The Mantis is here... (which is an off-roading, Netduino, remote controlled, with Cam, robocar)


Remote control cars are cool, but I want to see what the car is seeing, as if I was in the drivers seat. And I want it to be an uber-off-road capable car. And I want to build it myself. And I want to be able to control it from any Wi-Fi capable device. And I want to run C# on it...

I guess what I want is just what Chris at Secret Labs LLC gave us this heads-up about...

Open Source Robot Controls

I’ve been playing around with some ideas for an Arduino/Netduino robot control system the past few months. I knew that I wanted to be able to control my robots from an Android phone, PC, or any other WiFi enabled device. I also knew that I wanted the system to be small and simplistic, but also powerful and extensible. The reason I went with an Arduino (Ethernet Pro) or a Netduino Plus for the controller was the low cost, ease of programming, and the embedded ethernet port. I coupled the onboard ethernet with a wireless router so that I could connect and transmit data to the robot wirelessly. Here are the results of our first robot build with this system. The robot was affectionately named Mantis.


from Vimeo.

As for all of the parts we used in the video, here’s all of the basics you’ll need to get your control system off the ground:

1. Ethernet Pro or Netduino Plus ($55-60)

2. Screw Shield ($15)

2. Wireless Router ($30-50)

3. 40A Speed Controllers ($90 ea) (can substitute lower current controllers for smaller motors)

4. Spike Relay ($35) (optional – useful for switching headlights or other 12v accessories)

4. 5V Power Regulator ($15)

5. Ethernet Cable, PWM Cables, Power Cable (~$20)

6. Battery Terminals ($5)

7. Main Power Breaker ($30)

8. Fuse Block ($15)

9. 12V Battery ($100-$200)


Now all I need is to put a seat on it for my dog and I'll be in viral video heaven!  Tongue Out

Here’s a few more links you might find interesting:

The Discussion

  • User profile image
    Ed Burns

    Awesome stuff! Can't wait till I get to play around with Netduino. Please more videos about Netduino!

  • User profile image

    I love this rc/robot. That's a great platform too. Thanks for the parts breakdown.

  • User profile image
    Scott Brady

    Great Robot. Just Curious as to why you used a wireless router and not use a wireless breakout board. I ask because I am planning on building a r/c robot and I am presently looking at netuino and some form of XBEE wireless board.



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