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Mecanum Wheel Robot Car & ESP-NOW Remote

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DroneBot Workshop
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Build a Mecanum Wheel Robot and control it with a remote joystick and display using a couple of ESP32 boards.

Today, we will be working with Mecanum Wheels. These unique wheels allow a vehicle to be propelled in any direction. Our design will use the ESP32 and will be complemented by an ESP32-based remote control that features a Joystick, a TFT color display, and a rechargeable battery.

The car even has some large NeoPixel LEDs, so you can see what direction the Mecanum wheels are moving, so it’s both an educational and fun “toy.” And the design can be expanded to include other components and sensors.

The remote control is based on a Lilygo TTGO T-Display module. This ESP32 module has an integrated TFT display, as well as a couple of switches and a connector for a LiPo battery (which can be recharged from the module).

The car and remote communicate via ESP-NOW protocol. This arrangement allows information to be sent in both directions, so we can display some critical parameters from the car on the display of the remote control. The design is very easy to upgrade, so you can add more sensors to your car or more functions to the remote.

Of course, before we build the robot, we will need to learn a bit about Mecanum Wheels. So we’ll start by doing a few experiments to see how to code for them.

Then we will move on to the NeoPixels, bright, colorful addressable RGB LEDs. The design uses five of them, yet as these are addressable LEDs, they only consume one GPIO pin on the ESP32.

Moving on to the remote, we will learn about the features of the Lilygo TTGO T-Display. After that, wiring it up is a simple thing.

Here is the table of contents for today's video:

00:00 - Introduction
02:29 - Mecanum Wheels
06:17 - Testing Mecanum Wheels
25:15 - Neopixels
36:21 - Robot Construction
43:19 - Controller Construction
53:15 - Get MAC Address
55:47 - Robot Sketch
1:07:34 - Controller Sketch
1:20:27 - Robot Demo
1:24:13 - Conclusion

If you want to know more about ESP-NOW, you should check out the video I did on it -

And for more info regarding the TTGO T-Display, you should definitely check out Volos Projects - https://www.youtube.com/@VolosProjects

Hope that you enjoy the video!

Bill

"Never trust a computer you can’t throw out a window." — Steve Wozniak


   
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Ron
 Ron
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Bill, I am excited about this project but a small quibble is the cost. Unless you have a special supplier, all the Mecanum chassis's I see start at over $100 and many are $500+. One of the few complaints I have with your videos is the lack of a parts list and source with enough information to order from. I have checked Amazon, eBay, and AliExpress. I have yet to find anything reasonable. My apologies if I missed something, but as soon as I saw what you were doing I went looking for a chassis before they were sold out.

Arduino says and I agree, in general, the const keyword is preferred for defining constants and should be used instead of #define
"Never wrestle with a pig....the pig loves it and you end up covered in mud..." anon
My experience hours are >75,000 and I stopped counting in 2004.
Major Languages - 360 Macro Assembler, Intel Assembler, PLI/1, Pascal, C plus numerous job control and scripting


   
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Ron
 Ron
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How did you come up with the second robot body, buy two kits, or manufacture a duplicate body?

 

Arduino says and I agree, in general, the const keyword is preferred for defining constants and should be used instead of #define
"Never wrestle with a pig....the pig loves it and you end up covered in mud..." anon
My experience hours are >75,000 and I stopped counting in 2004.
Major Languages - 360 Macro Assembler, Intel Assembler, PLI/1, Pascal, C plus numerous job control and scripting


   
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DroneBot Workshop
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@zander The kit comes with both bottom and top, check out the part of the video where I show the kit contents, and you should be able to see both layers.

😎

Bill

"Never trust a computer you can’t throw out a window." — Steve Wozniak


   
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DroneBot Workshop
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@zander This chassis was 60 Canadian dollars, which is about 44.50 USD. And you can buy just a set of the same wheels for about 20 CAD, less than 15 USD.

Hardly what I would call "expensive"! 

😎

 

"Never trust a computer you can’t throw out a window." — Steve Wozniak


   
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Ron
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@dronebot-workshop You have a better search engine than me then. Was that Amazon or somewhere else. I tried Ali, eBay, Amazon but as always, what you search on determines the results.

Arduino says and I agree, in general, the const keyword is preferred for defining constants and should be used instead of #define
"Never wrestle with a pig....the pig loves it and you end up covered in mud..." anon
My experience hours are >75,000 and I stopped counting in 2004.
Major Languages - 360 Macro Assembler, Intel Assembler, PLI/1, Pascal, C plus numerous job control and scripting


   
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DaveE
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Hi Ron @zander,

  A quick Google showed

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005004941939579.html

Superficial glance suggests it looks similar to Bill's, but I haven't checked it out properly.

Note double chassis version is about £3 extra option. And this is only a suggestion, not a recommendation!!

Best wishes, Dave


   
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DroneBot Workshop
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@davee It's not the same, but it’s very similar and would work fine (actually I like this one better) . Amazon also has several Mecanum Wheel chassis kits in the same price range, as does eBay.

😎

Bill

"Never trust a computer you can’t throw out a window." — Steve Wozniak


   
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Ron
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@davee Price delivered is $44.49 BUT see anything wrong with this?

Screenshot 2022 12 04 at 17.07.41

Arduino says and I agree, in general, the const keyword is preferred for defining constants and should be used instead of #define
"Never wrestle with a pig....the pig loves it and you end up covered in mud..." anon
My experience hours are >75,000 and I stopped counting in 2004.
Major Languages - 360 Macro Assembler, Intel Assembler, PLI/1, Pascal, C plus numerous job control and scripting


   
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Ron
 Ron
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@dronebot-workshop @davee I will buy wheels, and NON plastic motors then buy some aluminum sheet and make my own decks. Thanks for looking.

Arduino says and I agree, in general, the const keyword is preferred for defining constants and should be used instead of #define
"Never wrestle with a pig....the pig loves it and you end up covered in mud..." anon
My experience hours are >75,000 and I stopped counting in 2004.
Major Languages - 360 Macro Assembler, Intel Assembler, PLI/1, Pascal, C plus numerous job control and scripting


   
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DaveE
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Hi Bill @dronebot-workshop and Ron @zander,

   Good to see you back back in front of the camera, Bill .. hope you are fully recovered.

   Thanks for the update both ... I did say it was only a superficial glance and even then, what turns up may not match the pictures.

------

Ron, I hate self tappers as well, although superficially it looked like it was onto a square-ish shaft, so they might not be too bad if they are never unscrewed. I presume the motors have their limitations as well.

Of course, it is possible to build a much studier and robust machine, and I wish you well in doing it.

Best wishes, Dave


   
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DroneBot Workshop
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@zander

Here is the chassis that I used. Turn's out it was even cheaper than I remembered it being (I purchased it about a year ago, I thought it was more expensive).

Mecanum Wheel Chassis

I bought it at Abra, which is a local distributor here in Montreal.  I used to like visiting their store, but since the pandemic started, I've been ordering online instead. I believe they ship to the US as well, but I'm sure you can find it much cheaper in the US.

With the current conversion rate, it is 29.40 USD. Hopefully that’s in your price range!

😎

Bill

"Never trust a computer you can’t throw out a window." — Steve Wozniak


   
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Ron
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@dronebot-workshop I'm a Canadian Bill, currently on Vancouver Island but moving this summer to Northern Ontario. Spent a few months in Montreal during my IBM days learning the big OS, many fond memories, and a few I can't remember.

Arduino says and I agree, in general, the const keyword is preferred for defining constants and should be used instead of #define
"Never wrestle with a pig....the pig loves it and you end up covered in mud..." anon
My experience hours are >75,000 and I stopped counting in 2004.
Major Languages - 360 Macro Assembler, Intel Assembler, PLI/1, Pascal, C plus numerous job control and scripting


   
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DroneBot Workshop
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Posted by: @zander

and a few I can't remember

LOL!  Sounds like the story of my youth!

😊

Vancouver Island is beautiful, I love Victoria.

😎

Bill

 

"Never trust a computer you can’t throw out a window." — Steve Wozniak


   
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codecage
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@dronebot-workshop

I noticed this line in the mec-robot-remote.ino:

  "Modify User_Setup.h file in library for TTGO-T-Display"
 
What is this in reference to?  Did I miss something in the video?
 
 

SteveG


   
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