In this project, I converted an old toy R/C car from the thrift-store ($1.50) into a bluetooth controlled robot. The conversion requires an Arduino (any type), an L298N dual 2-amp motor-controller (or similar), and a bluetooth serial adapter from Sparkfun.com.
I first removed all existing circuitry from the old toy and prepare it for its new brains. Then installed the Arduino, motor-controller, and bluetooth adapter onto the top of the frame and wire everything up. Lastly, paired my computer with the bluetooth adapter on the robot. The building process is simple and straightforward, using hot-glue to secure each circuit board - which is easily removable later if desired.
To control this bot, I have assigned several keys on the keyboard to carry out various movements from the robot’s motors. By opening a terminal after pairing the Bluetooth-bot to your computer, you can send serial commands by pressing the “i” (forward), “j” (left), “k” (reverse), and “l” (right) keys to command the bot in any direction.
Here is a short video of the bluetooth-bot in action:
All parts can be purchased at Sparkfun.com, and the motor-controller can either be purchased as a shield (Ardu-moto shield), or built from scratch using the provided PCB layout files.
You can download any of the files needed for this project (code and PCB files) from here.