Fabulous remote control

Revisiting one of my favourite childhood game as a grown up kid allowed me to reflect and expand on basic and pure joy of open play.

I used to love flicking games when I was a child and there was something about making the tracks, easy access to material and the playfulness of it all that stuck with me. In fact I still like flicking games! At a certain point it felt natural for me to start using the new abundant material around: Technology!

In a few hours I had the first glimpse of what would become my new hobby, apparently.

This is an ESP8266, 2 big continuous servo motors and a 3.7V battery inside a cardboard box. Technically speaking the first setup wasn’t so different from what I use today: A WebSocket server on the board and a web page split in 4 areas with different colors, each one sending a different message through a websocket connection with the board.

A few days after building the first one, I made a second one only changing the motors and the housing.

Figuring out how much fun that was, I flashed a second board and build a second car (using the big servos instead of the small ones).

At this point I wanted to test it with other people to make sure me and Bee and we invited some friends over to build cool cars and race.


I kept the green one for longer and even build some new, mode advanced tracks:

You can check the code I used for all those cars here.

When I looked at prices it was kind of shocking to see how expensive those continuous servos are so I repurposed many regular servo motors but the result was not reliable enough. With pretty much the same code I also built versions with a DC motor and a regular servo.