Joystick Firetruck

link to instructions

These instructions are for making a go baby go style joystick-controlled “wheelchair” from a toy ride-on fire truck. A joystick replaces the pedal and steering wheel that were originally used to control the fire truck. The front wheels are replaced with casters, a second motor is added and two motor-controllers and an Arduino microcontroller controls the motors. This enables the child to go forwards, backwards, and spin with a zero turn radius. (Every kid should be able to spin in circles!) The joystick can help prepare a child for a power wheelchair.

Note that to complete this project, one must have access to a computer with a USB port and internet, and access to a 3-D printer (printing services can be found online, at a library, or at a maker-space). The project also includes lots of soldering (though some of the splicing could be replaced with crimp connectors). The cost of the fire truck plus the parts to modify it is about $400 (or less if you already have some of the parts or if you can find a deal on the truck itself). A more in-depth parts and tools list is in the instructions.