I use a Mindstorms NXT brick and an Android smartphone for my remote controlled tank. The downside is that the NXT motors are slower than the regular Power Functions motors, and connecting PF motors to the NXT brick requires additional components.
Personally, I am satisfied with NXT motors and don't bother kludging PF motors. (Yet.)
Here is a modular truck ...
Personally I would go with Arduino (on the car) and an Android phone as the controller (via bluetooth). There's plenty of reference on the web about mixing the two.
The main problem is interfacing with non Lego parts (motors, PCB, ...). Luckily, you can find Lego adapter parts in many Robot/Electronic sites. For example at Pololu:
This can be done without a caster wheel as well:
Start out with a three wheeled vehicle, with two wheels in the front and one smaller wheel with less traction than the front wheels in the back. All wheels need to be fixed.
One of the front wheels is attached to the motor. This might need to have some gearing to get an appropriate speed.
The other front ...
As stated in the description of that video, the big issue is that the iPhone won't pair with uncertified devices:
The car is built with standard Lego Mindstorms NXT components. Since iPhone SDK does NOT allow using non certified devices (which are limited to other iPhones and some headsets etc.) I have used BTStack library.
I guess this is why there's ...
LEGO have produced an IR Speed Remote Control unit as part of their current "Power Functions" range.
Features 4 RC channels, 2 stop button and 2 direction control switches!
Use the jog wheels to control your motor speed!
You will also need the receivers as well.
The two sticks on that remote are pure on/off switches (well, forward/off/backward) and come back in their central position if not maintained pushed, and don't move laterally either.
There are two classic ways to control a car with them:
Use each switch to control a motor and wheel (or set of wheels) - so you have to push both levers to advance, and only ...
I'd be tempted to use the Batmobile (76112) design:
Basically, you have independent motors for the left and right wheels. This allows you to steer quickly and easily without the fuss of a traditional steering system.
The Batmobile is $100 MSRP, and can be found on sale. The included motor controller is Bluetooth based, and can be remote controlled via a ...
From the power functions FAQ:
Why does my Power Functions model drive backward when I want it to run forward? You can change the direction your model runs by flipping
the small black switches located on each side of the channel selector
of your IR Remote Control.
As with most things related to Power Function,s you can find this information on Philo's page on Power Functions.
If you scroll down a little, you'll find a link to "LEGO Power Functions RC" which is a document straight from LEGO outlining the PF RC protocol. The protocol does include commands to set an absolute speed.
Now, whether you can make sense of it ...
The method they used to secure the battery/controller was to wrap it in a sealed plastic bag, something similar to this could be done for the motors. It would be more difficult since you would need a water tight bearing for the rotating shaft to exit the sealed bag. These bearings are complicated and will still always allows some small amount of leakage.
Your assumptions appear to be mostly correct. Just for clarity, these are the minimum parts required:
A battery box
A motor for driving
A motor for steering (unless you want to try a steer-on-reverse single motor design)
An IR receiver (these can support two motors each)
An IR remote
Extension cables and/or lights are optional depending on the design of ...
I saw an official Lego remote control car at the Lego Store once and I should have gotten it that day because I haven't seen it again.
That said, with Mindstorms and a bluetooth enabled phone it should be possible to build one one your own.
Communication with the RCX Brick was via the Infra Red tower (or IR Remote Control) which connected to the computer with either a serial or USB cable.
As neither iPhone nor iPad have an IR port, there's no way to connect directly between the two.
You might be able to do something with a docked iOs device, but that strikes me as somewhat pointless.
One way to get at this is to search Bricklink for sets containing the Power Functions IR Receiver and sets containing the PF IR Receiver V2. As of the time of this answer, it looks like the following sets contain that part and are remote controlled:
Motorized Bulldozer 8275
Motorized Excavator 8043
4x4 Crawler 9398
4x4 Crawler Exclusive Edition ...
You'll want to read the TechnicBricks review of that set, which is quite detailed.
In short, there are two new motor types; one of which is a servo motor used to control the direction. As the remote used is the usual on/off one, it means you'll be able to steer right or left, but with no granularity (you can also go straight ahead, of course). The other ...
In WeDo 2.0 app "LEGO® Education WeDo 2.0" there is a complete project 12. Steer that is exactly about that
When it drives forward it goes in straight line, when it drives backward it then turns to one side.
There is full build instruction in the app.
I've also added distance sensor and made it fully autonomous - whenever it sees obstacle it goes back, ...
It sounds like you are asking how to motorize your own custom LEGO creations using motors that you may already have around the house rather than purchasing official motors.
Before I answer this, I just want to make sure that you are aware that you can purchase the PF motors individually on LEGO.com for fairly cheap. You don't have to buy large, expensive ...
There is a fairly easy and cheap way to do this since you don't want real variable speed control. As you noted, connecting the AAA battery box directly to the PF train motor technically works, but the motor runs too fast.
The default AAA battery box provides 9v from 6 AAA cells. Lowering this voltage will lower the speed of your motor. If you'd like to get ...
There are some limited options for third-party remote control add-ons but Lego doesn't license or endorse them and they're not (as far as I know) made with improved accessibility in mind. However, it may be possible to modify the standard remote using pieces you have or can get.
For example, the train remote has an axle hole in the round speed controllers. ...
If I were you, I'd try to use a car chassis as simple as possible.
This would achieve multiple goals:
By using a vehicle with the least amount of complexity you can keep the price low.
By avoiding unnecessary parts the students' attention will not be drawn from the topic at hand, e.g. they will be more inclined to listen and cooperate if they are not ...
Each remote has 2 separate controls (one for "red" and one for "blue"), and 1 channel setting (choice of channel 1,2,3 or 4). Each train has an IR receiver which has 1 channel setting (again choice of channel 1,2,3 or 4) and two connections, one coded "red" and one coded "blue". From what you describe, you have two trains set both to the same channel (I'm ...
Many Technic sets are small and wouldn't fit motors or need remote controls.
Beyond that it is an extra expense which they need to leave out to make things available at various price points. In some cases LEGO makes the motor optional to keep costs for the initial kit lower. And the remote control adds complexity beyond that.
But the beauty of LEGO is ...
LEGO train motors get powered using a 9V cable. Philo (who also visits this site) has an excellent site with all the features and characteristics about the PowerFunctions motor system, which includes trains. This site is located at http://philohome.com/tech.htm.
The speed of the train is regulated using PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) on the inside two wires (...
I designed some WeDo 2.0 models that can drive and steer using just one motor.
This one uses a system of gears to alternately drive the left or right wheel of a differential drive robot, depending on the turning direction of the motor.
You can find the complete building and programming instructions here: