Introducing Curious Kraken

For a while I’ve been wanting a more capable Internet Enabled RC car, something that could go outside. Well, I finally got working the Wild Thumper I got a few weeks ago.

This is still very much a prototype

I initial tried controlling the motors with 3 L298Ns for each of the wheel pairs, but they overheated. So I tried a couple of other motor controllers, the ones that did the trick are a couple of BTS7960s.

Rated for high current, heating is simply not an issue

I ported the Nosy Monster code to work with them, and I improved several things,  mostly around smoothing controls. You can’t just start these motors are full power, you need you ramp up and down. This is to be mechanically gentle on the motors, but it also helps with piloting.


We’re figuring out the wifi range around the house, it’s worst than I thought, well, for live streaming video at least.

Iterating on a case for the electronics


The suspensions are excellent, the motors could be beefier

More to come…

The Nosy Monster’s Big Brother

Every time I throw the Nosy Monster outside, it can’t handle even the best cut grass. The wheels just don’t cut it. So I finally splurged and got a Wild Thumper from SparkFun.

There’s a million things I’d like to do with it, and I don’t know how many I’ll get to. But at the very least, I’d love to have the vehicle able to go outside. WiFi goes pretty far around the house, and it so it would have a nice range of operation.

I’d love to set it up so random people on the internet can pilot it. Maybe via some sort of voting system.

I’d love for it to be energy autonomous with a solar panel.

And I’d love for it to be able to take some rain and snow.

The later is unlikely to happen, the rest very well may over time. Ultimately, this will be a better setup allowing for more development.

The Nosy Monster will remain in its current funny form. We’ll need to find a cool name for this new one, but I want to see what it looks like when it’s done first.

Nosy Monster

I added an acceleration algorithm to the Nosy Monster. It helps a lot when stuck. One day I’ll document it and make the software available online.