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Arduino Vehicle Platform Introduction

Arduino Vehicle Platform Introduction



if you're looking for the rest of the videos in this series please go to Eli the computer guy comm to see my full catalog of videos welcome back so one of the coolest projects you can do with Arduino is creating autonomous vehicles and remotely controlled vehicles no matter how old you are right now I'm 42 it's still really cool to build little vehicles right doesn't matter what age you are whether you're 5 years old or 45 years old playing with little toy cars is always really cool now one of the important things that you have to remember whenever you're dealing with Arduino projects is that you get to build the Arduino projects out of almost anything that you want so it's important to understand when you're dealing with Arduino it's not like Legos right if you go out and you build something with Legos or let's say erector sets then they give you exactly what you need in order to build whatever project it is that you're going to be creating when you go out to create Arduino projects and especially with Arduino vehicles the important thing to understand is that you have a whole smorgasbord of different vehicle platforms you can use in order to build your vehicles and all of these different vehicle platforms have their benefits and have their downsides so you have teeny tiny little vehicle platforms like this from DF robot that are really cool because they're really small and they're really really agile they can do a lot of cool stuff but they're also teeny tiny and literally it's they're almost too small to even put a a standard Arduino Uno board on much less if you want to put a whole array of sensors you can go with something like this this is a larger vehicle platform the issue with this though is that this is going to burn through a lot of electricity so if you're using batteries in order to move this thing around this is going to drain your batteries much faster than something that's a little bit smaller so when you're going to go when you're going to start thinking about creating your Arduino vehicle projects it is important that you give a real consideration to the vehicle platform that you will be using because there are upsides and downsides to all of these different platforms and they're just there are just a ton of them out there so I'm gonna show you four different vehicle platforms that I've personally used today and I will give you the benefits and the drawbacks of these platforms so with that let's go over the workbench so I can give you a little bit closer look at these different vehicle platforms so this is a rather standard four-wheel-drive vehicle platform this one in particular comes from saying smart but there's a whole ton of clones that more or less look and operate exactly like this platform so with this you can see you've got four four electric motors in here they're connected to four very large tires and this platform itself is nice and large so this is the size of the adrenal board so obviously with something of this size you can put a whole bunch of different sensors on here you can put a whole bunch of different boards and so when you have something of this size you are not going to to find any issues with space you can put almost anything you want on to this so the good part about it is this gives you a whole bunch of space the other nice part is since it has four motors and it has these nice big tires this can get over most types of terrain now it may seem a little funny but honestly when you're in your house if you have something like shag carpeting shag carpeting can be difficult for some of these vehicle platforms so have something having a vehicle platform with these types of tires with these four relatively strong motors this will be able to get over most obstacles or most most things within your environment the downside though the downside is is with these very large thick tires and these motors is it is going to drain your batteries very quickly so with these Arduino projects one of the cool things is even with the little vehicles you can use something like a 9-volt battery to to charge for the entire project so the Arduino board everything else the issue is if you're going to use a vehicle like this you are going to drain those battery with a maybe 10 minutes now if you're using something like rechargeable like lithium-ion batteries so I like using these little rechargeable battery packs that's not necessarily a big deal one of the issues though one of the issues I ran into was when I first started with these projects I would use the batteries that I think it's the double-a batteries that they told you to use so like with this particular kit it actually comes with a little battery holder battery connector that allows you to connect six double-a batteries it powers this platform very nicely but you've literally run through six double-a batteries in about you know ten minutes so if you're not expecting it and if you're not thinking about it using a platform like this can get very expensive very quickly if you're using standard acid type batteries again like 9-volt batteries double A batteries something like that because again it just drains so much electricity so the benefit of a platform like this is that you can go go over most terrain you're gonna get in like residential a normal environments it's very very powerful you're not gonna have any issues but it's gonna drain electricity very quickly so then you go over and you take a look at something like this so this is really nice and this is nice and small very very maneuverable and does not burn electricity as quickly again if you look at the motors on here so you can see these teeny tiny motors so look at those teeny tiny motors compared to the motors and gearboxes and the larger one so this doesn't burn nearly as much electricity the other nice part is what this has is this has two wheels and then it basically has ball bearings so what this allows is this allows again for it to be very very very very maneuverable the good part about this is it doesn't run through electricity and nearly as quickly and is incredibly agile so depending on what you're doing so if you're going to be doing something like you want to create projects on the tabletop so let's say you want to start teaching classes for let's say a church group or a Boy Scout or Girl Scout group or something like that and you want to be able to create vehicles that'll move around and do things but you want them confined to a tabletop then something of this size might be very good for you the issue they're going to run into though is simply the fact that it's a small size so again this is a standard Arduino board these are the holes