Controlling a rc vechicle via USB


Sorry if this is a question with an obvious answer, but I’ve never done something like this before and I would really appreciate some pointers in the right direction!

I am creating a remote controlled tracked vehicle that will use 2 independent drive DC motors connected via a speed controller to a Micro Maestro 6-channel USB Servo Controller. I also have 3 servos on the vehicle, which I intend on controlling using the same control board. These servos control a raiseable boom, and a pan and tilt control for an on-board camera.

I would like to control the vehicle and the servos from a laptop computer, using the arrow keys to control the forward, backward left and right movements of the vehicle, and other keyboard keys to control the servos. The vehicle will always be connected to the USB cable.

Is this possible? And if it is, would you be able to point me in the right direction as I don’t really know where to start! I have done some computer programming before but my knowledge is limited. However, I am keen to learn!

Thanks in advance for any help and advice!

Everything you are doing is certainly possible. Do you have the Micro Maestro already? If so, you should configure it using the Maestro Control Center, make sure everything works the way you want it to, and then go on to writing your custom program to use the arrow keys and so on. A good place to start would be to download our USB SDK and look at the included Micro Maestro example GUI program. With Visual Studio C#, it will probably be quite easy to modify that application to do what you want, and most of your questions will be about how to do various things in C#. You are welcome to ask those questions here, especially if you include some cool pics of your project, but we are not really C# experts, and there are ton of forums, tutorials and examples for doing everything you could possibly want in C# all over the web. Maybe you could search for something like “arrow key event C#” to find out how to trap the arrow keys.

Good luck!

Thanks Paul - it’s good to know that it seems to be possible! I will let you know how I get on - as you say, I think the real crux of the matter is that I don’t know enough C# to know for definite if it was possible or not. I haven’t got the servo controller yet but I will do soon - I just wanted some assurance that I wasn’t barking totally up the wrong tree before I got stuck in too far!

Cheers, all the best