The path to an Off Road Robot – Our last two projects – The Spinel Crux V1 and The Spinel Crux L2 have been Revolutionary success with in and outside our community. We built a gesture controlled robot and we made an addon – a robotic arm and fixed on top of it. Our project secured first position in various competitions, and found its way on front pages of various magazines.
This time, we decided to make our hands dirty. We build an Off Road 4 Wheel Drive Robot, which can travel through rough terrain and can be remotely controlled using a mobile phone or a laptop.
Behold, The Badland Brawler
An Amazing Off Road Robot using Arduino.This one is WiFi Controlled which means it can be controlled from anywhere with WiFi connectivity. This one have strong ripped tyres which enables him to crawl through any kind of terrain.
Here is a demo video of the badland brawler to a get a taste of it.
Click the Subscribe YouTube button below for Complete Tutorial
(Coming Soon). In this video series, we will explain everything about this Off Road 4 Wheel Drive remote control robot, controlling it with the Android smart phone/laptop and will show you how to make a Badland brawler robot yourself.
How to make your own Off Road Rough Terrain 4 Wheel Drive Robot?
Saw the demo video? Really like this Badland Brawler? Wanna build this bad ass off road 4 wheel drive RC Rock Crawler Robot?
Let us dive into the robotics tutorial section below and start building it. For your convenience, We will be dividing this post into various steps and make this robotics tutorial easy to follow and troubleshoot.
We will provide you with the design, code of the RC Monster Truck and links to all the products used in this project including this cool robot kit.
Get Your Components
Click on them to purchase from amazon
- Arduino MKR 1000 or Any WiFi supported Arduino Board
- A 12V Battery
- DC motors
- 4 Wheel Drive Off Road RC Rock Crawler Robot Chassis
- L293D Motor Driver IC
- An Android Phone with RootSaid – WiFi Command Center installed
- A WiFi network
Getting Started with Robotics?
Want to learn Robotics from Scratch? Here is an awesome guide for you to get started with robotics (Free Video Tutorials Included).
WiFi Robot using Arduino
Step 1 – 4 Wheel Drive RC Rock Crawler Chassis – DIY Smart Robot Kit
The chassis I used for making this 4 wheel drive off road robot is really something I should talk about. I got this amazing kit banggood.com. They provide so many types of robot frames, motors and almost all the sensors for doing Arduino, raspberry pi and other electronics and hobby projects in your home. You will get all these things for a cheap price with really fast and quality shipping.
Another thing about this kit is they provide all the tools you need to assemble the frame together. This is made of strong and light weight aluminum alloy. This is a closed type of chassis so that you can enclose and protect all the components/boards/sensors within the frame itself.
The mud tires are strong and ripped and provide great friction between the tire and the ground which enables this RC Rock Crawler to climb through rough and slippery dirt roads or rocks without much effort. Kind of like an RC monster truck. Wait. It is an RC Monster Truck.
Get your DIY Robot Kit From BangGood
Chassis Kit Assembly Video
Step 2 – Power Source
Here, we need to power up all the motors via L293D/L298N motor driver and our Arduino board with WiFi connectivity at the same time. Since we have 4 DC motors with mud tires attached to it, we need a powerful source which can discharge a considerable amount of current. So, I decided to move forward with a 12V LiPo battery. We can provide 12 V directly to the L298N motor driver Board.
Powering Arduino depends up on the type of the board you are using. Here I am using an Arduino MKR1000 which can withstand a maximum of 5V in its Vin pin. If I am connecting this 12 V directly, it will fry the chip. So, I used a voltage regulator to step down the voltage to 5V before feeding it to Arduino. You can Purchase your Lithium Polymer Battery From Here.
Step 3 – Arduino and DC Motor
In the RC Rock Crawler chassis assembly section, we connected the mud tires to the DC motors. Now we will drive the mud tires. You can easily drive the DC motors (and the mud tires) using a simple H Bridge circuit or a motor driver board. In this project, I will be using Dual H Bridge Motor Driver IC – L293D/L298N which enables you to control two sets of DC motors at the same time.For more details on driving DC motors using L293D IC click here.
Get your L293D Driver Board
Step 4 – The Arduino
The mud tires of our RC Rock Climber are now connected the L293D. Now let us connect the motor driver board to our Arduino.
You can use any 4 of the GPIO pins and connect it to L298N. In my RC Monster Truck, I am using Pin 33 and 11 for enable pins, 13 and 15 for Motor 1 and Motor 3 and 29 and 31 for motor 2 and motor 4.
Motor 1 (Mud Tire 1) and Motor 3 (Mud Tire 3)
In 1 – GPIO 10
In 2 – GPIO 11
Motor 2 (Mud Tire 2) and Motor 4 (Mud Tire 4)
In 3 – GPIO 12
In 4 – GPIO 13
Step 5 – Connect RC Monster Truck to The Network
As mentioned earlier, this RC Monster truck is controlled using Android Smart phone using WiFi. This is similar to our WiFi Robot using Arduino which I published a month ago. Inorder to control our robot, the RC rock crawler should be connected to an active WiFi network. You can either use your home WiFi network or, like I did, you can create a hotspot on your smart phone.
Step 6 – Coding the RC Rock Crawler
Download the below code to your Badland Brawler Off-road Robot.
Connect your Arduino board to your PC. Once you finish downloading the code, open it using Arduino IDE. There you have to make a small change in the below code
char ssid = "RootSaid"; //WiFi Network Name char pass = "WiFi Password"; //WiFi Network Password
Here SSID is the name of the WiFi network you are planning to connect your Badland Brawler. and Pass is the variable that stores the password of the WiFi network.
Once that is done, click on tools, choose the right port and board and click on upload button. .
Once the code is uploaded, fire up the serial monitor. This will show you the IP Address of your WiFi RC Monster Truck in the WiFi network.
Step 8 – Install RootSaid WiFi Command Center from Google PlayStore
Thats it!! All the hard work is done. That wasnt so hard, was it? Now all you have to do is download and install an App from playstore.
RootSaid WiFi Command Center is an android mobile phone app that can be used to control robots as well as home appliances over WiFi.
All you have to do is start the App, enter the IP address and Port of the listener (the Arduino board of your RC Monster Truck), go the Robot Controller tab and control it using the arrow button in your android smart phone.
Click Here to Download this app to your phone from Playstore.
Step 9 – Start
BadLand Brawler is now set and ready to go.
Now all you have to do is fire up the App in your android smart phone, enter the IP address of the robot and port it is listening to.
Load the IP and Port using the link button and navigate to the Robot Controller Tab.
Now you can control your RC Off Road Robot by simply pressing the forward, backward, left and right buttons in your android smart phone.
This is not over yet. We are now adding Addons such as servo motors and sensors to this Off Road bot and we are making more powerful and intelligent.
Here is a list of Cool Raspberry Pi projects you can do.
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