Controller Parts

Web Controller

The default controller to drive the car with your phone or browser. This has a web live preview of camera. Control options include:

  1. A virtual joystick
  2. The tilt, when using a mobile device with supported accelerometer
  3. A physical joystick using the web adapter. Support varies per browser, OS, and joystick combination.
  4. Keyboard input via the 'ikjl' keys.

Note: Recently iOS has disabled default Safari access to motion control.

Joystick Controller

Many people find it easier to control the car using a game controller. There are several parts that provide this option.

The default web controller may be replaced with a one line change to use a physical joystick part for input. This uses the OS device /dev/input/js0 by default. In theory, any joystick device that the OS mounts like this can be used. In practice, the behavior will change depending on the model of joystick ( Sony, or knockoff ), or XBox controller and the Bluetooth driver used to support it. The default code has been written and tested with a Sony brand PS3 Sixaxis controller. Other controllers may work, but will require alternative Bluetooth installs, and tweaks to the software for correct axis and buttons.

These joysticks are known to work:

These can be enabled by finding the CONTROLLER_TYPE in your myconfig.py and setting it to the correct string identifier ( after disabling the comment ).

These can be used plugged in with a USB cable. It's been much more convenient to setup Bluetooth for a wireless control.

There are controller specific setup details below.

Customizing or Adding a New Controller Type

Note: If are having troubles getting your controller to work, try this Joystick Wizard. This can help customize your buttons and axis inputs as well.

Change to config.py or run with --js

python manage.py drive --js

Will enable driving with the joystick. This disables the live preview of the camera and the web page features. If you modify config.py to make USE_JOYSTICK_AS_DEFAULT = True, then you do not need to run with the --js.



PS3 Controller

Bluetooth Setup

Follow this guide. You can ignore steps past the 'Accessing the SixAxis from Python' section. I will include steps here in case the link becomes stale.

sudo apt-get install bluetooth libbluetooth3 libusb-dev
sudo systemctl enable bluetooth.service
sudo usermod -G bluetooth -a pi

Reboot after changing the user group.

Plug in the PS3 with USB cable. Hit center PS logo button. Get and build the command line pairing tool. Run it:

wget http://www.pabr.org/sixlinux/sixpair.c
gcc -o sixpair sixpair.c -lusb
sudo ./sixpair

Use bluetoothctl to pair

bluetoothctl
agent on
devices
trust <MAC ADDRESS>
default-agent
quit

Unplug USB cable. Hit center PS logo button.

To test that the Bluetooth PS3 remote is working, verify that /dev/input/js0 exists.

ls /dev/input/js0
Troubleshooting

In case the BT connection on the Raspberry Pi does not work, you see might something like this in bluetoothctl:

[NEW] Controller 00:11:22:33:44:55 super-donkey [default]
[NEW] Device AA:BB:CC:DD:EE:FF PLAYSTATION(R)3 Controller
[CHG] Device AA:BB:CC:DD:EE:FF Connected: yes
[CHG] Device AA:BB:CC:DD:EE:FF Connected: no
[CHG] Device AA:BB:CC:DD:EE:FF Connected: yes
[CHG] Device AA:BB:CC:DD:EE:FF Connected: no
[CHG] Device AA:BB:CC:DD:EE:FF Connected: yes
...
[CHG] Device AA:BB:CC:DD:EE:FF Connected: yes
[CHG] Device AA:BB:CC:DD:EE:FF Connected: no
[bluetooth]#

Try updating the Linux kernel and firmware by running:

sudo rpi-update

And then reboot:

sudo reboot

Charging PS3 Sixaxis Joystick

For some reason, they don't like to charge in a powered USB port that doesn't have an active Bluetooth control and OS driver. This means a phone type USB charger will not work. Try a powered Linux or mac laptop USB port. You should see the lights blink after plugging in and hitting center PS logo.

After charging, you will need to plug-in the controller again to the Pi, hit the PS logo, then unplug to pair again.

New Battery for PS3 Sixaxis Joystick

Sometimes these controllers can be quite old. Here's a link to a new battery. Be careful when taking off the cover. Remove 5 screws. There's a tab on the top half between the hand grips. You'll want to split/open it from the front and try pulling the bottom forward as you do, or you'll break the tab off as I did.

