Interesting)

Phat_Tony (661117) | more than 10 years ago | (#7274347)

Now add one of those cheap cordless X-10 video cameras to the RC car, and watch the video on the computer while you drive it around using the computer controls.

Have all your friends get these too, and set up a little race course. It'll be just like a first-person driving game, but you'll all have real little cars you're controlling.

- Phat Tony.

Did this... (2, Informative)

JMZero (449047) | more than 10 years ago | (#7274605)

Surprisingly not exciting.

If you do plan on doing it, you'll be happy to note that the X10 cameras run a long time off of a regular 9-volt battery. You'll be unhappy to note that the viewing angle on an X10 camera is far from perfect for driving.

Remote control plane? That's the ticket - and you can get a cheap RC plane for $60.

Re:Did this... (1)

Phat_Tony (661117) | more than 10 years ago | (#7275153)

Yeah, actually, I was sort of kidding, it just seemed like a funny idea. If you're all looking at your computer screens, using computer controls, it would probably be a lot cheaper, easier, and more fun to just play a computer racing game. Who cares if there are really little cars out there driving around or not? I suppose it could be more of a spectator sport that way.

I guess it might be interesting to try if I already had the stuff around, but it wouldn't be worth the money to get it. I'd rather buy Wipeout.

Do X-10 cameras actually have the range or frame rate to use them to pilot an RC plane?

-Phat Tony

RC plane mount (1)

JMZero (449047) | more than 10 years ago | (#7275295)

I've never tried an X10 camera on a plane - they're a little heavy (I've never bothered to disassemble one). The framerate should be fine - TV standard. The range on an X10 isn't spectacular, and degrades/chops with a moving source. Still, you'd get reasonable video if you kept the plane quite close. When I've done a plane mount, it's usually much more interesting to have a straight-down cam then a pilot cam - it would be hard to fly like this I'd think.

In any case, it's probably best to get a smaller, more efficient camera if you're actually going to try a plane mount.

Anyone... (1)

iCoach (658588) | more than 10 years ago | (#7274373)

...really want one of those micro racers to do this with? Or a micro tank that shoots pellets? (That gun has to be triggered by somethine, might as well be a joystick trigger)... Terrorize the office or the classroom with your laptop! -Coach

Re:Sig (1)

IamGarageGuy 2 (687655) | more than 10 years ago | (#7275157)

Being a goalie - I would sure like to see more people of your opinion. It would sure save a lot of hassle with the people that you have to demonstrate this effect on.

waste of time? (2, Interesting)

pdk (35280) | more than 10 years ago | (#7274397)

I'm glad to see we're hitting the bottom of the barrel today on news. I built a PC controlled RC car in highschool. gee, to think I could be famous for posting photos and a webpage about it RIGHT NOW.

Just a though... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7274456)

Any asshole with a wife and kids has no business playing with a fucking toy car.

Some people just shouldn't be allowed. . . (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 10 years ago | (#7274579)

to possess a hammer and nails at the same time.

KFG

Toy cars are good for you. Eat more! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7274597)

while you seat around playing with toys there are children startving.
How many children did YOU kill today?

Re:Toy cars are good for you. Eat more! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7274894)

while you seat around playing with toys there are children startving.
How many children did YOU kill today?


So what? *My* kids aren't starving. I never had any, because I don't need another pet, and it takes too long to make them into trained servants. I've never starved a kid unless you count not paying attention to them until they're old enough to hold a conversation.
Bitch at the parents who let their kids starve, bitch at the governments that hold food in warehouses to rot, blame profiteers who sell aid food for personal profit if you want. However, I don't accept any blame for that at all. Besides, if I couldn't afford to feed *myself*, why would I have kids? Do you believe people have a fundamental right to birth doomed children, and then try to make *me* feel guilty about it? If you can't feed the little pieces of shit, don't squeeze them out. Besides, if you don't have any food, you are better off trying to find some rather than getting laid anyhow. I've been hearing about starving children for years and years now, and the people keep having them. Sure, it's tragic, but perhaps you should be preaching for voluntary population limitation, because if it isn't done voluntarily in places where there's not enough to eat (or in populations which can't afford enough to eat), it will happen involuntarily. That's nature for you.

Re:Toy cars are good for you. Eat more! (1)

shawn(at)fsu (447153) | more than 10 years ago | (#7274966)

You know someone said the same thing to me when she saw my anti-CSS/deCSS source code T-shirt back in college. It didn't bother me then and it sure doesn't bother me now.

I didn't kill any children today thank you. Actually I think I probably saved children today... Congress appropriated $4.696 billion for WIC in FY 2003. (That's from the WIC FAQ)

BTW you need to use sit ! seat & starving ! startving.

