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Weekend Workshop: Tear up your driveway with this Raspberry Pi-powered RC car

Need something to keep you busy this weekend? Look no further. The Weekend Workshop is our weekly column where we showcase a badass DIY project that you can complete with minimal skills and expertise. We’ve dug through all the online tutorials on the web, and gone the extra mile to pinpoint projects that are equal parts easy, affordable, and fun. So put on your work pants, grab your tool belt, and head to the garage — it’s time to start building!

Though UAVs have stolen a considerable amount of the RC spotlight in recent years, there still exists a wide range of remote controlled vehicles which prove just as fun to play around with. Sure, it might not pack a gorgeous 4K camera, tout a suite of autonomous extras, or toe the line of FAA regulations, but a proper RC car has just as much electronically-powered allure as your tried and true drone.

Hobby websites certainly offer their fair share of these throwback RC autos but why buy one when you could build one? Lucky for you, not only did a clever DIYer named shano274 actually accomplish this, but they posted their comprehensive, step-by-step walkthrough to the popular project site Instructables. So anyone with a little soldering know-how, a few power tools, and a Raspberry Pi B, among a few other materials, can easily build their own RC car in a matter of hours.

To help give you a head start on the project, we pieced together an accurate tools and materials list from shano274’s walkthrough. As always, we can’t stress enough how important it is to practice incredible safety with a build of this nature. Soldering irons, laser cutters, and electric drills aren’t for amateurs. If you don’t know your way around these tools, ask for help. With that said, here’s everything you’ll need to get started:

Tools:

  • Laser cutter
  • Soldering iron
  • Screwdriver
  • Electric drill (with 5/32 drill bit)
  • Dremel 4200
  • Small wrench

Materials:

  • Soldering essentials (Solder, Flux, Soldering Pick, etc.)
  • MDF thinner than 1/2″
  • Extruded acrylic (.239 inches thick)
  • Breadboard
  • Raspberry Pi B
  • Assembled Pi Cobbler with breakout cable for Pi B
  • Arduino T010051 motors (2)
  • 9v battery
  • Raspberry Pi B charger (compatible portable phone charger)
  • Matrix robotic beams
  • Screws and nuts
  • Rubber bands
  • Edimax WiFi USB adapter
  • LEDs for headlights and/or under glow (optional)

After amassing all required tools and materials, it’s now time to get started on putting together your very own Raspberry Pi-powered RC car. Simply follow shano274’s full walkthrough and before the weekend is up, you’ll have your own DIY RC car that’s perfect for bugging your dogs and cats. Happy building!

The entire walkthrough for the Raspberry Pi RC car can be found here.