ArduIMU Crawler


It's getting cold and I'm limited by space to fly and money to repair crashes, so I'm going to feed all my toy-wants by starting off with an AGV, and using the knowledge and experience to make liftoff next spring smoother than would otherwise be.
I already tried using a Traxxas Rustler, but keeping control at low speeds and preventing motor overheats was an issue, so...browse....browse...browse....ah-ha!


What better vehicle to accidently go off-roading with at low speeds than a rock-crawler?! :-)

Kit form - No electronics - $150


Basic crawler ESC and Motor installed: $130-ish

What I had on hand: Arduino Nano V3 and breakout board

Purpose: Main Processing

Servo Control

IR Distance measurement using a Sharp GP2D15 on a pan/tilt

What I bought: ArduIMU+ V2 Flat, and HMC5843 - Triple Axis Magnetometer

Purpose: Rollover warning, impact sensing, heading input, turn-rate input, future GPS

The CreepyAGV V1.0

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  • In industrial variable speed drives, yes. With RC stuff, not yet.
  • No autonomy here but have been running an xcrawler for over a year with a similar project. Low CG, locked differentials, great axle articulation and yes, "very linear" in accel/decel. The main plate twists with the suspension under torque so I'm adding gyro servo to tilt of camera. That might help you when the camera comes.
    Crawlers are great!
    See photo below:

  • i am building a very tightly packed air system with two ESC's, and have often thought about how electrically noisy they will be... have you ever had issues with ESC causing interference?
  • Re: Static... I actually hadn't thought about that. So far, it hasn't been an issue, but the shielding from the motor/ESC noise might be a good preventative measure as well.

    No camera or wireless yet. The camera will come eventually, but the wireless is coming soon so that I can also do remote programming, rather than worrying about it tripping on its USB shoelaces, and ripping things that shouldn't be ripped.
  • Does it have a camera? or a wireless link?
  • very nice! watch out for static charges in the tupperware though!!... i just touched an old high-voltage gauge that was lying around... the needed jumped to 2KV just by touching the disconnected gauge... so if i were you i would try adding some grounding. possibly some aluminum ducting tape? its also good for noise shielding
    just a thought! looks great though!!!
  • "SnapWare" from Canadian Tire
  • Kind of random, but what is the name brand of the "tupperware" that you used for the enclosure?
  • Crawlers are geared high for torque, so its top speed right now is less than a regular walking speed.
    The motor is either a 50-turn or 55-turn, running on a 6-cell NiMH pack.
    Unlike the Rustler where, as you increase throttle slowly, the car goes nowhere, nowhere, nowhere, suddenly starts to accelerate, the crawler seems very linear.
  • Can you drive it "slow"?
    What motor(s) do you use?
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