Gary Crowell Jr
Technician and Electronics Enthusiast
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Renesas Micom Car Rally Kit Explanation
Ok, with some of the building done, I realize that some of the basic ideas behind the car have not been covered.
The Renesas Micom Car rally kit is a line following robot car. It uses infrared sensors on the front sensor board to track the lines on the track. The track is black with white borders and a center white line with gray lines on either side. There are also left/right lane change, and braking lines that cross the path of the track that trigger other behaviors than pure line following.
The Renesas RX62T microcontroller board that comes with the rally car kit gets inputs from the sensor board, and outputs the steering signal and motor speed signal based on its’ programming. The signal the microcontroller puts out is PWM, but not with enough power to drive the motors and servo. The motor drive board supplies the power to the steering servo and the drive motors.
Teams build cars to compete on the track to set the best time. The competition can be pretty intense, with teams finishing within 1/100 of a second apart after racing around a 200 ft long track that includes curves, dips, bridges, and lane change maneuvers.
Video of the Renesas Micom Rally Kit, built according to the instructions and on a regulation track:
The Micom Car Rally kit is a comprehensive kit including everything necessary to build a car. In competitions, teams go beyond what comes with the kit by changing to brushless motors, custom chassis designs and materials, and more advanced code to deal with the track layout.
Here is an example of a more modified car: