We’ve all been there, our code is executing brilliantly and our brave robot is navigating through its tasks perfectly, when all of a sudden a sensor falls off and our pride and joy lurches towards the nearest hazard! In these moments being able to quickly take manual control of our robot is a useful function, easily added using the Robot Manual Override.
Designed for wheeled/tracked rovers this board is essentially a multiplexer which sits between your steering and throttle channels, the MCU and the RC receiver. You can reconfigure the system, but in its simplest mode you can use channel 3 on the RC transmitter to switch between RC mode and autonomous mode on your robot.
Some simple through hole soldering is required to add the colour coded pin headers and you can also optionally add extra headers to break out the ISP pins. Breaking out the ISP pins means you can re-flash the onboard ATtiny to adapt it to your specific requirements. The firmware is available in a repository linked in the project documentation. Standard ISP programmers and AVR toolchains can be used if you want to hack the firmware on the board.
Knowing that manual control is just a switch flip away is a nice reassurance particularly for those taking part in robotics competitions but that said, we hope this is a product you install but don’t need to use too frequently!