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Thread: Student Project II (finding the parts)

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    Student Project II (finding the parts)

    Does anyone know where I can find RC cars to build a robot car with ?
    I am looking for a pickup style kind of truck, but a preferably more realistic than
    the toy/transformer style kind of trucks I see when I search with google?

    Ron

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    Re: Student Project II (finding the parts)

    I can't recommend it yet, but I have an RC truck on the way here right now, specifically to answer your question - I ordered it a few days ago off of eBay. New/Surplus. It's actually gihugic - I think it was 1/4 scale, but the one I found might be 1/6 scale, I remember it was like 30" long, and would do like 15mph on the flat. Anyway, there's a bunch of them on eBay. My goal was to present you a solution in a few days that was under $100 - but you pushed my hand.

    Let me see if I can find a picture. They had some others too... If you can wait a few days, I'll be able to report back.

    Ahh, here we go. 28" long, 10" wide, 10" tall. Two speed gear-box. 7" real rubber tires. $65 shipped, new, old-stock. They apparently have more, as do other sellers, ranging from $45-$105.

    I hesitate to post the search strategy or sellers until I confirm that they're useful.

    I think it otherwise meets your criteria, see what you think?




  3. #3

    Re: Student Project II (finding the parts)

    That looks awesome !! I think I can build a complete computercenter or cluster in the back of that thing. They look really neat too. (Heck I might even get two of them)

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    Re: Student Project II (finding the parts)

    Yeah, you could practically build a datacenter in there.

    I'm hoping to get a miniITX or at least a picoITX or two into it, a servo controller, and a couple A/D boards, maybe an Arduino or two for preprocessing. Add a video camera or two.

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    Re: Student Project II (finding the parts)

    Hmm... looks like it cost $65 too... Doesn't look like something that will hold up well to student abuse.

    Now, I don't know about everyone else, but I would look at a minimum for something like the Traxxas Stampede. I have the old one which apparently was discontinued. However, I can vouch for their toughness.... any platform that can jump six feet in the air, repeatedly land on random sides, and keep doing it again and again... well, lets just say it can take what students can give out. I did have the larger Emaxx for a while too, and that was even tougher.

    So I would urge you to take a look at the Stampede and other real R/C chassis.

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    Re: Student Project II (finding the parts)

    Thanks, Sienna. We went over the Stampede and Emaxx in another thread. Alas, he didn't like the size or look. We even chatted again about 'em today.

    These ones I found are apparently pretty tough from all reviews elsewhere - kid-tough, which may be tougher than college-kid-tough.

    I'll keep everyone posted... Where ya' been hiding out? Missed you around here!

  7. #7

    Re: Student Project II (finding the parts)

    Quote Originally Posted by Sienna View Post
    Hmm... looks like it cost $65 too... Doesn't look like something that will hold up well to student abuse.

    Now, I don't know about everyone else, but I would look at a minimum for something like the Traxxas Stampede. I have the old one which apparently was discontinued. However, I can vouch for their toughness.... any platform that can jump six feet in the air, repeatedly land on random sides, and keep doing it again and again... well, lets just say it can take what students can give out. I did have the larger Emaxx for a while too, and that was even tougher.

    So I would urge you to take a look at the Stampede and other real R/C chassis.
    Hi Sienna

    The (this) robot is not going to be used in a class setting, but in a extracurricular 'interest group'.
    So it's going to be 'their thing' and it probably won't be abused like regular equipment.

    I like it because it looks realistic (real looking things potentially attract better future funding than transformer style projects). Also I discussed the model with Adrenalynn a bit. There is a lot of room available to cramp/hide a bunch of electronics and sensors etc in and still have a clean look.

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    Re: Student Project II (finding the parts)

    Ok, sorry! I will butt out then. I must have missed the vehicle part in the last thread, sorry. Actually, no I wont*

    My concerns aren't really about student abuse, but student error. No one is perfect, and hence we will make errors. Those errors could cause things to happen like the vehicle heading full speed into the wall. Its not intentional, just happens. (I have had my robot kick itself off the table a couple of times because of programming errors)


    *Have you considered RC tanks? The only reason I ask is because making planning software for an Ackerman steered vehicle is a lot harder then making planning software for a differential / skid steered platform. The 1/24 scale tank I bought is a little too small for anything but an atmel, so I just placed a bid on a 1/12th scale tank :P I have even seen cheap tanks as large as 1/6th scale. These cheap tanks would be less rugged then the truck, but potentially easier to program.

  9. #9

    Re: Student Project II (finding the parts)

    Quote Originally Posted by Sienna View Post
    Ok, sorry! I will butt out then. I must have missed the vehicle part in the last thread, sorry. Actually, no I wont*

    My concerns aren't really about student abuse, but student error. No one is perfect, and hence we will make errors. Those errors could cause things to happen like the vehicle heading full speed into the wall. Its not intentional, just happens. (I have had my robot kick itself off the table a couple of times because of programming errors)


    *Have you considered RC tanks? The only reason I ask is because making planning software for an Ackerman steered vehicle is a lot harder then making planning software for a differential / skid steered platform. The 1/24 scale tank I bought is a little too small for anything but an atmel, so I just placed a bid on a 1/12th scale tank :P I have even seen cheap tanks as large as 1/6th scale. These cheap tanks would be less rugged then the truck, but potentially easier to program.
    No no no, please do 'butt in', it's a forum I can use any opinions I can get. (Are you in education too ?)


    I do understand that things might break because of student error etc. That is why I probably buy two vehicles, if superglue doesn't do the trick anymore I will still have parts from a crashed truck that can be used on the working one. Besides, teh vehicle itself is not that expensive compared to the electronics etc that go into it. Also, it is probably going to be a bit larger project than just 'make it work' (the 3 Asimov laws could/should be in there for example). Adrenalynn and I already discussed several ideas/options for kill switches.

    Did I consider RC tanks. Uhm I work at a liberal arts college, somehow I think it might be easier for me to get money for another RC pickup truck/car because I/we/they crashed the first one we bought than getting funding to buy the an RC tank in the first place.
    I can see that it might be easier to program it, but the project doesn't have to be easy. (But than again it also doesn't have to be mission impossible either.)

    This extra curricular project is more like an 'ongoing extracurricular undergraduate research project' it is supposed to be not too easy. (of course they are undergraduate students, so it also doesn't need to qualify for being taken on the next mars expedition).

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    Re: Student Project II (finding the parts)

    I can't see why tanks and liberal arts don't mix!

    Seriously though, I wouln't worry about Asimov's laws. They are flawed from a human centric view. I think getting the truck to map and navigate a room will be enough of a challege.

    You should have your students look at the DARPA Grand Challenge entries. I believe all of the competitors have to disclose how their entries work in order to enter. So, I think it should provide a wealth of information for your students.

    The one other platform I might suggest...
    The Tamiya 56307 panel van. Not only do they look real, these things can haul. (I have a full semi, the trailer can take like 16 or so (full) cans of soda and the truck still runs fine!) What I am trying to say, these things have plenty of cargo space to hide gel cells, itx boards, what have you.

    And its good that you and Andrenalynn are talking about e-stops and such already!

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