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Make a custom and versatile Arduino wireless robot controller.

Controls various Arduino robot projects you may have

This guide will show you a way to make your own arduino friendly robot controller. you can control any arduino robot wirelessly with this controller. 

Parts List:

1x A4 3mm Acrylic sheet. (3mm minimum. 2mm was flimsy!) 
22 m3 x10 screws 
22 m3 nuts
44 washers (optional)
hexagonal standoffs, your desired height. 

Cordless drill or drill press
Scroll saw or dremel/rotary tool
Sander/ or file.
crimping tool (SN28B) 


LCD Screen 2.4" +
Xbee wireless controller
2X generic ps2 Joystics
4X toggle switches
10x 10k potentiometers 
1600mah 2 cell (7.4v battery) 


Part 1: Planning:
I wanted a controller that could be used on a variety of projects so i narrowed it down to the set up i have now. With this setup I can control:
1. A robotic arm
2. Robot chassis
3. Switches for switching things on and off.

I accidentally cracked my  screen when i put the lcd in my bag and it got crushed by my laptop. (My bad!) The lcd still works
I wanted to make a custom controller customed to the robots functions. I was inspired by the crew at Quantum Robotics with their Q2 and Q4 controllers.(see below)

I decided to make mine out of acrylic plastic and i used a 2.4 inch TFT LCD put 11 potentiometers for a future robotic arm (5 axis), leaving  spare ones for other functions. I also implemented 4 toggle switches for switching things on/off, emergency stop and to enable remote triggered datalogging to log data in areas that i want to gather data. I used 2 PS2  joystick controllers to control the robot and also the pan and tilt camera system for FPV or the recording camera i will implement later on.

Build Process: Part II

Started of with a sheet of acrylic A4 3mm. i decided for the controller to be about 140x 210 as it fit all of my intended fucntions.


Holes for joysticks. I used an 8mm drill bit and then finished off with a 25mm spade drill

All done!

Used a scroll-saw to cut the square for the screen.

Main controller all done.

The LCD Screen Part III.
I purchased this lcd screen on eBay and for $15, its very good for graphics, displaying bitmaps, visuals e.t.c but finding libraries for it was quite a challenge. The lcd driver is  called "SPFD5408" To find out how to get libraries for the lcd an getting it to work with arduino mega/uno, please watch this tutorial i made:


Part V: Wiring.

I cimped my own cables as pre-crimped cables were not the correct length. For those who are wondering, i used a cimping tool called the SN-28B crimper.

I highly recomment watching this video on how to crimp the cables.....very handy.

How to crimp Custom Cables

What you need to crimp custom cables:
-SN-28B Crimping tool.
-Male and Female crimp pins
-Cables (preferebly 24awg)
-Crimp Housings 

You have to buy the SN-28B for the 2.54mm arduino style dupont connectors or you won't get a good crimp. I bought mine on eBay but you can get youurs on Adafruit


For this part, i highly recommend ribboned cable it will be a lot neater and easier to open/close for any troubleshooting.

I also recommend making a custom "5V power distribution board" since the MEGA only has three 5v ports. I made one (see below)

Wiring Complete:
Progress so far:
Any suggestions/pointers welcome! 
I am thinking of having a raspberry pi or similar and a larger touchscreen, to be able to program either of the arduinos on the robot itself or the arduino on the controller

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Thats a lot of input switches for any robot, great build.

What is the mode of communication? Is this going to be a wireless remote? I would suggest a RF communication for this high tech looking remote. 

Edit: I missed it,its wireless and using Xbee modules. pretty cool.

Im using xbee for communication. I will post source code for any interested people later on when my project is just about done!

Nice post! I really like this, will you be posting a schematic?

I think I'd like to make one. Keep up the great work :)

I'm Glad you like it. I'll try to make a schematic but basically its a whole bunch of potentiometers and switches connected to the Arduino Mega. I'll update it soon!