Despite a lack of posts there's actually been quite a bit going on over the last couple of weeks. Now that the challenge is over, I've been reviewing car and electronics.


There's been a few recurrent problems with the solution mostly around the fragile wiring and power issues. The subsystems have all been tested and checked over the last couple of weeks in an attempt to get a better demo video. It's quite a complex design with multiple batteries, power convertors, grove connector breakout boards and level shifters. The results is that I've not actually had driver and car working at the same time from battery.


Many of the design features were only there for the benefits of the challenge. Now that those restrictions have been lifted I will simplify the electronics and wiring.



The wooden parts of the car will be dropped and I'll be printing replacements. The single extruder replacement heads for the Cel Robox are quite expensive and also no-one seems to have them in stock. So I'm saving up and looking around for suppliers.


The car is a little back heavy and rather tall. This does mean that it likes to pull wheelies which is kind of cool but probably not good for the driver. So the battery will be moving to the middle of the car and electronics lowered.



I've also been working through the software getting it all working together, I had trouble with DNS and security but resolved all that, last week.


The web page for driving the car is really just there to test things. What I would really like to have is a UI that my daughter can use to learn basic programming concepts. I've been looking at various things and Blockly looks good, it's open source, multi-platform and is easily customised. Blockly basically allows you to drag blogs onto a design area and when you run the code it compiles those into a language of your choice such as JavaScript. It's possible to create custom blocks with code which would send the same messages to MQTT as I currently do with my buttons. I can customise and add to the UI as she and the car evolve.



So this not the last of the interactive race car driver, there will be more to come.