Wired Joystick Controller With Arduino

A project log for Sawppy the Rover

Motorized model of Mars rovers Curiosity and Perseverance For Under $500

rogerRoger 05/24/2019 at 00:372 Comments

As a presenter it was great to see the wealth of information provided by Maker Faire Bay Area organizers. It is clearly the compilation of many years of experience and lessons learned. One item caught my eye: anyone using wireless communication should have a contingency plan in case wireless fails.

I've definitely encountered this before with SGVHAK Rover and Sawppy on the standard 2.4GHz WiFi band. So far I've been able to avoid most problems by adding a dual-band router and moving up to the 5 GHz band, but in a large event like the flagship Maker Faire, even that might not be enough.

So as part of my Maker Faire prep work, I designed and built a wired joystick controller with an Arduino as the microprocessor. When active, it replaces the Raspberry Pi and wireless router on board Sawppy. This also serves as a lower-cost alternative to rover builders or those who like the thought of walking their rovers on a leash.

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Quinn Morley wrote 05/26/2019 at 01:51 point

More stuff of yours for me to copy and use! yay!!

Seriously though, this is great. It shouldn't be too crazy to adapt the steering to work with my geared steppers. 

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Roger wrote 05/26/2019 at 08:15 point

I'm happy to hear you are going to copy and use it! I wrote it with different drive mechanisms in mind for rovers like yours. LewanSoul servo code are placed in #ifdef LEWANSOUL blocks and can easily be swapped out for different motors like yours.

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