ACRC (Android Controlled Radio Controller)

The Problem

How can a smart phone (or tablet) be used to control a radio controlled vehicle.

The Approach

The Android Controlled Radio Controller (ACRC) acts as a relay between a smart phone and an RC car. It accepts data from a smart phone and translates it into a command signal that is broadcast to the car. The ACRC is able to send signals on different channels at both 27MHz and 49MHz.
ACRC Concept ACRC Block Diagram

The Solution

Build an RF (radio frequency) transmitter that will work for both 27MHz and 49MHz. Then add a PIC24 microcontroller and an RN-42 Bluetooth transceiver. Finally, implement the firmware for the microcontroller and develop the software for the smart phone.

Using the approach described above, the software on the smart phone can be loaded with the control signals for any RC vehicle. This gives the ACRC the ability to act as a universal remote.
ACRC PCB board

ACRC Final Prototype PCB

This video shows our final demonstration. The first two trucks each operate on different frequencies. They also use a digital control scheme that features simple commands such as forward, back, left, right, and so on. The third car uses an analog control scheme that features more complex commands such as forward x-percent or left y-percent.

This video shows the user interface on my smartphone. (the software used to capture this video only supported a very low frame-rate, the GUI is actually very fast and fluid)