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Adding RC to a self balancing scooter/hoverboard.

Lukeshoe1993

Aug 7, 2018
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I'm in the (very) initial stages of building a remote controlled Camera Dolly and wanted to enquire as to the feasibility of modifying an off the shelf self balancing scooter/hoverboard (see attached).

I understand that the motors used in these devices are hub motors and provide a decent amount of torque in a very compact footprint, which is ideal for my purposes.

As for the brains of the device, I'm not certain if it would be best to use the existing controllers and add in the RC element or the forgo the existing PCBs and add my own controller with RC receiver. Currently it looks like I would have to modify the existing controllers firmware or replace parts with an arduino, which if I'm honest I would really rather not do.

I would want the Camera dolly to have a 360 degree tuning circle and therefore would want each of the two wheels to work independently of each other as well as together to give forwards and backwards motion. Each wheel also has a gyro stabiliser that keeps the board level; although I wouldn't need it in the design as there will be support wheels to keep the board level, would I be able to include them with the custom speed controller or would they require a more complex setup to be utilised correctly?

If I were to add my own speed controller and RC receiver (without the Gyros), is it really as simple as wiring it all up correctly, no coding and there you go?

Thanks in advance!

(Total newbie, sorry for lack of clarity)
 

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kellys_eye

Jun 25, 2010
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I would imagine using servos to control the position of two weights that rotate freely above the platform would simulate the weight of a person and the position they place themselves in would allow control of the board.....

This is simple two-channel control. Two joysticks with simple forward/reverse position control will send the 'left and right feet' positions and tilt the board accordingly.
 

Lukeshoe1993

Aug 7, 2018
7
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Aug 7, 2018
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I would imagine using servos to control the position of two weights that rotate freely above the platform would simulate the weight of a person and the position they place themselves in would allow control of the board.....

This is simple two-channel control. Two joysticks with simple forward/reverse position control will send the 'left and right feet' positions and tilt the board accordingly.

Hi there, thanks for your reply. I'd never thought of using a physical mechanism to trick the board into thinking that their is a rider on board still... Do you think this would be a better way of dealing with this, rather than stripping out the Hub motors and creating a custom Speed controller / RC circuit?

I plan on using the Camera Dolly in commercial environments, so I do want something that looks complete and not bodged together and also something that is reliable as well.

Thanks again for your help
 

kellys_eye

Jun 25, 2010
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Tricking the board will be far easier than the modifications you propose. Use circular 'disks' but only one side actually has the (lead?) weight on it. If the disk is marked the viewer will see how it works but a plain coloured disk will be effectively) invisible in operation if that's what you want.

Put the disks in 'tubes' (covered) if you want to hide it completely.

You could add some autonomy to the disk controlling motors to make remote operation easier.
 

Lukeshoe1993

Aug 7, 2018
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Aug 7, 2018
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Tricking the board will be far easier than the modifications you propose. Use circular 'disks' but only one side actually has the (lead?) weight on it. If the disk is marked the viewer will see how it works but a plain coloured disk will be effectively) invisible in operation if that's what you want.

Put the disks in 'tubes' (covered) if you want to hide it completely.

You could add some autonomy to the disk controlling motors to make remote operation easier.

Very interesting and thank you again for your input on this, I've done a bit of research around it and tried incorporating it into the design I have, however I don't think this method would be suitable for my needs - something which I probably didn't make clear in my first post. See attached picture for the (very) rough idea of the design.

I need to have a central pole / monopod that supports the camera, as this is the case, making use of the way the hoverboard controls direction through the central pivot would not allow for the pole to remain truly vertical.

Apologies for the initial lack of clarity, I guess on reflection I don't necessarily need the Hoverboard components other than the Hub motors in order to make this device...
 

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kellys_eye

Jun 25, 2010
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would not allow for the pole to remain truly vertical.
Using the board the way your seems pointless - as Braeden points out, you could just use a 'tank' or any RC device that moves back and forth/rotates to carry the 'vertical' pole where you wanted it to go. Smooth speed increment/decrement would prevent most camera movement.

What I 'think' you're thinking of is 'gyro-stabilisation' (the hoverboard is that sort of thing) of the camera to keep it level regardless of the motion of the pole.

This is easily achieved using the right gimbal mount and a rotating weight - no RC necessary though if you wanted to 'direct' the camera you would have to use precession to apply counter-force to the gyro effect.
 

Lukeshoe1993

Aug 7, 2018
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Aug 7, 2018
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Using the board the way your seems pointless - as Braeden points out, you could just use a 'tank' or any RC device that moves back and forth/rotates to carry the 'vertical' pole where you wanted it to go. Smooth speed increment/decrement would prevent most camera movement.

What I 'think' you're thinking of is 'gyro-stabilisation' (the hoverboard is that sort of thing) of the camera to keep it level regardless of the motion of the pole.

This is easily achieved using the right gimbal mount and a rotating weight - no RC necessary though if you wanted to 'direct' the camera you would have to use precession to apply counter-force to the gyro effect.

Thanks again for your reply. Again I think there has been some confusion caused by my inability to put my thoughts into words... perhaps this video link will help demonstrate:

I'm looking to make this 'Camera robot', but a smaller, lighter and more cost effective version. I thought that using the Hub motors from the Hoverboard, adding a RC controller and modifying the hoverboards frame with castor wheels for stability would give me the same function as the modified wheelchair used in the video. But, being a noob at high voltage electronics, I'm unsure how that would go in practice.

I like the idea of the RC tank to be honest, although - as I'd said in my reply to Braeden - I think the low ground clearance could cause me some issues in the future.

As for the Gyro, I'm not concerned about that in the slightest as I would use an off the shelf camera gimbal if required - I was purely asking out of curiosity in my first post.

Thanks again and sorry for having to put up with my hazy idea! :oops:
 
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