that put the screw things I put for the standard Arduino board and so what you can tell is you put a standard Arduino board on this little platform and you're already starting to run out of space if you want to put multiple sensors if you want to put different things on this particular platform if you're gonna have issues again even something like a battery so so again I know my power my vehicles with lower chargeable battery packs is a standard one that I use and I mean you literally like no seriously I mean one of the issues you get into is literally where do you even put a battery about something like this so this is cool because it won't go through as much electricity doesn't need as much power very flexible but it is obviously very small then you can go to something like this so this is kind of a hybrid this is kind of a hybrid between that large vehicle and that small vehicle so you'll notice it has two wheels and then on the bottom where the third wheel would go is just this kind of nub here so it's not a wheel it's not a ball bearing it's just kind of enough so the good part about this is you're only powering two wheels so you don't burn as much electricity as with the larger one and it's a nice large platform again you take an Arduino board you put it here to put your batteries you can put a whole bunch of stuff on here and you can create a pretty good vehicle get lots of sensors everything else one of the issues the one of the downsides with this that you have to think about is this little nub now if you're going to be running this on linoleum floor if you're gonna be running on this again on something like a table then this little nub won't matter again it will it won't Mar up the table it won't Mar up your linoleum floor but basically you need something smooth to run it on to be clear this little nub if you put this on any kind of carpet it's essentially going to end up being an anchor and it's not going to be able to move anywhere or it's going to have a very difficult time anywhere so that's something to think about there but this particular one this is very good all around a platform and a lot of ways you just have to realize you can't use it on carpet and really anywhere anywhere that there's no of a Kent you may run into problems again even something like a hardwood floor so if you have hardwood floors that have bumps or little spaces little gaps between the boards anything that might catch this will cause you issues for your project so that's something to think about the the model the model of platform that I prefer and again just to be clear when I say I prefer it there's those and those and you know here's another one and another one and another one and another one so when I say that I like this particular platform yeah but this actually comes from a tech and again I like it a lot one of the things I like about this particular platform is that it comes with not just not just the frame but it also comes with the motors for the wheels it comes with the wheels and it comes with this controller so this controller is a little bit special compared to other traffic controllers so normally if you're going to be moving a vehicle around you'll use either a motor module again this is a pretty large size or a motor shield it's kind of cool here is this tiny little module here turns your motors into what are called continuous servo motors so basically it makes these motors seem to the Arduino board as if they're continuous servo motors with allows is it allows for a little bit more precision when I'm controlling motors and one of the things that I like is that this particular module is very small again even a motor module which is relatively small is this size if you look at this you've just got this tiny little module here one of the things I like about this platform is you get the wheels you get this the the servo continuous servo motor module you get the wheels you get the platform and get the whole nine yards and so with this what you see is you have a double-decker configuration so that is something useful so basically with this what you can do is you can put the the Arduino board on top again the controller for the motors is on the bottom and when I want to power this I just take one of my little batteries and literally shove in here from this point I can put sensors on the front I can put some sensors on the side if I want to depending on how I have the battery I can even put sensors on the back it's a little bit small I mean to be clear to be clear let's let's suppose to be frank I mean it's not not this if you take a look at it it is definitely smaller than that this large platform but the nice part is is this gives me a size that allows me to do everything that I want it to do and one of the things I like about it too is that these motors really don't drain very much electricity again you can see that they're relatively small so a single battery pack like this will actually be able to power this thing for a little while now I wanted to downsize though there is a downside in this particular model if you buy the three wheel model is that you have this what is called a caster wheel in the front now it's curious about this caster wheel is what's supposed to happen is when you move forward it goes to this position and then when you move backwards it goes to this position and then when you turn it's supposed to move now what I'll say is as with everything with technology it's a post it's opposed to very very very easily move one of the issues that you do run into sometimes is this there's not enough pressure on the caster wheel even if it's going in a straight direction sometimes this caster wheel will be a little bit off and then what happens what happens there is then that starts acting like a rudder as far as this vehicle is concerned and so especially if you're trying to do any fine motor work or if you need the vehicle to go straight so let's say you want a vehicle that literally will go straight and then we'll take a hard left or a hard right this may not be for you because a lot of times again the caster wheel even if it's a little bit off that starts pushing the the vehicle and direction or the other and so you can run into some problems what I personally do since I do own so many of these particular models is if I need a vehicle to be more precise I actually just put making us a four-wheel platform and I put the motors and another set of wheels in the front with another controller and then I'll make it a four-wheel platform but this is one of those things that you have to be thinking about so like with this you know this three wheel thing you have the caster that can end up being a rudder as far as your vehicle is concerned whereas again with this particular model you've had this little