Techno-Innov’s Car-System

The presentation pages for our Car-System are now online.

This Car-System has been developed during the last two years for Mini World Lyon model exhibition project.


There are many improvements yet to develop, but development is frozen until the opening in June 2016.

To get to the presentation page, follow this link !

Technical Data

Vehicle Hardware:


  • Main Board:
    • ARM Micro-controller + power supply + 868MHz RF Communication + static positioning markers detection system.
    • Electronic system can be fit to many vehicles. Miniaturized and mass production ready.
    • Full-duplex 868MHz communication (2.4GHz band already filled by Wifi/Bluetooth), simple and robust dedicated protocol.
    • Communication with controller using USB modules or embedded Linux system over Ethernet.
  • Embedded Lights and Collision avoidance system:
    • Front board for lights and collision avoidance system.
    • Rear board for lights and collision avoidance system.
    • Detection distance between 1 and 15cm, 60° angle.
  • Energy :
    • Electronic charging board (according to selected charging system).
    • LiPo battery, from 30 minutes for small vehicles (moving) up to over 16 hours (bigger vehicles, moving).
    • Sleep mode, with wake on radio or wake on timer.
    • Contact-less charging system under development.
    • Continuous contact-less power supply planned.
  • Mechanical hardware :
    • Motor with worm gear.
    • Resin 3D printed chassis including direction system and simple assembly system for all vehicle parts.
    • Usual magnet direction system, compatible with existing Car-system installations.
    • Adaptable to existing vehicle bodies (Herpa, Norev, …) at HO scale (1/87ème).
    • Possibility to use ball bearings for rear axle, but seems unnecessary when using resin 3D printing.


  • Possibility to add a RFID tag for quick identification of vehicles on key points and for maintenance.
  • Possibility to extend system by adding slave boards (for vehicles with full direction, complex lightning, embedded sounds, or complex mechanical systems.

Model Hardware:

  • Mechanical:
    • Usual vehicle direction system using magnet band and servo-motors with easy mount system for directions selection.
    • Static markers system without batteries, detected by the vehicles for autonomous operation.
    • In-road detectors used to identify and locate the vehicles.
  • Electronic:

  • techdata_maquette-01



    • Embedded system (BeagleBone Black and specific Cape) for full system handling:
      • Ethernet/IP network interface.
      • Can be replaced using any computer with USB to RF and USB to RS485 modules.
      • Software bridges for RF/RS485 to Ethernet/IP network interface.
      • Comprehensive logging system.
    • Electronic board for direction control and road sensor interface.
    • Electronic board for lightning effects and animation control:
      • Simplified 5V/12V lights cabling
      • Traffic lights handling.
      • Model animation control using 5V DC, 12V DC and 16V to 48V AC.
      • Individual control of up to 256 leds, each one being able to play any predefined sequence from the sequences set (A sequence is a series of 1.5ms on/off states, with up to 254 different sequences, from 12ms to 1.5s). Without sequence change orders from supervision the current sequence is played in a loop.
    • Electronic control board for automated charging systems
    • Communication with distant boards using RS485 Full-duplex Bus.


Model and Vehicles Part:


  • Vehicles miniaturization at 1/87th scale (HO) for buses, trucks and sedan cars. (Smaller cars under development).
  • Client-server architecture with parts of the control system integrated in the vehicle.
  • Vehicle lights (front, rear, breaking, blinkers, beacon), with different power levels for front (dipped headlights, position, and highlights) and rear lights (position and breaking).
  • Vehicle speed control for realistic acceleration and braking.
  • Individual address for each vehicle.
  • Autonomous collision avoidance system.
  • Individualized and dynamic configuration of the vehicles over RF.
  • Sleep mode with wake-up on timer or RF communication.
  • Robust control with magnetic guide in the model, branch selection by servo motors, multiple possible branches.
  • Simple vehicle tracking using magnet detectors.
  • Autonomous vehicle positioning by invisible static tags on the model.
  • Realism and fluidity of road traffic.
  • Traffic lights handling.
  • Priorities handling at intersections with or without direction switches.
  • Vehicles with dynamic scenarios.
  • Automated and invisible charging system.
  • Handling of motorized animations.
  • Advanced lighting handling, with limited wires and multiple effects which can be mixed to produce incredible combinations and simulate real life.


Server Part:

  • Traffic handling: crossings and lanes configuration.
  • Crossings handling.
  • Vehicles tracking.
  • Individual vehicle handling, making specific behaviors implementation easy. Each vehicle can have it’s own behavior.
  • Traffic and city lighting handling.
  • Vehicle charge handling.
  • Model animations handling.
  • Allows up to 16000 vehicles.
  • Communication with 100 vehicles per second on each RF channel (868MHz). Over 10 RF channels available.
  • Modular software architecture.
  • Techno-Innov’s Car-System


    Techno-Innov’s Car-System has been designed for the model exhibition project Mini World Lyon which should open on June 30th 2016 next to Lyon.


    Our system is inspired by many existing systems, from which interesting systems have been improved to achieve the objectives of this ambitious animated model exhibition project at the scale of 1/87th (HO).

    Designed with entertainment, reliability, industrialization, modularity, and widespread use constraints, our system is unique and can be used in parallel to some of the existing systems, while providing several additional features in its current version, and maintaining scalability in order to add new features such as contact-less vehicle charging in the future.

    The usual magnetic tape (or metallic wire) steering system has been kept to allow compatibility with existing circuits. Vehicle guidance is thus made from the model using switches.

    In order to create the most realistic system as possible, part of the driving decisions are made within the vehicle, which includes an autonomous collision avoidance system, and is able to execute a set of orders triggered by static tags spread along the vehicle paths.
    Vehicles can then locate themselves and trigger animations at the right time (slow down in a bend, turn on or off blinkers, stop at a crossing, …).
    The remaining decisions are taken by the control system, with a handler specific to each vehicle, making it simple to implement different behaviors, modularity being then an easy job, and reproducing real drivers behaviors to get realistic and fluid traffic.

    The charging system has also been reworked to provide invisible contact and contact-less solutions, even if this improvement has not yet been deployed by Mini World Lyon.

    Finally, the miniaturization and the use of advanced technologies in electronics and 3D resin printing (made by Drim 3D), makes it possible to create reliable, motorized, remote controlled vehicles, having an autonomy and a life time suitable for use in a miniature exhibition.

    [youtube 6WvuIil5O3I 600 490]
    (Watch the video on Youtube)

    Download the Video (mpeg4/130Mo)

    Video about MWL project during Innorobo

    Hello Everybody !

    Here is the link to the Video made by Sébastien Meunier (in French) during Innorobo 2015 for France télévision (Méta Média).
    The video presents some parts of the 1/87th scale Car-System we made for the Mini World Lyon project.
    It focuses on our prototyping platform made using common prototyping technics as found at YouFactory or in many other FabLabs.