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Classic Sega Rally Arcade machine meets RC cars using Arduinos (artica.cc)
61 points by andr3 1822 days ago | hide | past | web | 16 comments | favorite

Amazing. Anybody want to get together and build a full-on robot arcade? I can see this being the future of 'virtual reality' gaming -- reality from a non-human perspective.

Battling drone fleets, tiny warhammer-style robots causing real destruction on a miniature scale, high-speed chases through scale sized representations of real-life courses...

Alas like so many good ideas, perhaps this is already happening somewhere...

Hey! And you'll always get the physics engine built-in for free! :-P

I think you may enjoy www.mech-warfare.com

I used to love Sega Rally. The amount of cash I dropped down those machines while racing friends. I think my ultimate games room would have a Sega Rally machine in the corner.

Weirdly, I did a project like this at uni, except we used an Xbox 360 controller to control the car, and I think more interestingly, we used MiWi (PIC chip wireless subset) to communicate with the car.

Whereas other teams sent a packet every time they did an "update" (they were using keyboard not 360 controllers), this meant there was a lot of lag as the link was limited to 500 bytes/sec, and sending a package irregularly meant lots of overhead.

What I did instead was I engineered it so we constantly sent (and received) a packet 40x a second, and this meant our updates were far less laggy and much more consistent. We just had a couple of bytes for the steering, a couple of bytes for the acceleration, and some other "flag" bits to determine what data should be sent back (reading off all the sensors at once leads to blocking).

We also had an accelerometer in the RC car, which I mapped (roughly) onto the 360 pad's force feedback, so you could "feel" what the RC was feeling.

The fact that we used miwi meant that we could control the thing over IP which was cool.

Great fun, we won too! I'm just sad that because our code was in a Dropbox shared folder, some idiot has deleted it.

That's very cool, and I'm surprised RC cars aren't being used in more Arduino projects. I wish it actually was a detailed post, because I'd love to learn more about the Arduino setup in there -- if he's using the Motor shield, how the batteries are hooked up, etc. And how much did the materials cost -- xbee radios are around $100 each I believe...

I just left a comment there. Perhaps the authors will follow-up with an even more detailed post.

Yeah, more RC anything on arduino projects would be awesome. Be it a car, helicopter, tank...... ;) hehe

xbee radios are ~20$ although there are some more expensive ones if you need 40 mile range.

The only ones I've been able to find are around $100~$300.

Some kits may be over the $100 mark, but individual radios are usually in the $20-$30 mark.



It's really wonderful to start to see this wave of Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and other super inexpensive but plenty powerful enough for a range of applications type devices.

More and more are popping up on Reddit and HN every day and it looks to be ushering a little hobbyist "golden age". I can't wait to see where it takes us.

It's not that wonderful; because the Arduino and Raspberry Pi are so popular they keep getting used for projects which they're really not the best choice for like this one. Pretty much any old PC would've been able to drive the original arcade monitors, but because the Pi can't they wound up having to rip them out and replace them with TVs that are probably of worse quality, losing some of the original feel of the machine in the process. (Even if the Pi had a VGA out it still wouldn't work because the Pi has a closed source graphics driver that doesn't allow you to set non-standard modes.)

Sadly driving stuff off old PCs isn't nearly as fashionable as the Raspberry Pi.

An old PC consumes about 90W of power, a Raspberry Pi consumes 2.5W. That's a 36x difference. And you would still need something to interface the PC with the rest of the electronics, just as you need something to interface the Raspberry Pi's video output with these "non-standard" CRTs.

As for the quality of TVs... these were showing video from the cars transmitted over RF, hardly high-quality. And you overestimate the quality of CRTs in arcade machines... Most of the arcades on display had not-so-good CRTs (either by design or because of years of burn-in).

Very impressive! There does seem to be quite a bit of lag between the steering movements and the rc car response.

I tested the machine at Codebits and I had that same first impression. But after a while I got it: it was the pedal tuning and not some communication delay.

There was some lag at first (bearable), but then the team tuned the xbee transmission buffers and it got much better, to non perceptible levels.

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