How about Counter-Strike? (1)

supersmike (563905) | more than 10 years ago | (#7274599)

I would kill for something like this with Counter-Strike. Finally all those hours I spend could be put to exercise AND fragging. The ideal rig would make it possible to do all the basic movements- run, walk, strafe, crouch, jump, etc.

Re:How about Counter-Strike? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7275908)

I remember seeing something not entirely unlike that at ECTS a few years ago. There was a guy kick boxing on this mat with these sensors on posts for arm movements. It seemed pretty good. They also had real modified M-16s that had been rigged up to be computer arcade guns via USB. An intracte combination of the two perhaps........

Makes me think... (1)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 10 years ago | (#7274602)

Remember that missions from GTA with RC cars? Humm.....

Computer R/c car vs Human controlled (1)

zymano (581466) | more than 10 years ago | (#7274607)

It would be interesting pitting a electric or gas powered R/c car controlled by a human vs a computer controlled car on one of those RC racing tracks.

Design changes (2, Interesting)

JMZero (449047) | more than 10 years ago | (#7274655)

I've found it's a lot quicker to build this kind of thing using relays for the switching. It means you don't have to do any thinking, and the switching speed is certainly fast enough for the application. I still used transistors to fire the relays - but it's still an extremely quick project.

Using relays also means the project can be re-used with different hardware much more easily - just change what's hooked up to the relays.

I also recommend the "UserPort" driver, which simply yields parallel port control to userland applications. Much simpler than monkeying about with special drivers.

similar idea (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7274694)

I've been thinking about this for a while. With a Single Board Computer and a SV203 Board from Pontech (as listed on the palm pliot robot kit site) you could have some fun with this kind of thing. I would like to find a way of using the real RC controller to still drive it, but a Zaurus and WiFi would work good too :)
The thought of driving it around the parkign lot, then hitting a repeat button and watching it do teh same moves on it's own would be fun...not too mention all the possibilities of cameras and "defensive" programming/hardware :)

taking the idea further (2, Funny)

fikx (704101) | more than 10 years ago | (#7274911)

I've always wanted to replace the normal RC signal with WiFi. I can picture the robot battle craze moving to a standardized battle field where the people battling sit down at a standardized terminal and control RC mechs to fight with. using WiFi, you could build your own mechs as long as they could be controlled via WiFi. the battle field just has a wireless cloud over it. 'course, there's always the cool factor of having to log into and secure your mech before battle :)

Re:taking the idea further (2, Interesting)

X-rated Ouroboros (526150) | more than 10 years ago | (#7275668)

Funny you should mention that.
There are several robotics projects out there that use PDAs for processing and control functions. Just get a wireless enabled PDA.

A friend and I have ripped apart a couple RC cars for this sort of thing. Instead of hooking the remote up to a parallel port, though, we hooked it up to a Basic Stamp. Been talking about hooking it up to a serial/parallel port just so we don't have to program in PBASIC anymore.

Also talking about duct taping the hacked remote to the RC car and then adding various sensor inputs to the basic stamp. Oh, and the rotating knives... but that's another matter. Just your basic programmable autonomous robot for considerably less than many of the kits out there.

All this time I've been using DDR pads for DDR?? (2, Interesting)

burbs (225769) | more than 10 years ago | (#7275117)

Though the pads are somewhat worn out, it is good to know that I have something to attempt in the near future.

But on a more serious note... could this have real-world applications in the future for someone who didn't have arms or hands? Could this, later on down the road, evolve into a foot-controlled robot that did basic tasks for those that needed it?

goatse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7275336)

and another way to pretend that reading Slashdot may eventually lead to body movement.

You mean in addition to the motion induced by reading the various posts with goatse references?

Read his "robot tag" report (1)

Hecatonchires (231908) | more than 10 years ago | (#7276693)

very funny

http://techhouse.brown.edu/~neel/robot_tag.pdf

An even better idea! (2, Funny)

Hershmire (41460) | more than 10 years ago | (#7276784)

Instead of a DDR pad, use a wireless joypad. Then you can follow the car around!

Wait...

It's a Visual C++ binary with no source code? (2, Funny)

aphor (99965) | more than 10 years ago | (#7277310)

This software will probably scrape your hard drive for email addresses and then spam them with your return address, install a DDoS slave and invoke the return of Zuul, Queen of Gozer.

Seriously, you have to download and install the program, then *two* drivers, and tell me (wise ones) you're not nervous about this?

Our wireless RC car (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7277416)

Hi all, just to show you our wireless RC car that we did at university. Just follow this link. This page is in construction, but there's the block diagram and somes pictures.

www3.sympatico.ca/jmbouffard

See ya
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