My Project Donkey

I have a four wheel drive robot that I call Donkey. My intention is to make it aid in taking care of
1.5 acres of vineyard and other outside chores. Right now the four wheel drive consist of 4 wheel chair brushed motors being driven by (2) 2x60 Sabertooth motor controllers. The controllers are both controlled by a single Jetson Nano. The Nano has an M.2 slot which accepts WiFi adapter and I can run the Donkey headless with a gui I developed using Qt. The tires on the wheel chair motors are 13" tiller tires.

I would like to eventually convert my wheel chair motors to BLDC hoverboard wheels with aggressive
field tread. Are BLDC wheels with aggressive tread available?

Also would 2 Odrives be able to handle the wheels directly or do I need to consider gear

I have just acquired a new Odrive and am going to build a small house robot using two 6.5" hover
board wheels and two non driven caster wheels. The community has me spooked concerning ground
loops so I am ordering an Adafruit USB isolator. Will this work?
I maybe going overboard on this small unit but when I port my design to the field Donkey, hopefully it will be seamless!

Since I am new to the community is there already a project similar to mine?


1 Like

Sounds really cool. For off road motor wheels I would just search aliexpress. Here is one that looks pretty intense:


My golf cart has the same size wheel, so that should work. The shipping is more than wheel and then they talk about tariff and customs, I will keep them in mind. In the mean time I will get used to the Odrive.

Hi Andy
I am working on a one person golf cart.
I use two 800 watt 13 inch non gear hubmotors.
A arduino and a BNO 055 to provide differential steering And control the Yaw
What is your project like?
Till now It is difficult to get the two motors reacting the same way. I wonder if open loop is not better.
Grt paul

Hi Paul,

I have been watching your thread.

Iā€™m not familiar with BNO 055.
Is there a chance to see your Arduino code?
My Donkey uses USB serial communication between Jetson Nano and motor controllers they run
very efficiently.
Do your wheel tires have an aggressive tread as my project has to be able to pull 300 lbs up
steep hills. May I ask where you purchased them?

Thanks for sharing.