Sphero driving a car?! Yes. Pretty awesome, right?
In the video below, Sphero commands the toy car where to drive. It does this through a trackball similar to the one used in a computer mouse or in the arcade game of golf . Sphero sits on the trackball’s wheels and his weight and momentum cause them to move. The wheels have encoders that then tell the car what direction Sphero is moving by sending out x and y coordinates of the movement to the motors. Roll Sphero forward and the car drives forward. Roll Sphero to the right and the car turns to the right.
Sphero’s car was created by our Junior Developer, Skylar. He got all of the electronics for the car from Sparkfun. This included a trackball, an Arduino board, and an H-bridge. The actual car was an old toy Orbotix had bought for $10. It only took a handful of parts and a tiny bit of coding in Arduino to make it happen. Sphero does the rest. The really amazing thing is that we are using Sphero’s brains and technology to create other robots!