PS3 Mouse problems on Linux

Sometimes when you plug-in the PS3 joystick it starts taking over your mouse. If you want to prevent that, you can run this:

xinput set-prop "Sony PLAYSTATION(R)3 Controller" "Device Enabled" 0


PS4 Controller

The following instructions are based on RetroPie and ds4drv.

Install ds4drv.

Running on your pi over ssh, you can directly sudo /home/pi/env/bin/pip install ds4drv

Grant permission to ds4drv.

sudo wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/chrippa/ds4drv/master/udev/50-ds4drv.rules -O /etc/udev/rules.d/50-ds4drv.rules
sudo udevadm control --reload-rules
sudo udevadm trigger

Run ds4drv.

ds4drv --hidraw --led 00ff00. If you see Failed to create input device: "/dev/uinput" cannot be opened for writing, reboot and retry. Probably granting permission step doesn't take effect until rebooting. Some controllers don't work with --hidraw. If that's the case try the command without it. --led 00ff00 changes the light bar color, it's optional.

Start controller in pairing mode.

Press and hold Share button, then press and hold PS button until the light bar starts blinking. If it goes green after a few seconds, pairing is successful.

Run ds4drv in background on startup once booted.

sudo nano /etc/rc.local. paste /home/pi/env/bin/ds4drv --led 00ff00 into the file. Save and exit. Again, with or without --hidraw, depending on the particular controller you are using.

To disconnect, kill the process ds4drv and hold PS for 10 seconds to power off the controller.



XBox One Controller

bluetooth pairing

This code presumes the built-in linux driver for 'Xbox Wireless Controller'; this is pre-installed on Raspbian, so there is no need to install any other drivers. This will generally show up on /dev/input/js0. There is another userland driver called xboxdrv; this code has not been tested with that driver.

The XBox One controller requires that the bluetooth disable_ertm parameter be set to true; to do this:

  • edit the file /etc/modprobe.d/xbox_bt.conf (that may create the file; it is commonly not there by default)
  • add the line: options bluetooth disable_ertm=1
  • reboot so that this takes affect.
  • after reboot you can verify that disable_ertm is set to true entering this command in a terminal: cat /sys/module/bluetooth/parameters/disable_ertm
  • the result should print 'Y'. If not, make sure the above steps have been done correctly.

Once that is done, you can pair your controller to your Raspberry Pi using the bluetooth tool. Enter the following command into a bash shell prompt:

sudo bluetoothctl

That will start blue tooth pairing in interactive mode. The remaining commands will be entered in that interactive session. Enter the following commands:

agent on
default-agent
scan on

That last command will start the Raspberry Pi scanning for new bluetooth devices. At this point, turn on your XBox One controller using the big round 'X' button on top, then start the pairing mode by pressing the 'sync' button on the front of the controller. Within a few minutes, you should see the controller show up in the output something like this;

[NEW] Device B8:27:EB:A4:59:08 XBox One Wireless Controller

Write down the MAC address, you will need it for the following steps. Enter this command to pair with your controller:

connect YOUR_MAC_ADDRESS

where YOUR_MAC_ADDRESS is the MAC address you copied previously. If it does not connect on the first try, try again. It can take a few tries. If your controller connects, but then immediately disconnects, your disable_ertm setting might be wrong (see above).

Once your controller is connected, the big round 'X' button on the top of your controller should be solid white. Enter the following commands to finish:

trust YOUR_MAC_ADDRESS
quit

Now that your controller is trusted, it should automatically connect with your Raspberry Pi when they are both turned on. If your controller fails to connect, run the bluetoothctl steps again to reconnect.

Discovering / Modifying Button and Axis Mappings for Game Controllers

To discover and modify your default button mappings (for your controllers) you can use the Joystick class defined in donkeycar.parts.controller.

After setting up Donkey and activating your virtualenv you can do the following. First launch a python shell session.

from donkeycar.parts.controller import Joystick

joystick = Joystick() # uses the connected joystick at /dev/input/js0

joystick.init() # Initialize

joystick.show_map() # Will give you a list of axes and buttons detected.

# Now you can use the controller and check for the outputs. This will
# tell you which buttons and axes are active when you are using the
# controller.
while True:
    joystick.poll()