What I think would make a great rover platform for the EZ-B is the retro Bigtrak that came back in 2010. This was based on the 1980 hugely successful toy that sold in millions. You can pick them up on Ebay for as little as 10.
What is cool about Bigtrak is that it has a magnetic clutch that lets the rover move in straight lines, this is a very clever design and was in the original toy in the Eighties. Also it is possible to "tap into" the existing H bridge on the main PCB, which you can see from the picture below. The motors also have encoders this is how Bigtrak knows where and how far it has moved when sent on a mission.
So for around 10 quid you get a great rover platform that has encoders on the drive motors with a magnetic clutch together with 2 H bridges that are accessible if you remove the original microcontroller hybrid board.
My toy invention company (Conceptioneering) has designed and licensed the next generation of Bigtrak which we have called Bigtrak XTR (Xtra Technology Robotic) here is the original sizzle that we did for it
At the end it is chasing the ball by itself using colour tracking, Bigtrak XTR is set to be on sale this Christmas.
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On noise have a look at one of the distributors video of our XTR, the retro Bigtrak is about the same noise, also on this video you will see the rocket launcher working.
I also had one years ago, but they were expensive then, I think they retailed at $40 which in 1980 was a lot of money.
JOSH i got mine for $10 and $14 on ebay,maybe price went up some.
Do a ebay search,also found much hacking info on pcb and other stuff on the BIGTRAK
right now its just sitting in a box with hacked and ready for EZB.
I saw the thread was still invisible, but was still in my account, so knew it was not lost so guessed that posting on it would start it again. I think Bigtrak is such a good platform for an EZ-B rover that it would have been a pity to lose it!
I like the new website look, great job.
The Bigtrak in this video is noisy here as the user is hitting the motors with way too much voltage. When using PWM to slow down the motor drives the retro bigtrak is a lot quieter.
Rich, would this arm suit your Hearoid build? I have one here and its a nice arm, and fairly easy to hack.
I not sure what delivery to the US would add, but you may still find that even with delivery costs it is still viable.
As for that video, it's a quick little sucker! Now to win one of them on ebay...
If looks like I could grab one for not too much. How well to they do on gravel , grass , ext just in the yard?
Seems the youtube forum link code picked up something it thought was a video...
In 2010 a Bigtrak JR went up in a rocket and did a simulated moon-landing mission
You can see that it handled those surfaces pretty well!