iPhone (iOS) BLUETOOTH 4.0 SUPERSTRUCTS CAR KIT

Superstructs is a rod and connector based building system made with durable ABS plastic and EVA foam. Most rod and connector building systems are based on the Pythagorean theorem of triangles, which allow for the creation of lightweight and sturdy constructions that make these systems ideal, as a platform, for many robotics projects.

In this project, we will build a remote-control car using Superstructs toy parts, some 3D printed parts (to hold our electronics), an Arduino UNO, and a Bluetooth LE module. The complete kit can be ordered online here: Superstructs Bluetooth Car Kit (including electronics) for $129.99

 

BUILDING INSTRUCTIONS

What You Will Need — the parts!

WABA Fun manufactures Superstructs building toys and it’s possible, especially if you have kids, that you already own a set or two. Superstructs have been available for over ten years and have earned numerous toy industry awards. Here are the Superstructs parts you’ll need:

Image Part ID Qty  Description
 1001p 1001p 4 12 socket connector (yellow or pink!)
 1002p 1002p 2 10 socket connector (wheel)
 1005p 1005p 3 washer
 1008p 1008p 5 green rod
 1074p 1074p 2 dual-arm connector plug
 1034p 1034p 2 foam tire (red or blue)

WABA Fun also sells these components as a set from their website at: http://superstructs.com/catalog/

 

The Electronics

This project in based on the Arduino UNO micro controller. Hopefully you have one of these (or a clone) around, but if you don’t, here’s everything you’ll need:

Item Cost
Breadboard
https://www.sparkfun.com/products/12002
$4.95
SparkFun Motor Driver https://www.sparkfun.com/products/9457 $8.95
DC Hobby Motor (x2)
https://www.sparkfun.com/products/11696
$1.95ea
1.5V AAA Battery Holder
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00H8UBB6C?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00
$4.41
UNO R3 Development Board
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00SZSFFY0?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00
$10.49
Breadboard Jumper Wires
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005TZJ0AM?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00
$4.22
Bluetooth 4.0 HM-10 Module
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00V07U93U?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s00
$17.99

Total cost for the electronics $54.91

 

3D Printed Part Files

As cool and flexible as Superstructs are for building whatever you dream, they’re not ready-made for housing or holding our electronics. Here is a link to a zipped file with ready-to-print STL files to hold our electronics:

Superstructs 3D-Printed Part STL Files

In the event you do not have access to a 3D printer, then you can purchase the parts needed for this project here:

Superstructs 3D-Printed Parts

 

Arduino Sketch

Here is a link to the Arduino Sketch you’ll need. The code here interprets signals received over Bluetooth from your iOS device to control each motor independently.

http://superstructs.com/files/bluetoothController.zip

If you do not already have the Arduino IDE (software), you’ll want to download this as well and install it. Here’s a link to download the Arduino IDE:

https://www.arduino.cc/en/Main/Software

 

iOS Superstructs Driving App

Superduino is an app written by WABA Fun specifically for this project. You will use this app on iPhone to communication and drive your car. Download and install the Superduino app by search the app store for “Superduino” or follow this link.

Superduino App

Superduino App

Step 1: Build the Superstructs Car Frame

Bluetooth5

 

 

 

 

Step 2: Solder Break-away Headers to the DC Motor Controller

This is the only step that requires an adult. So please find one (preferably one who knows a little bit about soldering) and have them prepare and solder headers to the SparkFun DC motor controller as is shown here:

Bluetooth7

 

Step 3: Connect the Motor Controller to the Arduino and Power

superduino4

 

Step 4: Connect the Bluetooth Module to the Arduino

superduino3

 

Step 5: Connect the Motors to the Motor Controller

superduino2

 

Step 6: Load the Arduino Sketch

Download and uncompress the Arduino sketch file. The sketch file for this project is named, bluetoothController.ino. Connect the USB cable to your Arduino and your computer. Fire up the Arduino IDE, open bluetoothController.ino, and load the sketch onto your Arduino.

 

Step 7: Connect 9v and 6v Batteries to the Circuit

Add 4 AAA batteries to the holder holder and connect it to the circuit as shown below. You will want to disconnect the power when not using your car. Do this by unplugging the ground wire from the breadboard. Next, connect the 9-volt connector to your 9v battery and add to your car.

superduino

 

Step 8: Launch the Superduino iPhone app

Once the app is loaded, click the “menu” button (which looks like three lines near the upper-right hand corner) and select “HMSoft” from the list to connect to your car.

IMG_2160

IMG_2159

 

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