nub which will then grip into to carpet and cause you problems so those are the types of little things that you need to be thinking about with your vehicle seems it seems very simple right when you think about it's like okay I need a way to control the motors I need the motors I need the wheels I need the Arduino and then I write the code but again depending on what you're doing if your vehicle starts veering off in one direction or the other that may end up causing you a lot of problems the same is true with electricity consumption and all that so these are just some of the different platforms and that are available and just some things to be thinking about when you create your Arduino vehicle so those are some things to be thinking about when you go to build your Arduino vehicle project again things to be thinking about is the electricity consumption what what type of terrain the vehicle can go over again something like this this is greatness he can go over grass this can go on sand this can go on most you know reasonable environments let's not be ridiculous but the issue that you're gonna be running into is it's just going to burn through batteries where again something like this is really cool because uh it doesn't even require very much electricity it is very very agile but you know the entire thing is about the size of Arduino board so really you know you gotta be thinking about if you want to put four or five or ten the sensors on to you are doing a vehicle this isn't going to be the one for you again even the one that I prefer this particular is again this one's from fie tech I like it for a lot of things but one of the issues that you run into is that this caster wheel it does most of the time when it's going straight for whatever the reason cast a real wheel isn't isn't specifically straight and so it'll start pushing or pulling in one direction or the other and so these are some of those things that you have to be thinking about when you're going to go out and build your Arduino vehicle project now when you're looking at price of these things they're all again for the whole platform with the wheels with the motors all of that you're looking generally somewhere between I would say about fifteen to forty dollars now that's the important thing to be thinking about is whenever you're going to create a vehicle is you need you need the frame you need the frame so everything is going to attach to it you need the motors of some sort you need the wheels of some sort and then you're going to need how you're actually going to control the motors again that's what I like with feet Tek it comes with this this particular controller you may need a motor module or you need may need a motor shield too depending on what you're doing so so that's something to be thinking about but if you look at it as far as price is concerned with these feet X here I get them from amazon.com there's different people who sell them different sellers generally this cost me between seventeen to twenty dollars a piece forever for everything included again basically depending on the day and the availability now if you look at something like this this is actually from DF robot they gave that it gave this to me as a sample unit and I recall this cost thirty five dollars now is important to understand so this comes with the frame this comes with the motors this comes with the wheels but it doesn't come with the controller it doesn't come with a motor module or a motor shield or the servo thing so if you purchase this it's $35 plus however you're going to drive the motors this this is a nice little frame here I got this from Micro Center so that's a local computer shop that has a lot of these things this I think I purchased for $20 so with that you get the two motors the two wheels you get the frame again you also do not get the motor module or the motor shield so many think about there this this is from sane smart I think I also purchase this from Micro Center and as I recall this came in a kit fifty dollars I was not the happiest for it but basically with this particular kit this actually came with everything so it came with the four-wheel drive vehicle it came with a motor module it came with a sane smart mega board it came with a ultrasonic proximity detector and it came with a few other things so with this basically you got this as a full package you're supposed to just assemble it put it together the one warning I'm a little nervous when I say this one worrying that it will give you whenever you buy full kits for things like Arduino is that many times when you buy the full kit you don't get everything included and the instructions are really horrible and you get really frustrated and kind of want to throw it through the wall so again I did buy this as a sane smart that I purchased with my own money my kit about it as a kit you know a year and a half ago when I was learning first learning about Arduino and it was incredibly frustrating the instructions were garbage I don't think all the parts were included even when you went to look for the documentation the documentation that they had wasn't for this particular vehicle literally you would go and you would look at the documentation for what you think you bought and it'll be really cool this just wasn't this so that is something to be careful about if you buy a vehicle kit is you may not get everything that you're supposed to get and the very easy family-friendly child friendly instructions may not be nearly as easy as you think so overall this ended up being a good value because all of the components together was worth more than I paid for it the actual vehicle project itself was was a bit of a nightmare so anyways those are some of the things to be thinking about with these vehicle platforms a lot of people when they go into Arduino one of the reasons they go into Arduino is to save money the nice thing with Arduino is that it is relatively low cost but this is one of those situations where if you're going to be dealing with Arduino projects it will be wise to budget for multiple vehicle types again this is the vehicle type that I normally use but depending on what I'm doing it's nice having this one hand it's nice having this one and it's nice having this one and it's nice being able to use these different vehicle platforms to see how the vehicle will function in different ways being able to add sensors so on and so forth so those are some considerations for when you're looking to go out there and build your own Arduino project as always it was enjoyable to do this video I don't look forward to seeing it at the next one please go to Eli the computer guy comm and failed normal comm to see the videos that are too dangerous for YouTube

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