Wild Thing Builds

For the past two years, my fifth grade classes have been learning and designing using many of the ideas we found here. We have built three Wild Thing based vehicles so far. The first was for Maddie, a fellow fifth grade student. 198410e4-b9f4-444e-881a-82893656d68e

Maddie Mobile

In January of 2020, My current group of fifth graders decided to further develop our designs from Maddie’s vehicle. They dissasembled our next two Wild Things and began sketching their ideas and designing the fittings in Autodesk. Since we have had to work remotely for the past few months, I am posing questions to them and getting back responses, designs, etc… I am handling the electronics and coding, and am basing it on the work from UMobility at Union College. Umobility
The Monster Mobile is going to a Pre-K LEAP classroom in our district. The Mickey Wagon will be delivered to an MOID class near here. We have 1 more wild thing that will be built when we can return, and will go to our own MOID classroom at our school.
I have a team of five students currently working on setting up our files, pictures, and descriptions of all of the STL files in Thingiverse. I will share them here when they finish. (control box, safety cage fittings, battery tray, etc…)

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These are impressive!
We are working on improvements to the instructions and resources on the Umobility site. If you have suggestions or feedback, they would be much appreciated. Thanks!

Your build detail, diagrams, and pictures have been invaluable! We are about to start another one with my new, current 5th graders. This one will use a larger automobile booster seat mounted on extruded aluminum T channel. After seeing the video on the Umobility website, I ordered some with a selection of connectors for the kids to try out. They didn’t end up using them on the two vehicles pictured, but my new students have drawn a plan for a seat using them.

We are finished with all the structural parts of the build, and I have been preparing the boards for these two so we can wire. I did have a couple questions if you don’t mind. My speciality is in mechanics, CAD, and some light project building with Pi, and arduino, so a lot of the questions I have come from my own ignorance as I learn.
The way everything is set up in the diagram, can the buttons and the joystick be used in conjunction? We are Considering mounting a joystick on the back of each for adult control. We are using buttons for the drivers. If so, what type of joystick are you using? The plans say Adapted joystick, but has a different set of connectors than the analogs I have.
I was also wondering about the busses in the parts list and the build pictures. In the past, I have used them to consolidate positive and negative hookups for controllers and the board, but in the version 2 pictures I saw 3 busses. What is the third one for?
Finally, in the wiring diagram, I noticed two different potentiometers, I have used one before to set maximum speed, just wondering about the use of two.
Thanks so much for the work you all have done in putting your work online!

The code is set up so that you can enable the buttons OR the joystick.
You do this with the system settings booleans in the UMobility.ino code.
I am not sure what would happen if you enabled both - it might work.

The code works for an analog joystick, although there is currently a small error in the code for joysticks - the analog inputs need to be set to be inputs, not outputs. Also, although the input is analog, the code just sets a threshold on the analog input and the result is as if it were digital. There was some issue with the deadband that never got solved to get the correct proportional action.
Also, we have found several mistakes in the schematic, and have not got the web page corrected yet. So just use the pins defined in the code when you wire it.
I’m not sure about the terminal blocks - I’ll have to look into that the next time I have access to the chair.
And I’m not sure what potentiometers you refer to? In the code there is a speed potentiometer mentioned, but this was no implemented in our build. Maybe you mean the two resistors in the schematic? These are used as a voltage divider to test the battery level.
Hope this helps!

That does help! Thank you. I believe for the two we have going out now We will use the buttons alone. Yes, I did mean the resistors. I was looking at the schematic a few nights ago and had our last build on my mind so I was thinking of the potentiometer we used there. We had built one that used the wiring and code published by FRC team 1939, and I had that build on my mind when looking at your schematics. For these, we will be using the button control and the piezo buzzers with the ultrasonic sensors for proximity alarms.
I will look back to the code and check our wiring to get everything in the right place.
Thank you so much for the help!

Is the Wild Thing still available or discontinued? Thank you.

They are discontinued as far as I can tell. We acquired one more through target before all the stores ran out. I also have two that I purchased used from Facebook Marketplace this year. The batteries are usually not their best when used but we don’t use the stock batteries.

Good question. It does seem to be out of stock at Amazon and Target, but I called Fisher Price and they are still manufacturing it. Maybe pandemic inventory delays?

Thank you. Any particular vehicles you have used and liked, especially with remotes?

I have only done Wild Things Builds so far. We are just about to start our first build this spring with another type of vehicle. We will be using a Peg Perego RZR 900 to build an outdoor vehicle for a 7YO young man with CP affecting his left side. This will be our first one with powered steering. This one does not have a remote so we will be using a remote cuttoff for safety.

Thank you Matt. I will forward to our team.

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