How to build a Remote Controlled Power Wheels Vehicle, using a Linear Actuator for remote steering
Power wheels ride on cars and trucks are dream toys for many children (and their parents too). For the creative parent who likes a challenge they also provide many opportunities for modification. In fact, there is a whole web forum devoted to doing just this.
Modified Power Wheels! People are adding lights, custom paint jobs, more power, and even remote control. One of the more challenging modifications is creating a remote controlled power wheels vehicle. Some people want to do this because their children are too small and can't drive it yet and others want to create a one of a kind vehicle for a special needs child. According to most of the people posting on the Modified Power Wheels Forum, the preferred way to create remote controlled steering is with a feedback linear actuator and an LAC or Arduino.
A Linear actuator is an ideal solutuon for this, bacause they are sealed and can handle puddles and light rain without any performance issues. The installation is quite easy, you basically need to mount one end to the frame and one to the tie rod between the wheels. The actuator will push and pull the steering bar which will move the direction of the wheels. Then you need to wire the actuator to the LAC board or arduino board. Here are some examples of how people do it:
Here's a video showing how the actuator turns the wheels.
If you are interested in attempting a project like this there are several good tutorials out there. This one: RC Power Wheels for a Disabled Child, posted on our blog, is a very detailed account of how someone modified a power wheels vehicle so a child with cerebral palsy could drive around with his brother. The whole story is really amazing and we actually wrote about it on our blog previously.
Another heartwarming and detailed tutorial about making a modified monster traxx dirt racer for a child with Downs Syndrome can be found here. And the author and creator has posted a video of his son riding in the modified racer which is really great to watch.
If you think you might like to attempt a project like this or you know someone who could benefit from a toy like this, please don't hesitate to contact us at Firgelli because we would love to help you with your project. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org